About ECIO

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Studying without limits

ECIO, centre of expertise for inclusive education, is part of CINOP. In collaboration with stakeholders, regional partners and companies, it develops innovative, practical solutions for more inclusive education – education that is open to as many different students as possible and reduces the need for specific adjustments. The ultimate aim is to enable young people with disabilities and special needs to study successfully on a course of their choice and move on to a job that suits them. Education for everyone. Without limits.

Accessible education for all

ECIO supports universities, colleges and VET institutes in order to help make education accessible to students with disabilities and special needs, and to contribute to the well-being of students who experience limits due to, for example, learning disabilities, physical or sensory impairments, mental vulnerability or chronic illness. We also seek to help students with caring responsibilities, students undergoing gender transition, young parents, pregnant women, etcetera. By not focusing on individual students but rather on optimum conditions within the education system, ECIO strives towards solutions that eliminate impediments not only to individual students but also to larger groups of students.

Amassing, enriching and disseminating knowledge

ECIO is tasked with amassing and enriching knowledge as well as communicating with various professionals in education. ECIO provides bespoke advice, helps ensure positive future prospects for students with disabilities and special needs and promotes mental well-being among students, by means of legislative, educational, political and social changes. In addition, we make the most of new scientific insights that affect studying in inclusive education in general, aiming for education that is designed based on student needs, flexibility or specific provisions. We do this with:

  • making the quality and accessibility of higher education sustainable, based on an inclusive approach (support with the provision of information; policy development, implementation and assurance; development of expertise for education professionals on all topics of the student journey).
  • Connecting educational institutions and the labor market in order to build together on knowledge and expertise, nationally and internationally (facilitate national and regional networks and meetings to learn from each other in terms of knowledge, experience and current research).
  • Strengthening the self-confidence of students with special needs, as a basis for independence and empowerment, in order to participate in the society (support students in secondary and higher education with handbooks and tools focused on student well-being that help them with their studies and the transition to the labor market).

Equal opportunities

For more than 75 years we, together with educational institutions, have been dedicated to studying without barriers. To create awareness about the importance of inclusive education, for equal opportunities and for breaking through the misconceptions.

Formerly: Expertise Centre Disability + Study (handicap + studie)

ECIO was Expertise Centre Disability + Study until 2019. Since then, we no longer focus solely on studying with a disability, chronic illness or psychological complaints. Students may also need extra support due to young parenthood, gender transition treatment and special family circumstances such as informal care. And also competitive pressure, financial problems and the social climate can have an influence on students’ well-being.


We work for higher education with funding from the Ministry of OCW, ZonMw and FNO. In addition, we carry out assignments for individual institutions in higher education and secondary education.

You can support the work of ECIO by making a donation to the foundation. This foundation has ANBI status; this has tax advantages for the Dutch taxpayer when a donation is made. You can support our work with a donation to ‘Stichting Expertisecentrum handicap + studie (NSS)’:

  • IBAN: NL62 RABO 0190 4768 69 | Optimal participation in education and employment

ECIO is part of CINOP. CINOP realises solutions for complex issues in education and the labour market: solutions with impact. As expertise center ECIO contributes to learning with impact. With our expertise and experience we enable educational organisations to optimise their participation in education and thus their entry into the labour market. In addition to ECIO, CINOP also has the Expertise Centre for Vocational Education (ECBO) in-house. ECBO: develops, collects and disseminates knowledge about and for vocational education.