Ocean Basket Restaurants Now on the Ablebook App

Ablebook is launching a new collaboration with Ocean Basket restaurants, incorporating their 9 restaurants into its platform. This partnership aims to provide all relevant information and services concerning accessibility for people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.

Ablebook is an innovative app available on Android and iOS devices, targeting the improvement of accessibility and support for individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable groups by offering information and services that facilitate their daily lives. 

Ocean Basket restaurants provide ramps at their entrances, accessible toilets for people with disabilities, and vegan options. Through our collaboration, app users visiting Ocean Basket can get information about the accessible restaurants and request assistance if needed by contacting the responsible persons at the restaurant. This way, everyone can enjoy their meals and moments without barriers.

Our partnership with Ocean Basket restaurants is another step towards a more equal and open society for all. By offering facilities and services that meet the needs of people with disabilities, Ocean Basket positively contributes to social progress and solidarity.

The Parliament puts a halt to the increase in fines for parking in disabled spaces

The overwhelming majority of the Parliament rejected a proposed law to increase the extrajudicial fine for parking in parking spaces designated for disabled persons by non-entitled individuals, from €300 as it stands today to €500. Four members of Parliament voted in favor, 35 against, with one abstention. The relevant proposal was submitted by MP Andreas Apostolou of the EDEK party.

The proposal that was rejected also provided that in case of repetition of the offense, the person who illegally parked would be subject to prosecution, with provisions for imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to €3,000 euros.

Speaking in the plenary session, Members of Parliament noted that the existing fine is sufficiently deterrent, while the need for additional measures beyond extrajudicial fines for better compliance was emphasized.

The proposer of the bill, MP Andreas Apostolou, stated that he does not believe he has more sensitivity than those who do not support the proposal. He noted that his proposal was supported by all the relevant authorities called to the Transportation Committee.

He expressed the opinion that there is no justification for this particular violation, as those who commit it are consciously not parking in another parking space.

He also stated that he does not believe that compliance can only be achieved through increased fines, emphasizing the need for better policing, empathy, and education on the matter. Furthermore, he welcomed the Minister of Transport’s intention to introduce legislation in the near future for measures such as towing vehicles and removing license plates. He added that he himself will submit further legislative proposals for people with disabilities soon.

MP Alexandra Attalidou also supported the bill, emphasizing the importance of respecting parking spaces for people with disabilities, whose independent mobility, she said, is crucial. She also advocated for additional measures, involving education and campaigns.

MP Christos Orfanidis of DIKO opposed the increase in the extrajudicial fine, stating that it is the beginning of a series of legislative proposals for changes in the law that provide for increases in fines for traffic violations.

He noted that an increase in a fine should occur when there is a surge in violations, and in this case, there has been a 60% decrease in complaints since 2019.

He emphasized the need for penalties to be proportional, stating that imposing such a high fine could be devastating for some families. He also mentioned that he proposed to the competent Minister the towing of vehicles, which, however, has not yet been implemented. Additionally, he characterized as populism reports he heard in the media suggesting that only those who support the proposal should be voted for in the European elections, stating that sensitivities are not a personal matter.

MP Stavros Papadouris of the Movement for Ecologists – Cooperation mentioned that some will not tolerate others invoking more sensitivities than any other colleague. He noted that there has already been an increase in penalties for the issue twice, from €85 to €300, and in the first session of the relevant Committee on the matter, both the Legal Service and the Police and the Ministry of Transport stated that further increases in penalties no longer help.

He emphasized the need for other measures such as towing of vehicles and removal of license plates, stating that both Mr. Orfanidis and himself made this recommendation to the competent Minister, who told them that they cannot proceed with these measures now. He also noted that for someone who has financial means, the increase in the fine will not make much difference, but for a vulnerable household, it creates a survival problem.

MP Marinos Mousiouttas of DIKO – Cooperation stated that in the Transportation Committee, there are still 8 proposals, most of which involve relaxing the existing measures. He mentioned that he submitted an intermediary proposal through an amendment, suggesting that the fine be increased by €100 for the first offense and €200 for the second offense, in order to reconcile opposing views. However, he said that even if his amendment is rejected, he will vote in favor of the bill. It is noted that Mr. Mousiouttas’ amendment was also rejected by the plenary.

