History of the International Forum on Disability Management

The National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) organized the first IFDM which took place in Vancouver, Canada in May 2002, under the theme “Work Retention Strategies in a Global Society”. Over four hundred delegates from 10 countries attended. Opening plenary speakers featured Lieutenant Governor Iona Compagnola, Canadian Federal Minister of Labour Claudette Bradshaw, and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs for Germany Walter Riester, which 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, 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 Disability Management-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 German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) 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 was hosted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, and the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation in association with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. With an overwhelming response to its call for papers, 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 (PIEF), a consortium of Australian and New Zealand accident compensation regulators and insurers, will host the 2014 IFDM, which is being held in Melbourne, Australia, November 17-19, 2014. The theme for IFDM 2014 is: “Disability Management: Pushing beyond the boundaries”. For further details, please visit the IFDM 2014 website at: IFDM 2014

The Social Security Organization of Malaysia (SOCSO / PERKESO) is hosting IFDM 2016 in Kuala Lumpur November 22-24, 2016 with the theme “Transforming Disability Management”. For further details, please visit the website at: http://www.ifdm2016.com.my/home