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About the speakers

As usual during ESCIF congresses, in 2015 we proudly welcomed the following speakers, all with great authority in their field of expertise:


Barbieri Pietro
Indifference is a scourge of society that must be fought. Injustice and inequality are its consequence. This is the reason why I am engaged in civil society as a teenager, well before the event that led me to live the experience of spinal cord injury. I am 48 years old now, almost 28 yearsin a wheelchair. I attended several universities in Rome (architecture, literature and education sciences), but I never got graduated. Too busy into movements, associations and any wind rights. Then it came, very welcomed, an honorary degree in social studies, I have been married, no children, and today I live with Elisiana. I have held many positions in the SCI movement and people with disabilities at Italian and international level. Today I am the spokesman of the platform of the Italian non-profit and I manage a cooperative which among other things runs the independent living centre in Rome. I write a lot, but most in Italian. After some wondering, I chose the city where to live, that's Rome.

Burden Daniel, BA Hons
was born in 1976 in Hertfordshire. He studied English at the University of Wales, Swansea, and attained a 2:1 BA Hons. After travelling extensively around Africa, Asia and Australia, Dan moved to London and held a string of varied sales and project management roles in paper and telecoms companies.
Dan became Spinal Cord Injured after an accident in Egypt in 2001. Determined not to end up doing a “wheelchair” job, he nonetheless returned to work two years later as an Access and Partnerships Officer for a local authority in Hertfordshire. His responsibilities were wide ranging, including producing equalities policies for the council, building links with local disability organisations and informing disabled people and service providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Dan was elected as a trustee of the UK Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) in 2006, and in 2008 resigned to take up employment as SIA’s Head of Public Affairs. Since this time Dan has managed SIA’s Public Affairs team which is responsible for the association’s campaigning work. The team has grown over these years and now consists of four part time workers and several volunteers. His role also requires him to be secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on SCI. Dan is a member of SIA’s Senior Management team and as well as representing the SIA at all levels of government he acts as media spokesperson for the association.

Heilmeyer Elisabeth and Peris Esther

Both of them represent to FLM, FundacióndelLesionadoMedular (Spinal Cord Injured Foundation) in ESCIF. The FLM aim is to work for a successful integration of people with SCI. To achieve this, FLM develops several activities and projects.
Elisabeth Heilmeyer and Esther Peris are working in ASPAYM- Madrid as Executive Members. Esther Peris is the Executive Member who represents the interest of ASPAYM-Madrid in FLM, as secretary of the Trustees. Both entities work very close and they share the same members however they develop different services.

Hublová Veronika, MA
was born in 1975, graduated in Psychology and English Language in 2004 at Masaryk University (MU) in Brno, CZ. Before her graduation, she enjoyed her two jobs - a tourist guide and a teacher of English. Later in 2004, she started working as a junior researcher at Faculty of Medicine at MU. There, she had participated on research projects concerning personality psychology and neuropsychology until 2008, when she was involved in a car accident resulting in C6-7 spinal cord injury. In 2010, she decided to pursue her doctoral studies of Psychiatry and in 2013, her MA in English Translation.
Currently, she works as an occasional translator of non fiction literature, is a co-author of articles in neuropsychology and psychiatry. In 2014, she accepted a job in ParaCENTRUMFenix in Brno. She is a member of two community associations, ParaCENTRUMFenix and CZEPA (Czech Paraplegic Association).

Kamenec Pavel, MSc
was born 22nd December 1976 in a small Moravian town of Vsetín (Czech Republic). Since his very childhood he has fostered different kinds of sports and hobbies and thanks to his parents and the whole family his childhood was a very nice time.
One of his hobby, electronics, determined a direction of his studies. After completing High School of Electronics he graduated from Brno University of Technology, Power Electrical and Electronic Engineering. However, he has never worked in the field of his studies. During the university studies he explored a world of computers and information technologies.
After a short experience in web design firm he took up a job in a large international company of Logica (now CGI) as a system administrator and where he has been working up to now.
In this company, he also met his current partner Markéta. They have two little children - Karolína and Viktor. In January 2011, one month before Viktor was born, he had a serious accident during a short ski weekend in Austria and since then he has been in a wheelchair with his Th6,7 vertebra broken.

Marušincová Blanka, MSc
graduated MSc in Management Studies, The Nottingham Trent University – 2006, Master degree in Faculty of Business and Management, Brno University of Technology – 2010.
Since 2007 she worked as a project manager, experience with leading projects. She worked for international company. Since 2012 she has been working for non-profit organisation - ParaCENTRUMFenix.