MP Zacharias Koulias of DIKO stated that the Parliament has already passed strict legislation for a €300 fine. He also opposed large administrative fines and said, “We have gone too far on this issue.”

MP Valentinos Fakontis of AKEL stated that everyone is sensitive to the issue; however, fines should be proportionate and not have a devastating effect on society during difficult times.

He also noted that the state has much more to do before the parliament institutionalizes fine increases, such as implementing better traffic controls to curb illegality, improving the marking of disabled parking spaces, and addressing the issue of parking on sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. Additionally, he suggested that the money from fines should be spent on education to foster prevention.

The MP of DISY, Fotini Tsiridou, mentioned that there has been significant improvement with the existing penalties, and she does not believe that further draconian measures should be imposed. Regarding the second part of the proposal, she stated that the goal should not be to burden the courts with more cases on this matter. She emphasized the need for campaigns and better marking of disabled parking spaces. She also noted that the DISY government was the first to introduce a national strategy for people with disabilities.

MP Dimitris Dimitriou of DISY stated that raising awareness cannot solely rely on fines, as there are other measures that can be implemented, such as vehicle towing. He also mentioned that some might suspect Mr. Apostolou brought forward this proposal because he is a candidate for the European Parliament, but he clarified that he doesn’t believe such claims, as Mr. Apostolou has consistently been sensitive to these issues over time.

In response, Mr. Apostolou stated that the amendment in question was submitted on October 5, 2023, long before he even considered running for European Parliament.

The Member of Parliament for the Greens, Charalambos Theopemptou, mentioned that if there were good public transportation, this discussion would not be

Member of the AKEL Party, Georgios Loukaidis, stated that sensitivity is demonstrated in action in various ways, and that the €300 fine is sufficiently deterrent.


European Accessibility Forum: It will take at least four years for the European Disability Card to become a reality.

The card aims to facilitate the exercise of the right to free movement.

The European Disability Card, which will ensure common rights for people with disabilities in EU countries, is expected to take at least four years to become a reality. The issue of the European Disability Card was already raised in 2009 through the European Accessibility Forum by its president, Ioannis Vardakastanis, who is also the president of the National Confederation of Disabled People (ESAMEA).

Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) on the occasion of his speech about the European Disability Card at the National Informative Meeting “Endocrinology in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease,” which will take place from April 19 to

“The European Disability Card is the identity of disability. I call it the European disability passport. It will ensure that all persons with disabilities, traveling from one EU country to another, will have some common rights. What these rights will be depends on the benefits provided by each country, such as benefits like free movement, access to cultural, sports, archaeological, tourist sites, and other benefits that different countries have, as there are not the same benefits in every country. In Greece, for example, we have the National Disability Card, which is currently digital, and I think around 70,000 Greeks have it. It is planned that when it takes physical form, the National Card will be printed on one side and the European one on the other.”

For the European Disability Card to become a reality, as Mr. Vardakastanis points out, it is not enough for it to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, to become a Directive and to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, but it must also be incorporated into national legislation within 42 months of publication. He notes that the matter will progress after the European elections and the reconstitution of the European Parliament, and he estimates that publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities will take place next September.

“The purpose of the European Disability Card is to serve the exercise of the right to free movement, which is one of the fundamental principles on which the EU is based. Along with this, there will also be the European Parking Card, which already exists but comes to correct some issues. The European Disability Card concerns all people with disabilities. We wanted, but it was not accepted, the mutual recognition of disability certification. That is, when a person with a disability goes to a European country, the disability certification they have from their country of origin should be recognized, and they should not need a new certification.”

“When a person with a disability goes to another country for studies, work, etc., there is a gap created until their disability is certified in that country. The European Disability Card will cover this gap because the disability certification from the country of origin will be temporarily recognized until the disability is certified in the foreign country. However, mutual recognition of disability is not provided for with the European Disability Card. The important thing is that we are laying the foundation to continue our efforts for a fully integrated approach, which will take some more time. Each country has its own legislation, its own problems, its own history regarding these matters, and it takes time. I don’t justify them; I believe they should have accepted mutual recognition,” added Mr. Vardakastanis.

Eight small buses equipped with wheelchair access hit the roads – National Strategy for Disability coming soon (images)

Eight small buses equipped with wheelchair seating were delivered today, and the National Strategy for Disability will soon be submitted to the Cabinet.

