What adults with disabilities tell us about their childhood?

This year our theme is: What adults with disabilities tell us about their childhood? We are excited to invite you all to join our global discussion on the 1st of December and look forward to hearing from adults with diverse disabilities from all nations.

In this introductory video, Gaela Kilgour, a physiotherapist and researcher from New Zealand hosts some friends to tell you more about what to expect in the sessions, why this topic is important and to share some thoughts of what may be of interest across community, health, education and disability sectors. Gaela is joined by Amy Hogan, a writer, researcher, and advocate for people with disabilities. Amy is an adult with cerebral palsy who works for the CP Society of New Zealand. Woroud Alzaher works with the CP Register of New Zealand and is also researching in the area of adults with disability. We are joined by Merryn Robertson, a physiotherapist, who works in a specialist school with children with disabilities.

24 hour virtual Listening and Sharing sessions 2023

Enjoy recorded sessions where health workers and families are sharing their experiences, challenges and innovations. These sessions are recorded on 1th December 2023 every hour around the globe.


Rehabilitation for all

Paediatric committee of Chinese rehabilitation medicine association


The theme of this year’s Global Sharing Conference is “Let’s Listen”, and the China session is entitled “What do adults with disability tell us about their childhood? “It aims to invite adults with disability to share their childhood experiences and memories, so that more people with special needs can be seen and heard, and at the same time, help professionals to provide better rehabilitation services. Sharers of the sharing session were adults who had received rehabilitation treatment in childhood, Dr Wang Chingjing from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ms Hou Xiaoyi from the Korean Academy of Sciences, Mr Zhang Xianpei from the Zibo Disabled Persons’ Federation, Mr Pan Ziyun, founder of the website “Road to Rehabilitation”, Mr Zhou Yinjie from Changsha Special School, and Mr Liu Yong from the Bo’ai School of the Suzhou Industrial Park, sharing their experiences and childhood memories. Mr Liu Yong, a teacher from Boai School in Suzhou Industrial Park, shared their growing experiences and childhood memories. Prof Jiang Zhimei moderated the session, while Prof Liao Huafang, Prof Wei Guorong, Prof Lu Hongyun and Prof Shen Min participated in the exchange. The sharing session was attended by more than 280 people, including children with special needs, parents and Chinese children’s rehabilitation service providers.

今年全球分享会的主题是“让我们倾听”,中国分会场以“让我们倾听特殊人士分享童年经历What do adults with disability tell us about their childhood?”为内容,旨在通过邀请曾经接受过儿童期康复治疗的成年人,分享他们的成长经历和童年记忆,以此让更多特殊需求人士被看见、被听见,同时,帮助专业人员更好地提供康复服务。分享会分享者为儿童期接受过康复治疗的成年人,中国科学院心理研究所王甦菁博士、留韩学者侯潇一女士、淄博残联自主创业张宪沛先生、温州”康复之路“网站创办人潘子云先生、长沙特教学校学生周胤杰同学、苏州工业园区博爱学校刘勇老师,分享了他们的成长经历和童年记忆。姜志梅教授主持,廖华芳教授、魏国荣教授、卢红云教授、沈敏教授参与交流互动。此次分享会有特殊儿童和家长、中国儿童康复服务者280余人参加。

Eastern Africa

Our Childhood: What Happened and What Could Have Been Different

The Eastern African Academies of Childhood Disabilities


The session featured a group of professionals and individuals with lived experiences who shared their perspectives on how their childhood could have been different.

The panel discussion provided a platform for participants to share their insights on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities during their childhood and how these challenges could have been addressed in the African setup. The session was informative and insightful, with participants sharing their experiences and offering recommendations on how to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities in Africa.

Overall, the panel discussion was a valuable contribution to the discourse on childhood disabilities, and it highlighted the importance of creating an inclusive society that caters to the needs of all individuals, regardless of their abilities.


What do adult with disability tell us about their childhood



Presentations were made by rehab specialists with disability, and also adult patients with Spinal Muscle Atrophy and Cerebral Palsy. They shared life experiences, challenges, benefits and achievements with us.
The audience was wide and includes heath care specialists from various fields, patients and parents.


შეზღუდული შესაძლებლობის დღესთან დაკავშირებით 1 დეკემბერს გაიმართა AIICD „მოსმენისა და გაზიარების საერთაშორისო ვირტუალური კონფერენცია”, რომელშიც მონაწილებას იღებდა ნეიროგანვითარების ცენტრი საქართველოს სახელით.

2023 წლის თემის სათაური იყო „შეზღუდული შესაძლებლობის მქონე მოზარდების თვალით დანახული ბავშვობა“.

პრეზენტაციები წარმოადგინეს შეზღუდული შესაძლებლობის მქონე რეაბილიტაციის გუნდის სპეციალისტებმა და ასევე სპინალური კუნთოვანი ატროფიის და ცერებრული დამბლის მქონე მოზარდებმა. მათ გაგვიზიარეს ცხოვრებისეული გამოცდილება, გამოწვევები და მიღწევები.

აუდიტორია იყო ფართო, რომლებშიც გაერთიანდა სხვადასხვა დარგის ჯანდაცვის სპეციალისტები, პაციენტები და მშობლები.

Greece 2023


Embark on a compelling journey into the lives of remarkable individuals with our exclusive sharing session featuring Ms. Alfiana Asti Premasari from the WKCP community, Mr. Nur Syarif Ramdhan representing the PERDIK organization, and Ms. Honorata Rambu Anna Djawa from the Deaf Community in Kupang.

