Message from the Chair (December 2020)

Arnab Seal

Dear EACD members, friends and colleagues

As the year comes to an end and the festive season draws closer, it is time for us to take a well-earned break. It has been a difficult and sombre year for us all, which has seen the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have lost family members, friends or colleagues, some of them in the line of duty. We have also seen the adverse impact of the pandemic on the children with disabilities and their families ( ). So, while we all need to have some personal downtime, we also need to find time to be strong advocates for those who have been adversely affected. During this festive season let us all take time to be thankful for and cherish what we have, as often in our busy work we lose track of the important things in life: our family, our friends and our health.

November was a landmark month for the EACD for many reasons, not least because we had our first virtual EACD Annual Conference, preceded by the inaugural conference of the Polish Academy of Childhood Disability (PANDa). The scientific program was rich and interesting, catering to every taste and more than satisfying the 900+ participants. Our Polish colleagues, led by meeting President Professor Marek Jozwiak, did an amazing job.  While we missed being in Poznan together as an EACD family, we were thankful that technology still allowed us to connect with each other. It is likely that our learning from this will reflect in our future annual meetings to come. The conference proceedings will remain free to access for all delegates till end of December 2020, to allow you to catch up on anything you may have missed ( .

During the Poznan conference we had all our official EACD meetings, including our Annual General Meeting. We shared with the membership our amibitions for the EACD which I had shared with you in an earlier Newsletter ( and now we have plans of how we will get there. We aim to keep you informed throughout the journey with regular updates from the EACD General Management Committee members who are leading on these initiatives. Keep a lookout for them in subsequent Newsletters and do get in touch if you would like to be involved. If you have a great idea for the EACD, I want to hear from you directly at

As you are probably aware, we have taken an early and bold decision to host an innovative virtual EACD 2021 Annual Meeting led by our Scientific Committee Chair, Christopher Newman. We are already working hard to pull together a program that is going to different and, we hope, very exciting! Check out our website at We are looking forward to you joining us.

I will sign off now with my very best wishes for you and your family. Have a peaceful, restful and festive family time. Let us re-charge our batteries and prepare for a better year ahead. Be well and stay safe.

Arnab Seal, Chairperson, EACD