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”.

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”.

During the conclusion of IFDM 2018 held in Vancouver, Canada, October 15-17, attended by 400 delegates from 30 countries, organized by the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS), the handover took place to Brussels, site of the 10th International Biennial Congress on Disability Management and Return to Work – IFDM 2020 – to be hosted by the Belgium Federal Social Security Organization, INAMI. To view the bulletin with further details, please click on the following link: More information

Disability Management for a Healthy and Inclusive Workplace and Labor Market” was planned by the Federal Belgian Social Security Organization (INAMI/RIZIV), but it became victim of COVID 19, much like a myriad other national and international events. But IFDM 2022 did take place in Brussels. Building on the highly successful IFDM’s held since 2002, IFDM 2022 reflected and paid tribute to the Belgian leadership in driving much improved Return to Work outcomes by establishing leading edge new support programs for individuals at risk of losing employment due to the onset of mental and physical health impairments but also being the first country in the world to require the CDMP certification for those actively engaged in Return to Work functions.

IFDM 2024, hosted by the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM) with its more than 800 members nationwide, is scheduled to take place September 15-17, 2024 on the waterfront of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is designed to be the global focal point for cutting edge education, research knowledge exchange, and best practice programs, policies and practices of the international Disability Management Professionals community where proud CDMPs and CRTWCs now drive Innovation, Thought-Leadership and Best Practices across an expanding world community of more than 22 countries. With the theme of “Disability Management in a Post-Pandemic World: Solutions for a Vastly Changing Work Environment“, it recognizes that employment is a key determinant of health, and no societal group is perhaps more affected than workers who acquire a mental or physical health impairment, which places them at risk of possible long-term unemployment, poverty or worse.