The Success Story

The 5th World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2020
(WDRC 2020)

The 5th World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2020, was held on 5th – 6th November in Virtual Platform under the theme “Advocating for the Diverse Group People with Disabilities across the Globe”. The conference was organized by The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), Sri Lanka in collaboration with the World Disability and Rehabilitation Professionals’ Association (WDRPA), Faculty of Economic and Sociology, University of Lodz, Poland, Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration Center (OSTIC), Bangladesh.

The conference provided an opportunity for delegates to share their valuable knowledge and experience of disability studies and rehabilitation studies from various perspectives.  Moreover, the conference welcomed 40+ participants from 20 countries around the world.


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Inauguration Ceremony

The opening remarks of WDRC 2020 were made by the Conference Chair Dr. Loren O’ Connor, Former Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Office of Accessible, Education and Counselling Service, Brandman University, The United States with Mr. Isanka P. Gamage, Managing Director, The International Institute of Knowledge Management.

Conference Co-Chair

Dr. Loren O’Connor

Conference Convener

Mr. Isanka P. Gamage

Keynote Forum

The Keynote forum was represented by Mr. Yeves Veulliet, Global Disability & Inclusion Leader at IBM, Chair of the International Labour Organization’s Global Business and Disability Network, Belgium under the title “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post COVID-19 World” and Dr. Thierry Kolpin, The United States under the title “How to Advocate for Diverse Groups of People across the Globe in the Age of COVID”

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Thierry Kolpin

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Thierry Kolpin

Participants from more than 20 Countries

WDRC 2020 consisted of over 40+ participants from 20 countries around the world, including Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the United States, The Philippines, China, The United Kingdom, Uganda, Iraq, Thailand, Kenya, Belgium, Poland, Indonesia, Australia, Canada and Bangladesh. The Conference provided an opportunity for delegates to share their valuable knowledge and experience of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Studies from various perspectives.  This conference had representation from five continent and regions across the world, to share views and ideas on Disability issues, network with international colleagues and made the conference a meaning the full opportunity for engagement.

Technical Sessions

WDRC 2020 comprised of five (5) technical sessions. The technical sessions were under the below themes.

Community-Based Rehabilitation I
Community Based Rehabilitation Ii
Equalization of Opportunities and Independent Living For Individuals with Disabilities
Access to Health Services for People with Disabilities
Sexual and Reproductive Health, Health Services, Persons with Disabilities


– “Care of Elderly: a Solution for Disability (Practical Guide of PPCR Model for Rehabilitation Professionals)”

The Scientific Workshop was conducted by Dr. Sujeewa Weerasinghe (Executive Director,Consultant Physiotherapist -Physio Life Care, Sri Lanka) and Mr. Sanjeewa Thunpaththu (Senior Physiotherapist – National Hospital, of Sri Lanka).

  • Learning objective 1: To understand the relationship between aging and disability and application of PPCR model to reduce disability in aging.
  • Learning objective 2: To be able to offer evidence-based advice on appropriate exercises based on the PPCR model.

Dr. Sujeewa Weerasinghe

Executive Director and Consultant in Physiotherapy, PhysioLife Care (Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Research), Sri Lanka
Visiting Lecturer, University of Colombo,
Sri Lanka.

Panel Discussion on Creating Momentum for Global Advocacy and Rights for Individual with Disabilities”

The Panel Discussion was enriched by Dr. June Njama (Consultant Pediatric Dentist, Nyeri County Referral Hospital. Founder, Imara Life Foundation Program, University of Nairobi, Kenya), Ms. Rosa Trigg (CEO of Autism Central Coast Inc. in Australia), Dr. Deepthi N. Shanbhag (Associate Professor in Department of Community Health, St. John’s Medical University India) and Mr. Nekram Upadhyay (Head of Department of Assistive Technology at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India).

Guest Speech on “Visual Disabilities and Assistive Technology”

The Guest Speech was conducted by Dr. Suraj Singh Senjam (Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India).

Scientific Committee Members

  • Dr. Ketharanathan Saravanan, Vocational Training Authority, Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Sanjeewa Thunpaththu, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Sujeewa Weerasinghe, PhysioLife Care,Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Ramesh, St.John’s Medical College, India
  • Dr. Chi-Wen Chien, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
  • Dr. Bogusława Dobrowolska, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Dorota Kobus-Ostrowska, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Deepthi Shanbhag, St.John’s Medical College, India
  • Dr. Awol Seid Yimer, Ethiopian Public Health Association, Ethiopia
  • Dr. Niraj Poudyal, Kathmandu University, Nepal
  • Dr. Abigail Akande, The Pennsylvania State University, United States
  • Dr. Lynn Rose, American University of Iraq, Iraq
  • Dr. Muna Mohamed Alhammadi, Zayed University, UAE
  • Dr. Aleksandra Majchrowska, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Anna Miklaszewska, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Mariusz Nyk, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Iwona Kukulak-Dolata, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Prof. Edyta Dworak, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Dr. Maria Agnieszka Paszkowicz, University of Zielona Góra, Poland
  • Dr. Professor Piotr Michoń, Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland
  • Dr. Loren O’Connor, Brandman University, United States
  • Prof. Thierry Kolpin, Brandman University, United States
  • Dr. Henry Metcalf, Brandman University, United States
  • Dr. Vandana Patel, Kasturba Medical College (Manipal University), India
  • Dr. Ruchita Narsia, S. S. Agrawal institute of physiotherapy & Medical Care Education, India
  • Prof. Chignier Riboulon,University Clermont Auvergne, France
  • Dr. Khushali Choksi

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