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Background Information

The International Forum on Disability Management (IFDM) started with a vision: to gather representatives of stakeholders in disability management from all over the world, in order to assemble global perspectives on consensus-based best practices, cutting-edge research and successful disability management policies and programs.

NIDMAR organized the first IFDM which took place in Vancouver, BC in May 2002, under the theme “Work Retention Strategies in a Global Society”.  Over four hundred delegates from 10 countries attended.  Opening plenary speakers Lieutenant Governor Iona Compagnola, Canadian Federal Minister of Labour Claudette Bradshaw, and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs for Germany Walter Riester set the tone for the event.  The forum offered 24 sessions and included Canada’s second National Awards of Excellence in Disability Management ceremony.  For further details, please visit: http://www.nidmar.ca/news/archives/ifdm.asp

The second IFDM took place in Maastricht, the Netherlands in September 2004.  Organized by TNO Work and Employment and the Commissie Werkend Perspectief (National Committee Work Perspectives), the conference offered nearly 40 sessions on a wide range of DM-related topics to delegates representing 28 countries.  The conference theme was “A Social Europe, Responsive to Change” and included senior representatives from five major European countries as well as from Canada, the European Commission in Brussels, and the International Labour Organization in Geneva.

The third IFDM was held in Brisbane, Australia in October 2006, hosted by the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) at the University of Queensland and Griffith University.  The third IFDM was entitled “Disability Management – Working for the Long Term”.  Approximately 350 participants representing 15 countries attended plenaries and workshops over the three days of the conference.

The fourth IFDM was held in Berlin, Germany, September 22-24.  It was hosted by the Federal Association of the German Insurers Against Work Accidents and Occupational Diseases together with the German Ministry of Health and Social Security.  The theme of this IFDM was “Breaking down barriers together”. Over 700 delegates attended from 35 countries.

The 2010 IFDM held in Los Angeles and was hosted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation in association with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Over 400 delegates from 34 countries attended.

Building on the highly successful IFDMs held since 2002, on the tenth anniversary, IFDM 2012 took place in London, UK, September 10-12, 2012, the same year the country hosted the summer Olympics and Paralympics.

The Personal Injury Education Foundation will host the 2014 IFDM, which was held in Melbourne, Australia, November 17-19, 2014. The theme for IFDM 2014 was: “Disability Management: Pushing beyond the boundaries”. With an attendance of over 460 participants from 19 countries, IFDM 2014 covered a great many topic areas related to the field of disability management and return to work.

The Social Security Organization of Malaysia (SOCSO / PERKESO) hosted IFDM 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, November 22-24. For further details please visit the website at: http://ifdm2016.com.my/

The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) hosted IFDM 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, October 14-17, 2018. The theme of IFDM 2018 was Challenges and Innovations for Workforce Health. For further details, please visit the website at: www.ifdm2018.com

The INAMI-RIZIV had planned to be hosting IFDM 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. Due to the Covid-19 crisis and in order to have a full non-virtual event, the congress is postponed to September 28-30, 2022.

The INAMI-RIZIV will host IFDM 2022: “Disability Management for Healthy and Inclusive Workplace and Labor Market”
10th International Biennial Congress on Disability Management and Return to Work
NH Bloom Hotel, Brussels – September 28-30, 2022
For full details: IFDM2022