Disability Champions Hit the USA

20th February 2006 1:52pm - Return to press releases

East Riding College Trade Union Studies tutor Dave Parr was invited by EU Commissioner Beth Straw to a conference in Washington DC Exploring Employment and Retention Strategies for People with Disabilities'.

The conference brought together business people and those from disability organizations on both sides of the Atlantic to share ideas and best practice.

Dave Parr said "As the only trade union person there it was a little daunting but knowing what a wonderful initiative I was to share with them took away the nerves and apprehension. The opening welcome was given by Dr Roy Grizzard who was appointed by President Bush as the first Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy. This, along with the introductions from other delegate leaders was very upbeat. They reflected upon the distance travelled towards disability rights and inclusion but stressed the need to go much further.

To think I was to meet politicians, company executives,Olympians, professors and senior representatives from disability groups from around the world. They would then fly me to the USA to tell them about a bright idea I had one sunny afternoon in Bishops Stortford, Dublin. It's the American Dream".

Dave will now endeavour to put into practice some of the experiences he has brought back to the UK particularly how simple ideas had enabled many disabled workers to perform complex and vital tasks more effectively.