Join us for a full-day conference about Disability Rights, Accessibility and Artificial Intelligence in the European Union.
Affisch för evenemanget, som visar hus och innehåller text. Event poster, old houses, conference title and logos of organisers.
Time: 31st of March 2023
Place: Hybrid conference, Quality Globe Hotel in Stockholm and online with live captions and sign language interpretation
Language: English
Organisers: European Disability Forum and The Swedish Disability Rights Federation

Why is this important?

In times of crises the need to strengthen efforts to promote, implement and monitor Disability Rights from a human rights-based approach is more important than ever. The European Union is one of 185 parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Accessibility is a general principle to ensure full, equal, and unrestricted access for persons with disabilities in society. The strict application of Universal Design to all new technology includes Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur, one of our speakers, calls for the urgent need to come together and reflect on how AI technology can drive the implementation of the UN CRPD forward in   The 4th Industrial Revolution in the Service of the World’s  Largest Minority.

Who is invited?

Stakeholders from the European Disability Rights movement, Government and Public Sector, Industry and Private sector and Academia. Online participation open for all.

What is on the agenda?

The morning sessions will provide insight on Disability Rights in Europe today and the European Disability Rights Strategy, looking ahead towards the future in Europe and across the globe. A session will be on the new Accessible EU Center, European funding to implement legislation such as the European Accessiblity Act and challenges to reach out to local commnunities.

The afternoon is dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, AI. Sessions aim to contribute to raising awareness about AI and Disability Rights, and the proposed AI act under negotiation during the Swedish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The last session will raise Sustainable AI, challenges, opportunities and actions needed to ensure that no one is left behind. Finally the Europeam Disability Federation will present a resolution on AI.

Speakers and draft Agenda (ch

9.30 Opening session
  • Helena Dali EU Commissioner for Equality, European Commission (TBC)
  • Camilla Waltersson Grönvall, Swedish Minister of social services
  • Yannis Vardakastanis, President, European Disability Forum
  • Elisabeth Wallenius, President, Swedish Disability Rights Federation
10.00 Disability Rights in Europe – the way forward

What is the status of Disability Rights in Europe in 2023? What are the rights-based priorities as we look ahead at the future in Europe and across the globe.

Moderator Fredrik Malmberg, Director Swedish National Human Rights Institution

  • Gerard QuinnUN Special rapporteur for the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Katarina Ivankovic-KnezevicDirector of DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion
  • Abir Al-Sahlani, Swedish Member of the European Parliament
  • Alejandro Moledo, Deputy Director, European Disability Forum

11.00 Coffee break

11.30 Accessible EU – reaching local communities

In 2023 Accessible EU Center will start to assist member states to implement European accessibility regulations and fulfil obligations in relation to Accessibility and Universal Design in the UN CRPD. What can we learn about the use of European funding for accessibility and how to reach local communities?

Moderator: Humberto Insolera, Executive Committee Member, European Disability Forum

  • Zuzanna Raszkowska, Director. Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, Poland
  • Jesús Hernández Galán, Accessibility Director, ONCE Foundation
  • Anna Quarnström, President, Disability Rights Stockholm City

12.30 Lunch break

14.00 Who makes decisions – the man or the machine?

Digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence and automated decision-making are already part of our daily lives. The impact on disability rights needs urgent attention given the incredibly fast growth of new technologies.

Moderators: Catherine Naughton, director European Disability Forum and Elias Tebibel, chair EDF Youth Committee

  • Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations
  • Jutta Treviranus, Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University,
  • Kave Noori, Artificial Intelligence Officer, European Disability Forum

15.00 Coffee break

15.30 Artificial Intelligence Act – legal protection of rights

How to ensure human rights, including disability rights, in the European Artificial Intelligence Act and offer appropriate tools for implementation of the legislation.

Moderator: Stefan Larsson Associate Professor in Technology and Social Change, Department of Technology and Society, Lund University

  • Brando Benifei, Italian member of the European Parliament,
  • Karolina Iwanska, Digital Civic Space Advisor, European Center for Not-For-Profit Law ECNL
  • Maureen Piggot, Executive Committee, European Disability Forum

16.30 Break

16.45 Sustainable Artificial Intelligence – Leaving No One Behind

  • Stefan Larsson, Associate Professor in Technology and Social Change, Department of Technology and Society, Lund University
  • Anna Felländer, Founder, Anch AI

17.15 Conclusion and closing session

  • Gunta Anca, vice president European Disability Forum presents resolution.
  • Nora Bednarski, Cabinet member for European Commissioner for Equality Closing speech

How to join?

Register now


Erika Hudson, 

Co-funding organisations

The Swedish Disability Rights Federation and the European Disability Forum thanks the following organisations for co-funding the 2023 Disability Rights, Accessibility and Artificial Intelligence conference.

  • The European Commission
  • The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (Swedish: Socialdepartementet)
  • The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority