ISBA International Conference

PAMIS presented and facilitated a workshop recently at the International Short Breaks Association Conference in Wroclaw, Poland. This four day event saw over two hundred delegates attending from eighteen countries worldwide, sharing expert knowledge and best practice with a view to developing innovative and pioneering solutions and diverse respite opportunities for people disabilities and their families.


PAMIS staff members Fiona Souter and Maureen Phillip who attended ISBA 2023 conference.


PAMIS presented on the topic of  making memories as a family and the work our organisation is doing to improve physical and social accessibility for people with PMLD. We were delighted to receive such positive feedback from other delegates about the work we are doing to develop and improve access to appropriate toilets here in Scotland which is inspiring other countries to create their own network of Changing Places toilets. Without appropriate toilet facilities there is a shared global consensus that opportunities to live  a rich and fulfilling life with access to purposeful and meaningful activities is severely restricted. We had many powerful conversations around this topic over the course of the week. Our Creative Programme Director spoke about developing opportunities within leisure and cultural sectors.

A key outcome was the commitment from professionals in other countries to collaborate with PAMIS and other  partners longer term to improve the lives of people with PMLD. We are thrilled that since hearing Pamis’ ISBA presentation, founder and executive director of the Latika Roy Foundation, Jo Chopra, has committed to installing multiple Changing Places toilets in plans for a large new centre the Foundation are currently  building in India. PAMIS were invited to join the International Break Exchange (Building Respite Evidence and  Knowledge.) The group are committed to building a culture of evidence based respite care. Learning about Poland’s Imago Foundation’s nature and adventure therapy basecamp programme gave us plenty of ideas and inspiration for potential future activity programmes here in Scotland.

The greatest strength of ISBA’s conference was the power of the personal stories told over the course of the week with a strong focus on the individual within every workshop and plenary session. A very practical and grounded conference experience. Spending time with other Scottish delegates was another highlight and thanks to Shared Care Scotland CEO Don Williamson for arranging a valuable pre conference meet up.

We are looking forward to sharing our learning with the rest of the team upon our return, continuing these important international conversations over the coming months and meeting Break Exchange colleagues.

Full conference notes and learning will be available on the ISBA International website over the coming days. Click here.