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Paulien Bruijn


this is Paulien Bruijn with green trees in the background. Paulien has a light skin,blue/grey eyes, blond half long hair with a hint of grey. She is wearing a colourful dress with pink and yellow flowers.

My name is Paulien Bruijn. Right from the start of my career I have been enthusiastic about facilitation and inclusion. Whatever position I had, I always ended up organising workshops, facilitating sessions and developing trainings.

In March 2020, I started working as freelance disability inclusion consultant. I wanted to share my experience with a wider audience: not only within the development sector, but also in the Netherlands. That’s why I set up my consultancy service: Into Inclusion.

This first year was a bit different than anticipated due to COVID 19 measures, but I was able to make a shift from face-to-face training and advice towards online training sessions. Under the Tab recent work you will find more details about the assignments I have been involved as consultant so far. I’m ready to support your organisation as well! Please contact me for more information.

I started my career within International Development 20 years ago as junior at ZOA, focussing on inclusion of refugees and Internally Displaced People. After that I made the step to Light for the World, an international organisation that promotes equal rights for people with disabilities. The last 10 years I have been working as Disability Inclusive Development Advisor/Specialist at this organisation. In that position I got the chance to train and advice development organisations, humanitarian actors, disabled people’s organisations, self-advocates and government staff all over the world. I have been involved in dozens of assignments on the following topics:

  • Disability Inclusive Development and Organizational Change
  • Inclusive Livelihood/ Economic Empowerment
  • Inclusive Health/Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Inclusive Humanitarian Action
  • Training of Trainers and Self Advocates
  • Inclusive and accessible communication

Apart from designing and implementing training courses on inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream development, I also set up and coordinated different learning platforms. One example is the Thematic Learning Programme that brought together 30 organisations in Europe, Ethiopia & India for joint learning on inclusion of people with disabilities. The outcomes were documented in the learning guide Count me in.


In my work as a consultant and trainer I use the following principles:

  • Rightsbased: the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the fundament. I don’t have a disability myself (yet), but I use my privilege to support the fight for equal rights. I want to live up to the “Nothing about us without us” principle. In my training and advisory work I will always promote that people with disabilities speak for themselves.
  • Participatory: I’m not coming in with all the answers, but I support people to discover the solutions themselves. In my trainings I use a range of participatory methods that will help to put theory into practice. And most important of all: what we learn with pleasure, we never forget!
  • Inclusive: In my trainings I take the responsibility to create an inclusive atmosphere, so everyone feels safe to express what they need to be included. I aim to set a good example and encourage others to do the same.
  • Appreciative: Often people are scared to make mistakes, or they don’t know where to start. I appreciate what is already going well and I support organisations to build on these strengths.
  • Practical: With my step-by-step approach, I’m making the inclusion process practical and manageable for organisations. I support organisations to start their own journey towards inclusion.
  • Climate friendly: I compensate CO2 emissions of my flights. Within Europe I prefer to take train, bus or boat. Within the Netherlands I’ll take public transport and for short distances I love to go by bike (as long as it’s not raining).

The training provided was excellent, full of practical suggestions, drawing on a wide range of people with disabilities to give their valued input on how they actually experience the world around them.

This is Paulien Bruijn with a big smile on her face, she lifts up her hands in the air to give an applause in sign language.


I am available to support your journey into inclusion with the following services:

  • Training and advice on inclusion of people with disabilities in projects: such as inclusion in livelihood, vocational training, health care or humanitarian action.
  • Training and advice on inclusion at organisational level, e.g. assessment, designing a change process
  • Training design and curriculum development for your inclusive programmes
  • Training of trainers: e.g. training of self-advocates, disability inclusion advisors or facilitators
  • Training on inclusive communication/facilitation
  • Organising & facilitating (online) trainings, learning workshops or learning programmes
  • Documentation of lessons learned
  • Evaluation of inclusive programmes

For more information about my services in the Netherlands, please check the Dutch part of my website.

The workshop was a great mix of theory and lots of practice. It was really customised to our needs and very hands on.