The Success Story of the 8th World Disability & Rehabilitation Conference 2023
(WDRC 2023)

The Success Story of the 8th World Disability & Rehabilitation Conference 2023 (WDRC 2023) held from 09th – 10th November in Colombo, Sri Lanka in hybrid platform. WDRC 2023 was organized under the theme “Global Empowerment through Collaboration and Exchange: Advancing Disability Rehabilitation Worldwide.” The conference was organized by The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), Sri Lanka.

The conference united diverse researches and case studies from all over the world, in parallel sessions while offering many networking and publishing opportunities. Moreover, the conference welcomed 70+ Academics, Researchers, Scholars, Activists Industry Leaders and Professionals from 30+ 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 and from 25+ different universities across the globe.

Inauguration Ceremony and Keynote Speech

The opening remarks of WDRC 2023 were made by the Conference Convener. Mr. Isanka P Gamage (Co-Founder & Managing Director – The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), Sri Lanka) and the Conference Chair Dr. Loren O’Connor (President of WDRPA, Former University Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Accessible Education. and/or Kolpin & O’Connor Global Consultants, LLC.), USA). Hon. State Minister Anupa Pasqual, Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest of the WDRC 2023.

The keynote speakers were Prof. Theresa Lorenzo (Head of Division, Programme Convenor for Disabity Studies Doctoral Programme, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa), Prof. Luc de Witte (Research Group Technology for Healthcare, Centre of Expertise Health Innovation, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Air Vice Marshal (Dr) L R Jayaweera, VSV, USP, MBBS (SL), Msc (D&SS), Dip Av Med (USA), psc and Prof. Wesam B. Darawsheh (The school of rehabilitation sciences, The University of Jordan, Jordan).

Abigail O. Akande, Ph.D., CRC (Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Human Services, The Pennsylvania State University – Abington College, USA) was a plenary speaker.

Story Tellers were Ms. Preethi Srinivasan (Founder of Soulfree, Tamil Nadu, India) and Mr. Ishan Jalill,   Founder/Executive Director, Ability for Action, Sri Lanka.

Participants from over 30 Countries WDRC 2023 brought together over 70 participants from more than 25 universities around the world, including from: United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Mauritius, Germany, Bangladesh, Ukraine, South Africa, Malaysia, Maldives, India, Kenya, Australia, Sri Lanka, Poland, Czech Republic, Morocco, Turkey, Philippines, Austria, Thailand, Indonesia, Uganda, Iraq, Taiwan among the many nations represented. The Conference provided an opportunity for participants to share their valuable knowledge from various perspectives. This conference had the representation of almost every continent and region from across the world and provided a global platform to share views and ideas in the fields of Disability and Rehabilitation, as well as to network with international colleagues.

Resource Persons

Dr. Loren O’Connor

Conference Chair

Dr. Loren O’Connor

President of WDRPA, Former University Assistant Vice
Chancellor, Office of Accessible Education. and/or Kolpin &
O’Connor Global Consultants, LLC.)

Hon. State Minister Anupa Pasqual

Chief Guest

Hon. State Minister Anupa Pasqual

Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment
Sri Lanka

Prof. Theresa Lorenzo

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Theresa Lorenzo

Head of Division
Programme Convenor for Disabity Studies Doctoral Programme
Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Professor. Luc de Witte

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Luc de Witte

Research Group Technology for Healthcare
Centre of Expertise Health Innovation
The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Air Vice Marshal (Dr) L R Jayaweera

Keynote Speaker

Air Vice Marshal (Dr) L R Jayaweera

VSV, USP, MBBS (SL), Msc (D&SS), Dip Av Med (USA), psc

Prof. Wesam B. Darawsheh

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Wesam B. Darawsheh

The school of rehabilitation sciences
The University of Jordan
Jordan

Abigail O. Akande, Ph.D., CRC

Plenary Speaker

Abigail O. Akande, Ph.D., CRC

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Human Services
The Pennsylvania State University - Abington College
USA

Ms. Isabel Mavrides-Calderon

Guest Speaker

Ms. Isabel Mavrides-Calderon

Disability Justice Activist, ACLU Organizer,
Teen Vogue 21 Under 21, Public Speaker
New York, United States

Dr. Mandeep Singh

Guest Speaker

Dr. Mandeep Singh Assistant Professor in Directorate of Sports, University of Jammu, UT of J&K India

Ms. Preethi Srinivasan   

Story Teller

Ms. Preethi Srinivasan

Founder of Soulfree
Tamil Nadu, India

Story Teller

Mr. Ishan Jalill

A Business Development Consultant
Sri Lanka

Technical Sessions

WDRC 2023 comprised nineteen (10) Technical Sessions and two Poster Sessions. The Technical Sessions were under the below themes:

  • ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND ACCESSIBILITY
  • DISABILITY RIGHTS, ADVOCACY, AND INTERSECTIONALITY
  • HEALTH SYSTEMS, SERVICES, AND SOCIAL PROTECTION
  • EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • EMPOWERING DIVERSITY: INCLUSION AND DISABILITY PERSPECTIVES
  • INCLUSIVE RESEARCH AND HEALTH INNOVATION FOR DIVERSE ABILITIES

Overall Best Presenters

Special Features of WDRC 2023

Publication Workshop

The Publication Workshop was moderated by Publication Workshop by Prof. Luc de Witte (Research Group Technology for Healthcare Centre of Expertise Health Innovation the Hague University of Applied Sciences).

