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On behalf of the Belgian Academy of Childhood Disability, it is our honour and privilege to invite the European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) to her 36th Meeting in Bruges, Belgium.

As organizing committee we would like to welcome you from 29 May until 1 June 2024 for a memorable, historic EACD meeting fully in keeping with its mission, supported by our longstanding Belgian experience with innovation in childhood-onset disability, privileged relationship with the European Institutions, and of course the assets of the city Bruges with its historical, cultural and culinary treasures.

Composing a new symphony – central theme

Every time has its challenges.. and that's when collaboration is crucial. It is important that we approach new challenges with a positive mindset and an eye for opportunity. We fully believe in new collaborations accompanied by the opportunities that we can create with this; we strongly believe in closer interactions - call it a symphony - between university-industry-government-public sector, families and people with lived experience; we are hopeful in this day and age as we see increasingly faster implementation of innovative solutions into our healthcare systems. We also fully believe in the power of the person: it's not so much about where we are or what we have... but more about who we are and what we can do...together!

It is important to keep our value compass in mind and related to the United Nations Convention: the right to maximum self-reliance, equality and participation remain important basic principles that were defined with regard to people with disabilities and their environment. This treaty stipulates, among other things, the right to optimal education, to live independently, the right to the best possible mobility and communication, the right to work as well as maximum participation in sports and socio-cultural activities.

Lying in the heart of Europe and near the decision centre for European policies, Bruges 2024 has the ideal location and timing for EACD to conduct the discussion during workshop sessions with local and European stakeholders to keep quality of health and education service for people with childhood disabilities acceptable and affordable and place the challenges on the European agenda. Under the meeting theme ‘Composing a new symphony’, we challenge the increasing innovative unaffordability and policy difficulties and will work towards new collaborations by embracing positive thinking, taking on responsibilities, and reshaping our plans to meet the needs of a changing world. And we invite you all to join us on this journey to contribute to a brighter future for ourselves and for generations to come!


Last but not least, no need to tell that the worldwide renowned city Bruges offers you a broad range of historical, cultural and culinary pleasures. It is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and is protected under UNESCO world heritage programme. The capital of West-Flanders is a human-size walkable city with excellent affordable hotels, all of them in the quiet, safe & green city centre. The enchanting canals and picturesque corners create a unique atmosphere, packed with history. In 2024, our city is also hosting the Bruges Triennial artist and architectural event. This Triennial will be organized in the historic city centre and the disability focus of EACD would be implemented in the artistic theme. We are really eager to welcome you all to come and join us in a highly professional and friendly environment where we can meet and learn from each other and share knowledge and importantly to ‘compose a new symphony’ for our goal group. The City of Bruges, its citizens and the local organizing committee guarantee you a safe and splendid stay, full of unforgettable moments and… loads of chocolates!

All rights reserved to: Visit Bruges | © Jan D’Hondt

Prof. Elegast Monbaliu
EACD Bruges 2024 Meeting President 

Prof. Bernard Dan
Chair of the EACD 2024 Scientific Committee