These vehicles, which include provisions for people with disabilities, were given to the “Apostolos Loukas” Special School in Limassol, the “Apostolos Varnavas” Special School in Liopetri, the “Apostolos Pavlos” Private Center for people with intellectual disabilities in Liopetri, the “Evangelismos” Special School in Geri, the Ministry of Education for Secondary Education, and the Social Welfare Services of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare.

At the delivery event were the Minister of Transport, Alexis Vafeadis, and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou.

Ms. Evangelou noted that, as the responsible Deputy Ministry for the integration of People with Disabilities, the mobility of people with disabilities is a necessary prerequisite for their participation in education, creative employment, independent living, and therefore their social integration.

She also noted that in the coming period, they will investigate additional similar requests to meet other needs. Moreover, she said, they are in dialogue with the directly involved stakeholders to develop a new, modern legislation that will govern all issues related to social integration, inclusion, and support for People with Disabilities.

The revised National Strategy and Action Plan for Disability, which will be in effect until 2028, has been completed and will be submitted to the Cabinet next week. It includes a total of 73 new actions and goals from 8 Ministries and 4 Deputy Ministries. For the first time, the National Strategy and Action Plan is organized into thematic pillars that follow the life of a Person with Disabilities from birth to old age, she said.

Special Education to Undergo Changes in September

The Ministry of Education is ready to delve even deeper into the chapter of Special Education in its effort to implement actions and policies that truly reflect inclusive and unified education in practice.

As “Ph” is informed, from the new school year these issues will take center stage for the responsible Ministry of Education, which has developed a specific plan. Already, some points that have been included in the plans have been recently implemented, according to a responsible source from the Ministry of Education.

It concerns the following three important chapters:

>>Preparation of differentiated educational material

>>Preparation for the needs of school assistants and companions for the new school year

>>Teacher training

As we have been informed about the first point, since last March, the preparation of educational material has been completed. This material has been differentiated and adapted to meet the needs of students according to the difficulties they face. The differentiated material has been developed through collaboration with Greece, and as we were informed, clear guidelines and instructions for teaching are now provided in a scientific manner.

Regarding the issue of school assistants and companions, information indicates that the Ministry already has a clear understanding of the needs for the new school year. This matter has been a significant concern every year, as the school year begins and children in need of companionship stay at home for days without immediate assistance. What’s different in the process this year is the early collection of clear needs (it’s noted that the number is expected to increase as needs continuously arise, even after the start of the school year). The intention of the Ministry of Education is to record these needs to the fullest extent possible so that they can be addressed promptly to the Ministry of Finance for the necessary budget allocation.

It’s worth noting that the issue of companions concerns the Ministry not only in terms of the number of students they will serve for the school year 2024-2025 but also in their employment status. That’s why there is consultation aimed at improving their contracts. It’s recalled that this issue has concerned the Parliamentary Education Committee several times in recent years, in an effort to find solutions to the labor issues that exist with this group of employees.

Regarding the third point, teacher training is expected to be intensified from the new school year so that educators can fully utilize the differentiated educational material that has been prepared.

Furthermore, a key pillar in the upgrading and modernization efforts in this field is the process of reviewing applications for providing accommodations and companions to students. According to our information, the Ministry is taking steps and actions to expedite the procedures in the relevant Committees that examine each case.

The CIF proposes systematic checks on health issues through a manifesto.

Based on findings and conclusions reached by stakeholders and interested parties in the health sector, a document was prepared.

The Cyprus Integrity Forum (CIF) proposes systematic checks on healthcare issues to prevent corruption tendencies and ensure full transparency in the healthcare system, as outlined in its manifesto “Transparency and Combating Corruption in the GHS.”

The manifesto was drafted based on findings and conclusions reached by stakeholders and interested parties in the healthcare sector during a roundtable discussion focusing on transparency and combating corruption in the General Healthcare System (GHS).

According to the CIF, during the specific discussion, issues were highlighted that raise concerns about the current management of the General Healthcare System (GHS). These issues need to be addressed immediately and effectively before the system collapses financially and in terms of quality.

According to the CIF, the publication of the Commissioner’s reports would contribute to transparency and to combating and reducing abuses, both on the part of providers and beneficiaries.