Workshop

This workshop was moderated by Dr. Thierry Kolpin, Kolpin & O’Connor Global Consultants, LLC.USA.

Workshop on "Empowering Inclusion: Advancing Disability Rights and Counseling"

Workshop “Empowering Inclusion: Advancing Disability Rights and Counseling” was moderated by Dr. (Mrs.) Hemlata, Director at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India.

Workshop on "Building Bridges of Empowerment: Enabling Resilient Communities through Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation"

Workshop “Building Bridges of Empowerment: Enabling Resilient Communities through Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation” was moderated by Mr. Joe John George, Disability Inclusive, DRR Expert from India.

Workshop

This workshop was moderated by Mr. Nekram Upadhyay, Head, Department of Assistive Technology, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre & PhD Scholar at Delhi Technological University, India.

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion on “Global Empowerment through Collaboration and Exchange: Advancing Disability Rehabilitation Worldwide” was moderated by Dr. Loren O’Conner and Dr. Dr. Thierry Kolpin. The Panelists were Christina Cassady, Dr. Deepthi N. Shanbhag, Dr. Lynn Rose, Dr. Bunsung Heng, Dr. Bridget Johnson, Ms.  Mariyam Ashfa Hamdi, Mr. Ahmed Toufiqur Rahman.

 Session Chairs

  • Jeganish A, St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore, India.
  • Piotr Szukalski, Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Muna AlHammadi, College of Education, Zayed University, UAE.
  • Dorota Kobus-Ostrowska, University of Lodz, Poland.
  • Selahattin Aydin, Istanbul Kent University, Turkey.
  • Christopher Wijesingha, Goulburn Valley Health, Australia.

Evaluation Panel Members

 

  • Loren O’Connor, President of WDRPA, Former University Assistant Vice, Chancellor, Office of Accessible Education. and/or Kolpin & O’Connor Global Consultants, LLC.), USA
  • Thierry Kolpin, Vice President of WDRPA, Kolpin & O’Connor Global Consultants, LLC.), USA
  • Kokila Abeykoon, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
  • Hemlata, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi, India.
  • Muna AlHammadi, College of Education, Zayed University, Dubai, UAE.
  • Sujeewa Weerasinghe, National Cancer Institute Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka.
  • Dorota Kobus-Ostrowska, University of Lodz, Poland.
  • Selahattin Aydin, Istanbul Kent University, Turkey.
  • MD Zulfikar Ali, Shailkupa Government College, Bangladesh.

Scientific Committee Members

  • Kokila Abeykoon, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
  • Shahanaz Parvin, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Sujeewa Weerasinghe, National Cancer Institute Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka.
  • Dorota Kobus-Ostrowska, University of Lodz, Poland.
  • Fairus Fariza Zainudin, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
  • Dr Maria Agnieszka Paszkowicz, Uniwersytet Zielonogórski, Poland.
  • Yuleinys A Castillo, Wydział Mechaniczny Wydział Mechaniczny, USA.
  • Wesam Darawsheh, The University of Jordan, Jordan.
  • Md Zulfikar Ali, Shailkupa Government College, Bangladesh.
  • Nuri Attagour, Consultant Geriatric and Rehabilitation Medicine Freelance Peer Reviewer Southport Hospital
  • Fairus Fariza Zainudin, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia.
  • Lynn Rose, Director of Disability Studies, CGDS & Professor in the Social Sciences, AUIS.
  • Muna AlHammadi, College of Education, Zayed University, Dubai, UAE.
  • Hemlata, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi, India.
  • Abigail O. Akande, The Pennsylvania State University – Abington College USA
  • Selahattin Aydin, Istanbul Kent University, Turkey.

In Corporate with Our Official Partners

Hosting Partner

World Disability and Rehabilitation Professionals Association (WDRPA)

Academic Partner

University of Lodz,
Poland

Academic Partner

Mahatma Gandhi University, India

Academic Partner

St John’s Medical College Hospital,
South India

Academic Partner

University of the Western Cape,
South Africa

Academic Partner

Erdogan University , Turkey (Izmir)

Creative Partner

Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board (Laksala)

TOUR PARTNER

Globeenjoy
Sri Lanka

EVENT PARTNER

TIIKM Events
Sri Lanka

Organized By

The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM)

OUR NETWORK

LISTEN TO WHAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS TO SAY

We take pride in developing positive relationships with our participants and hearing positive feedback about our Conference. Read on to find out what they have to say about ICFA 2023!

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