Post Marcel W.M., PhD.
is professor in spinal cord injury rehabilitation at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the University Medical Center Groningen and Senior Researcher at De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, the Netherlands. His current research interests include rehabilitation outcomes, participation, quality of life, psychological factors, and caregiver burden in persons with spinal cord injury. He has published on instrument development, observational and intervention studies in these areas. Marcel Post is co-coordinator of the International labour market integration of people with spinal cord injury (ILIAS) study.

Riapoš Ján, PhDr., PhD.

Was born 28thSeptember 1968 in Heľpa, Slovakia
The greatest achievement: four time gold medallist from Paralympic games in Table tennis (singles Athens 2004, team event Beijing 2008, singles London 2012, team event London 2012), silver medal team event Athens 2004, World champion in team events 2010, European champion in singles 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and in team events 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011.
He is confined to a wheelchair after a car accident since 1993 and immediately next year he started with table tennis. In addition to the active sports career, he started working for Slovak Sports Association for the Disabled and in 2002 he was elected as President of Slovak Sports Association for the Disabled. Next year he was also elected for a President of Slovak Paralympic Committee and he still represents both organizations. Jan Riapos was first Slovak athlete who participates on the fifth Paralympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) and as a four time gold medallist he is the most successful athlete in summer sports. Very impressive is also his collection of continental champion titles. Besides active sports career and his work he studied and had a degree in social work at the University of Health and Social Work St. Elizabeth in Bratislava. He actively working with people with disability in National rehabilitation centre in Kovacova and helping them integrates into the life. In 2006 he was awarded with “Rad LudovitaStura III. Triedy” for his significant achievements in the development of sport for disabled.

Selucký Petr

was born in 1973. Graduated at colleague of forestry. He worked as a forest technician. He got married, the first daughter was born in 1999 and he started to work at a company Moravian oil-fields. He had a work accident in 2005 with paraplegy. His wife was pregnant for the third time in that period. The third child was a son (after two daughters). His son was born when he was at rehabilitation centre after the injury.
After an accident Petr with his family lived in a rented apartment for two years. They need to adjust the barriers in part of the house where he now lives. When the family was ensured, he started to dedicate some time to his hobbies – he returned in forest on the quad and skiing on monoski. He is interested in cars and he organises for wheelchair users visits of various European car museums.
He already wanted to work after return home from rehabilitation after injury, but there was a problem with allowance (compensation of work accident). If he works, the allowance will be lower. He decided to work, he has been looking for suitable work for last three years. However work activity must be profitable and earnings should compensate the reduction of allowance.

Vašíčková Lia, MD
University degree at Faculty of General Medicine at Charles University of Prague.First specialization in internal medicine, second specialization in general rehabilitation, working in paraplegiology from 1992. 1992 – 2008 as a head of Spinal Rehabilitation Unit in Reha centre Luze (Eastern Bohemia), 2008-till this time Spinal Unit of University Hospital Brno as a specialist for paraplegiology including rehabilitation. Practice of long life care for SCI out-patients, practice in seating in wheelchair for all wheelchair users, teacher at courses of seating and positioning in wheelchair for PT, OT and physicians. Part-time work in non profitable organization ParaCENTRUMFenix Brno (www.pcfenix.cz) , which serves for SCI clients and their families. Member of ISCoS, EWMA, member of board of Czech Association for Spinal Cord Injury, member of ParaCENTRUMFenix and CZEPA (Czech Paraplegic Association).


Wendsche Peter, MD, PhD
is emeritus professor of surgery and traumatology; former head of the Spinal Unit at the Trauma Hospital Brno, Czech Republic.
He is a “father” of spinal programme in the Czech Republic. He presented his visions of multidisciplinary SCI care in the eighties of last century and he started as the first a comprehensive care for SCI patients as a head of the first Spinal Unit in the Czech Republic.
He published many scientific articles; he is an author and co-author of many publications in the field of SCI.

Fiona Bolger

joined Spinal Injuries Ireland as CEO in July 2014, having worked with the organisation as a consultant for the previous 6 months during which time she undertook the development of their 4 year strategy ‘Engage, Empower, Enhance’. Fiona started her career in the not for profit sector progressing to senior management in communications and fundraising in the disability and animal welfare sectors. In 1998, she set up her own communications and sponsorship agency which she ran for 17 years specialising in communications and sponsorship projects for the sports, travel and tourism sectors. Clients included state and private organisations primarily in Ireland and Europe with a global remit generating high return on investment.


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