According to the CIF, the publication of the Commissioner’s reports would contribute to transparency and to combating and reducing abuses, both on the part of providers and beneficiaries.

Also, Dr. Hatzichristofis stated that the inadequate and weak oversight exercised by the Health Insurance Organization (HIO), the insufficient oversight of the HIO by the Ministry of Health, the deficient legislation governing oversight and correction of any distortions that nullify provisions of the law, and the ambiguity in interpreting the philosophy are also factors that contribute to the lack of transparency.

The CIF, through its manifesto, observes a lack of quantitative and qualitative control of services in the GHS, specifically noting that “the administrative control of the HIO by the Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus showed disappointing results in terms of the percentage of control exercised.”

Additionally, it states in the manifesto that there is no control over the quality of diagnostic equipment or medical devices in diagnostic centers, while adding that there is no control over cases of negligence either.

Regarding the issue of corruption within the GESY, the CIF notes in the manifesto that there is a significant laxity in the implementation of the already inadequate legislation and often a violation of control procedures.

Furthermore, the CIF argues that there is no clear calculation for the amounts spent on healthcare, while also emphasizing the need for systematic performance auditing of professionals and facilities providing medical services (Medical Auditing).

The President of the Cyprus Integrity Forum, Marios Skandalis, stated that the manifesto is the result of the collective effort of the majority of healthcare stakeholders in Cyprus to safeguard the “greatest gift” ever given to Cypriot society, that of the General Healthcare System.

“We have identified serious issues that require immediate resolution to ensure the financial sustainability, transparency, and high level of services provided within the institution, which is the greatest achievement of the social policy of the Republic of Cyprus since its independence,” he said.

“In her statement, Dr. Christina Giannaki, Director General of the Ministry of Health, said that the development of mechanisms for effective control in the healthcare sector, both within and outside GESY, is imperative. She noted that the competent Ministry recognizes the need for adopting safeguards to ensure proper supervision and monitoring of the system through quality criteria.”

“Dr. Giannaki stated that for the control and supervision of the system’s usage by both providers and beneficiaries, in terms of avoiding abuses and ensuring the quality enhancement of healthcare services provided, the introduction of clinical guidelines is required, along with the gradual development of therapeutic protocols, the establishment of quality criteria and performance indicators, as well as the implementation of more effective organizational and control mechanisms. Additionally, incentives and disincentives should be promoted where there is distortion in the supply-demand relationship.”

Source: KYPE

Parents of children with disabilities: an essential link in the education chain


With the pretext of the biased views expressed in the media regarding the role of parents of children with disabilities in their education, as well as the whispers that have been circulating for years, I feel it necessary to share some of my opinions, which are supported by the literature. Initially, the notion that “parents of children with disabilities do not accept their child’s disability” arises from a faction of professionals who believe that the interests of children with disabilities are not aligned with those advocated by their parents. This position is also connected to another one, that “professionals in the field of public education should have the right to evaluate children they believe have a disability, without the consent of their parents.” The aforementioned positions demonstrate that individuals and organized groups expressing them verbally or in writing have no clue about the rights of children with disabilities and the role of their families in education. In this manner, they construct the concepts of “good parent,” “good professional practice,” and “well-adjusted child” (Goodley, 2014), where a “good parent” is one who “accepts” their child’s disability and consents to their evaluation, “good professional practice” involves the evaluation, and a “well-adjusted child” is one who is evaluated and receives special education without the consent of their parents.

Initially, when we refer to parents of children with disabilities, we should bear in mind that they are a heterogeneous group of individuals with different identities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, mother tongue, religion, disability, etc.), roles (e.g., parent, single parent, spouse, partner, son/daughter, caregiver), and beliefs. We cannot express generalized judgments about this group so easily. The parents of all children may strive for their children’s well-being, or they may be parents who mistreat them. They may be parents who meticulously explore every detail of legislation and pedagogy to decide what is best for their child, or they may be parents who are not interested or lack the skills to search and expect others to guide them. At the same time, we must keep in mind that raising a child with a disability is the same as raising a child without a disability, but it is also different. The experience of parents of children with disabilities differs from that of parents of children without disabilities, as they are confronted with a system of policies and practices, as well as a culture that excludes instead of including, erects barriers instead of removing them, and considers that school is for some children and not for all (Karagianni & Koutsoklenis, 2023; Symeonidou & Mavrou, 2020; Vlachou & Fyssa, 2016).

