Photo shows all participants together in a group photo standing and smiling

A successful learning and training event took place in Nicosia, Cyprus, from May 27th to 29th, 2024. The ShapeMS and D’Driven projects collaborated to invite stakeholders from various sectors, including employers, individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) individuals from across Europe. 37 participants were actively engaged in the learning and training activities of the event by raising their concerns and discussing their everyday challenges, sharing their stories, and receiving training on inclusive practices to promote as Disability Ambassadors and Mentors in their home countries. The event was also streamed to be accessible to all.

Event Highlights

Day 1: Focused on issues and prospects for an inclusive workplace. A panel featuring representatives from the Labour Relations of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce – Mr Andreas Alexi, the Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association represented by its president, Mr Savva Christodoulou and the Cyprus Deaf School represented by the director Mrs Kika Hadjikakou, discussed challenges and solutions with the audience. DHH individuals and people with MS shared their workplace experiences to inspire and provide a deeper understanding of the situation in Cyprus.

Photo shows the three members of the panel (From right to left: Mr Andrea Alexi, Mrs Kika Hadjikakou and Mr Savva  Christodoulou) in a room, discussing with the audience concerns and challenges in the workplace. Photo shows Mr Philipos Papamichael holding the microphone and sharing his story with Multiple Sclerosis. Next to him Mrs Panagiota Themistocleous translates in sign language. Photo shows Mrs Despina Rousou sharing her story with Multiple Sclerosis . Next to her Mrs Panagiota Themistocleous translates in sign language.

Day 2: Centered on building diverse workplaces through workshops, presentations, and training sessions led by experienced trainers and neuropsychologists.

Photo shows Mrs Olivia Kanapitsa present her experience as employer Photo shows Mr Alexandros Michaelides sharing his story as employer to the audience.  Photo shows Mrs Antonia Tziannarou explaining an exercise to a group of participants

Day 3: Aimed at empowering DHH individuals and people with MS to enter or maintain the workforce. Workshops covered CV building, available tools and resources, and mental empowerment. Participants were also informed on how to become mentors to their peers.

Photo shows a group of participants collaborating to complete a task. Photo shows Mrs Christiana Tartios presenting her topic: CV building and connection with employers The photo shows a group of participants listening to a speaker.

By the end of the event, participants had learned from each other and received training on becoming Ambassadors of Inclusive Practices within their organizations. All participants received a certificate of participation. Participants’ positive and enthusiastic feedback was motivational for the organisers and consortia of ShapeMS and D’Driven projects.

Some of the participants’ feedback:

“I found the event very enlightening and I have lots of ideas to take back to my workplace. Thank you :)”

“Excellent coordination, content and overall energy!”

“Thank you so much for your efforts and spreading knowledge and awareness. It’s a strong project and I hope it encourages people to see things differently.”

“It was an amazing and eye-opening experience. I learned a lot about the struggles of disabled people and will make sure to use the knowledge I gained to contribute to their inclusion. I will certainly include more people with fewer opportunities in my future projects.”

Special thanks to our key speakers and sign language interpretor: Savvas Christodoulou, President, Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association; Kika Hadjikakou, Director, Cyprus Deaf School; Andreas Alexi, Officer Labour Relations, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce; Despina Rousou, Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association; Filippos Papamichael, Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association; Alexandros Michaelides, RTD Talos Ltd; Thekla Neocleous, RTD Talos Ltd; Olivia Kanapitsa, Head of Psychosocial Department, Materia Group; Christiana Tartios, Chief DEI Officer- Chief Learning Officer at CKT Business; Prof. Begoña García-Zapirain, PI of eVIDA Research Group, Department of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications, Director of Biomedical Engineering Program; Savvina Chrysostomou, Neuropsychologist MSc, Noesis Cognitive Center & Tech Solutions Ltd; Irini Iacovidou, Project Manager, Eurosuccess Consulting; Sotiria Moza, Neuropsychologist MSc, Youth Employment/Training; Antonia Tziannarou, Cognitive Psychologist MSc, Youth – Employment/Training Foundation; Elena Kyprianou, Business Administration-Marketing Management, Agecare (Cyprus) Ltd; Panagiota Themistocleous, Sign language Interpretor.

Their insights and expertise made a significant impact on our participants’ experience making our event a success.

Funding and Support

The D’Driven and ShapeMS projects are co-funded by the European Union with grants managed by IDEP Dia Viou Mathisis (CY) and SEPIE (ES) under Grant Agreements No 2022-1-ES01-KA220-ADU-000089697 and KA220-ADU-3FDDE245, respectively. The project “Information and Training Centre for Employment and Entrepreneurship – KEEAED” is implemented under the Cohesion Policy Programme “THALEIA 2021 – 2027” with EU co-funding. Beneficiary: Nicosia Municipality; Implementing Body: Nicosia Municipal Multipurpose Centre.

Photo shows all participants together in a group photo standing and smiling



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