ELIANT stands for people who want to live in a Europe that is culturally diverse with freedom of choice:

in questions of education, the economy, social reform, organic agriculture, and complementary and integrative medicine.

People with Special Needs: Necessary Care and Support

Bernard Heldt (Vice-President European Co-operation in Antrhoposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy)

Chair and Moderator:
Bart Vanmechelen (Council for Curative Education and Social Therapy)


people with special needs and their relatives as well as care professionals

Curative education and social therapy view themselves as a social undertaking that gives every individual the possibility of becoming part of a large whole. Wherever children, young people and adults experience challenges and difficulties in feeling at home in their body or in the world, they are given developmental and educational possibilities to help them toward an independent life that can be lived on the basis of their own initiative to the maximum extent possible. This is also implicit in the meaning of the global cultural change as pursued by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD).

It is exactly ten years ago that the UN-CRPD was adopted. The European Parliament ratified it in 2010. This treaty is no longer just about the elimination of the consequences of disabilities but rather about a way of living together: inclusion. Society is changing in such a way that all people can, with equal rights, find their place in education, work, health care, security, etc. Such a cultural change requires perseverance, patience, and allies working together in the interest of people with disabilities toward the implementation of an inclusive society, with inclusive education and inclusive training, a society in which people and the encounter are put at the centre. Which spiritual and social initiatives can support and guide these developments? It is not only a professional task, but a general human one as well.

The working group will be a discussion forum for interested persons from all areas of life, for parents and relatives, as well as for persons from the professional area of curative education and social therapy.

Bernard Heldt

Bernard Heldt

Bernard Heldt was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He has a master degree in children’s psychology and pedagogy. Mr. Heldt was Secretary General of the Heilpedagogisch Verbond, a Dutch umbrella organisation for schools, homecare, treatment and community based services for children and adults with learning disabilities and psychiatric impairments, furthermore - Founder and director of the Edith Maryon College, a Dutch national vocational training organisation with 6 auxiliary locations all over the country. Since 1992, he is Founder, Secretary General and now vice-president of the European Co-operation for anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy, ECCE – A European NGO for associations for curative education and social therapy and for national parents organisations. So far Bernard Held has developed several training programs in South American countries like Argentina and Surinam and has been concerned by the development of several training programs in European countries.