In any case, when we refer to parents, we should consider how their identities and roles are linked to their beliefs about their child’s education. For example, if we are discussing with a mother who is a victim of domestic violence, she may understand that her child needs assessment, but if she mentions it to her spouse, she may only trigger a new cycle of violence. In another scenario, if parents have consulted with many professionals (special education teachers, psychologists, doctors, etc.) before the school suggests the need for an assessment, they may disagree for reasons they consider important (e.g., they want to avoid labeling their child, withdrawing from the class for support through special education, etc.) and prefer to support it themselves. There is also the case where assessment may be suggested at the wrong time (e.g., in kindergarten, a child does not sit in his chair for half an hour and therefore assessment is suggested to the parents) and in the wrong way (e.g., threat/warning that if the child is not assessed, they will not receive the support they need). Parents are faced with the “dilemma of difference,” according to which if the “difference” is “officially recognized,” then their child may benefit to some extent (perhaps with reasonable adjustments), but they will be stigmatized, whereas if the “difference” is not “officially recognized,” their child may not fully benefit academically but will not be stigmatized (Graham et al., 2020).

Secondly, parents of children with disabilities have all the rights that parents have. Therefore, it is imperative that they give their consent for anything concerning their child, from whether they will be photographed at school to whether they will be evaluated by a team of specialists. Especially regarding the issue of assessment, the current legislation on inclusion, despite its distortions, has ensured that parents give their consent for the assessment process to begin, are informed in advance about when their child will be evaluated, and have the right to attend evaluation meetings and provide information during the assessment process. This is necessary because parents live with the child, so they have a view of their behaviors at home and in other contexts, as well as their knowledge and skills. Thus, their presence during the assessment ensures that they can explain how the child responds, understand which aspects of their behavior are different outside of assessment conditions, and gives the child a sense of security in a process that requires collaboration with professionals they may not always know beforehand.

Instead of making nihilistic judgments that negatively characterize parents and suggesting evaluations without parental consent, if we truly want to support the children, the requests should be as follows:

  • Reduction of the number of children in the classroom
  • Co-teaching by two educators (general and special or two general educators)
  • Modification of the curricula to allow for differentiated teaching and assessment
  • Mandatory differentiation of teaching in the general classroom
  • Institutionalization of procedures that comprehensively support children and their families (at home, at school, in therapies they may need)

All of the above require a change in the roles of general and special educators, their training, redistribution of financial resources, and the way services are provided, as well as long-term strategic planning for change.

Concluding, parents of children with disabilities have the same chances as parents of children without disabilities to know their child very well because they live with them every day, or not to observe their child as much as they should. Also, parents of children with disabilities choose how they will handle the educational system and its representatives, depending on their knowledge and experiences. If after evaluation, the educational system proposes a support package (i.e., special education outside the classroom), parents may choose not to proceed with evaluation. Even if they give their consent for evaluation, they may later demand quality education without segregation and full access to the detailed curriculum, but they may still be considered unreasonable because some believe they have not accepted their child.

It’s a vicious cycle that will only cease to exist if we consider that children with disabilities should be supported in school in the best possible way, just like their families.


Goodley, D. (2014). Dis/ability studies. Theorising disablism and ableism. London: Routledge.

Graham, L., Medhurst, M., Tancredi, H., Spandagou, I. & Walton, E. (2020). Fundamental concepts of inclusive education. In L. Graham (Ed.). Inclusive education for the 21st century (27-54). London: Routledge.

Ryan, S., & Runswick-Cole, K. (2008). Repositioning mothers: Mothers, disabled children and disability studies. Disability and Society, 23(3), 199–210.

Symeonidou. S. & Mavrou. K. (2020). Problematising disabling discourses on the assessment and placement of learners with disabilities: can interdependence inform an alternative narrative for inclusion?, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 35(1), 70-84.

Vlachou, A. & Fyssa, A. (2016). ‘Inclusion in Practice’: Programme Practices in Mainstream Preschool Classrooms and Associations with Context and Teacher Characteristics. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 63(5), 529-544.

Karagianni, G., & Koutsoklenis, A. (2023). Studies on Disability and Inclusive Pedagogy [Undergraduate Handbook]. Kallipos: Open Academic Editions. http://dx.doi.org/10.57713/kallipos-226

*Assistant Professor

University of Cyprus

A child lost their vision due to a laser toy burn – The OKYPY advises caution.