In this illuminating video, Ms. Alfiana, a person with cerebral palsy hailing from Yogyakarta, shares poignant insights into her childhood experiences. Her story is one of resilience and triumph, offering a unique perspective on navigating life with cerebral palsy.
Joining her is Mr. Nur Syarif Ramdhan, who, despite having low vision, has become a beacon of inspiration. Hailing from Makassar, he brings a distinctive narrative that sheds light on the challenges and victories of growing up with a visual impairment.
Completing this trio of extraordinary speakers is Ms. Honorata Rambu Anna Djawa, a member of the Deaf Community in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. Through her eyes, we gain profound insights into the world of the hearing-impaired, exploring the nuances of her childhood and the triumphs that have shaped her journey.
This sharing session promises an enriching exploration of diverse perspectives, offering a platform for these incredible individuals to reflect on their formative years. Discover the strength, resilience, and unique narratives that have defined their childhoods, and be prepared to be inspired by their stories of overcoming challenges with grace.
Dive into this insightful video of the Learning and Sharing Session by IAACD, where personal stories converge to create a tapestry of shared experiences, fostering understanding, empathy, and appreciation for the indomitable human spirit. Don’t miss the chance to be captivated by the voices that shape our collective understanding of diversity and inclusion.


What I know now that I wish I knew then


The Central Remedial Clinic and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland hosted the Irish 1-hour session as part of the IAACD 24 hour Listening and Sharing Session 2023. The Irish session was titled “What I know now that I wish I knew then”

The CRC/RCSI session included:

  • Q&A session with two adults with a disability on their experiences growing up with a disability. This was facilitated by Amande Breen, CRC
  • ‘From passenger to pilot’- quotes and experiences – Dr Jennifer Fortune, RCSI.
  • The Complete Person Pilot Project’- Muireann McCleary, CRC
  • Q&A and Discussion with session participants.


Face to Face with Childhood

Language of delivery – Lithuanian.


We are happy to join the Listening and Sharing 2023 interactive international discussion. Daiva, Arminas, Monika, Kotryna, Rokas, Gintarė, Stasys, Donatas, Aistė, Dimitrijus, and Arminas took part in the event and shared their childhood memories. After all, childhood is the most wonderful and inventive age, full of knowledge, unrealistic attempts, and fun adventures.

New Zeland


The presentation offers insights into the experience of growing up with a disability in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through a diverse array of perspectives, it emphasizes the significance of adopting a lifespan approach. It addresses the common apprehensions and uncertainties surrounding adulthood, aiming to demystify these challenges with practical insights and real-life stories.


What is the impact of childhood on self-esteem of adults with disabilities?

Language of delivery: Polish with English subtitles


A group of adult self-advocates with disability discuss events, people and situations that they faced in the childhood and had impact on their adult life.

Romania 2023


Interactive panel discussion


Welcome to an interactive panel discussion featuring Ms Pearl Lee and Mr Oh Boon Keng who are Adults with disabilities living meaningful and fulfilling lives. They will share aspects of their journey through life and their pivotal moments. How their journeys of self-discovery to live the life, required them to find strength from within to overcome prejudices that society place on individuals with disability.

Sri Lanka

A journey of Resilience on World disability day


Dr. Sridharan Satkunam shared his experiences in the English language and Mr.Prasanna Wickramasinghe spoke in Sinhalese. But I shared a summary of the speech at the end of his speech.
Mr Prasanna Wickramasinghe is a person living with total blindness by birth. He is a multi-talented professional and leader who represents many national and international forums on behalf of the PWDs in Sri Lanka. Mr.Prasanna is a music teacher and social activist in his community. Also an active member of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Sri Lanka. Further, he wishes to motivate young persons with disabilities to reach their potential despite their disabilities through his advocacy programmes.


Participatory research: What we understand, where we are and where we need to go?


Petra Marsico & Judith Graser

The aim of the session was to introduce the concept of participatory research to the audience. To summarise where we are at the moment, what has been done so far or could be done in the future. Two adults with their own experiences of disability shared their thoughts about possible contributions to research. They reflected on their childhood in relation to their present life. Conclusively, we think that relationships are essential not only in research, but also in therapy or generally in life. The two adults with their own experience would like to share their experience for the sake of research. In order to do so, they would need more information and knowledge about what would be asked of them in terms of contribution to research. Both would have resources that could be used. The group came to the conclusion that it is not only about participatory research, but more about a change of mindset towards inclusive living in general.

Ukraine 2023

United Kingdom

Sharing our past to shape our future


An interactive panel chat with Miss Bethan Gardner and Mr Joshua Reeves as well as Mrs Dawn Pickering a paediatric physiotherapist. Bethan and Joshua who both have cerebral palsy share what they feel have been the facilitators and barriers of their journey from childhood to proactive and successful working members of the community, and give meaning to the F words.

United States of America

Building blocks of resilience



Sutton Rettig, Julia Tanna, Ashleigh Nightengale and Haia Matariyeh discussed their experiences of living with cerebral palsy with Drs. Deborah Gaebler-Spira and Theresa Sukal Moulton. With good humor, wit and wisdom, they shared significant accomplishments and facilitators to their success as people and highlight a call to action in ways that society and healthcare can better support their individual needs, especially during the transition into adulthood.

United States of America 2023

Cerebral Palsy Center

New York City