Mark Gray has a long history of international work as a consultant, Conference Co- organiser and Conference speaker.
European Blind Union
His experience began with the European Blind Union (EBU), as RNIB’s representative on the European Committee of the Multi Handicapped Blind. Where he served from 1993 to 2005.
Then he was the co-organiser of two further international conferences. One on “Timely Intervention” (special help for special needs) in Bad Berleburg Germany, in 1995.
Followed by a second in Athens Greece on “Transition to adult services” in 1998.
Mark was also a regular contributor to the International Council for the Education of the Visually Impaired (ICEVI). He was as a keynote speaker in two conferences. One in Krakow Poland in 1999, and another in the Netherlands in 2003.
Mark was involved in the planning and organisation of the first Irish National Network of Learning Disability Nursing (NNLDN) and intellectual disability Nursing Conference, at Trinity College Dublin in 2008.
British Council Azerbaijan
Most recently, Mark has been working as an international consultant with the British Council in Azerbaijan. Beginning with running two days of specialist workshops for education professionals, who work with children with Autism, in Baku December 2015.
(Participants from the Baku workshops December 2015)
Mark travelled out again to Baku in December 2017. Where he was the Keynote speaker on “Employment of People with Disabilities”. A conference Commissioned By the British Council and BP.
This formed part of phase one on a nationwide project. Launching equality legislation, and rehabilitation programmes for people with a disability across Azerbaijan.
In November 2019 he was invited as an international consultant to work with the Ministry of Labour & Social protection. To review the progress on employment and rehabilitation since the Equality Act launch in Azerbaijan in 2018.
The project included a three day fact finding tour, meeting stakeholders, including government officials, NGO’s, people with disabilities, ministers, and rehabilitation programme participants.
This work culminated in a “Progress” conference, and a workshop for 70 government officials about developing reasonable adjustments, designing tax incentives for employers and accessibility in the workplace and environment.
A final report on these projects, with many recommendations was produced and delivered in December 2019.
It is hoped this will now result in an official visit by the Azerbaijan Ministry of Labour to the UK in 2020.
With phase three of the project expected to be in 2020 to 2021. It is hoped to look further at extending opportunities to apprenticeships and extending accessibility programmes. Also to the development of training programmes run by people with disabilities to employers and building designers.
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