Faced with a tragic incident, the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital stepped in when a case was examined where a child was diagnosed with significant and permanent loss of vision in one eye due to extensive burns, during play.

According to an announcement by the Ophthalmological Society of Cyprus, the said accident was caused by laser pointers purchased online. Children using them ended up directly staring into the lens, causing multiple burns to the retina, the layer at the back of the eye that contains light-sensitive cells, enabling us to see.

In this context, the Ophthalmological Society of Cyprus calls on everyone, especially parents, to control both the suitability and the use of the products their children have in their possession. Specifically, for laser toys, we should never look at them directly in the eyes, aim them at other people, mirrors, or other reflective surfaces. These guidelines, as emphasized by the organization, apply to all laser toys.

Additionally, as stated by the Organization, the public must be particularly cautious because in case of injury, there is not much room for repairing the damage, as the laser beam remains strong even if it is several meters away from its source.

In case anything similar related to children’s eyes and vision is detected, please contact the Accident and Emergency Department of the OKYPY at 112 immediately, or contact the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital at 22603550.

Ablebook has developed a partnership with the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi

The Ablebook app is pleased to announce its new collaboration with the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi, incorporating their spaces into its platform. This partnership aims to facilitate access and provide information for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Ablebook is an innovative app available on Android and iOS devices that aims to improve accessibility and support for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups by offering information and services that make their daily lives easier.

The Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi offer a range of accessible facilities, such as designated parking spaces near entrances, ramps, accessible restrooms, and comfortable spaces for wheelchairs. Through this collaboration, Ablebook app users visiting these shopping centers can get information about accessible facilities and request assistance, if needed, from the shopping center’s staff. This ensures that all visitors can enjoy their shopping experience and moments without barriers.

Our collaboration with the Mall of Cyprus and the Mall of Engomi is another step towards a more equitable and open society for all. By offering facilities and services that meet the needs of people with disabilities, these shopping centers positively contribute to social progress and solidarity.

Euro 2024: Germany, football, and volunteering for people with disabilities

“One supports the other.”

The Euro 2024, fifty days before kickoff in Germany, is not just about football but takes volunteering to another level by engaging people with disabilities and their “tandem” companions.

There are almost 10 days left for the Euro 2024, in Germany and football, to be precise, volunteering, gives a way out to people with disabilities, which it actually includes in the organization. In particular, in the context of Euro 2024 which will be held in the summer in Germany, in addition to what concerns football as such, an inclusive volunteering program is also activated, in which 50 disabled people and their companions-partners “Tandem” – from the British term which literally means “one behind the other”, they are ready for action.

Like every major football tournament, Euro 2024 in Germany is a football-themed spectacle where volunteering plays its role, and Germans, in particular, support part of it with individuals with disabilities and their “Tandem” partners.

In the service of Euro 2024 in Germany, individuals with disabilities are also included.

“It is something that is particularly interesting and indeed gives a different cultural color to Euro 2024, with Germany showing that beyond football, volunteering is sensitized, bringing people with disabilities to the fore.”

UEFA EURO 2024 logo launched!

“Thousands of volunteers across Germany will play a significant role in the success of Euro 2024, but the host city of Cologne has implemented an inclusive program to ensure that the experience is open to everyone. Not to play football, but to contribute through volunteering, including people with disabilities.”

Euro 2024 recruited 50 people with intellectual disabilities.

Cologne has recruited 50 people with intellectual disabilities to become volunteers for Euro 2024 in Germany. Each of them has appointed a “Tandem” partner to collaborate throughout the tournament and assist with any challenges that may arise.

Tandem paragliding with the flying wheelchair for our disabled friends

The program effectively kicked off on Tuesday, April 9, as the 50 volunteers and their Tandem partners met for the first time. This event allowed everyone to get to know their partners, ensuring that they feel comfortable and secure with each other ahead of the volunteerism commencement event on Saturday, April 27.

“One of the volunteers expressed, ‘I really like that individuals with intellectual disabilities like myself can participate as volunteers in major events in Cologne. This makes me feel well integrated and excited for Euro 2024.'”

“The inspiration for this particular initiative came during the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.”