Panel Discussion on the European Disability and Development Week

As part of the European Disability and Development Week, our partner Light for the World Austria, together with Save the Children and the IDDC will organise a panel discussion to issue a research on “Costing Equity”: the case of financing for inclusive education, and to share experiences from the field, from Burkina Faso (LIGHT FOR THE WORLD) and from China (Save the Children). In addition, the European Commission will comment on its position with regard to inclusive education within development cooperation/in general.

Elie Bagbila, from Light for the World Burkina Faso and guest speaker at this panel will also mention the Inclusive Education project in Burkina Faso which was awarded by the Zero Project 2016.

Click on the invitation flyer to find the email address to the registration.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Zero Project wants to remind that women with disability also suffer this sort of discrimination and violence.

As highlighted by the European Disability Forum, women and girls with disabilities are, as a matter of fact more exposed to violence than women without disabilities. In many cases, it is not made possible for them to be protected from violence or to have access to justice, because they are deprived of their legal capacity and someone else decides for them; this legal representative or ‘guardian’ could be the perpetrator of the violence.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) clearly recognises under article 6 that “women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination” and that states should take measures to address this issue.

In the process of doing so, the Austrian Ninlil organisation, one of the Innovative Practices 2016, is tackling this problem by preventing violence against women with learning difficulties or multiple disabilities. It aims to prevent bullying and fights sexual violence against women with learning difficulties by organizing seminars to work towards empowering these women.
Click here for more information about the Ninlil organisation.


Zero Project Conference 2017: Launch of new website

Once again, the time has come to inspire!

From February 22nd to 24th, the Zero Project Conference 2017 highlighting Innovative Practices and Policies for persons with disabilities, will be held at the United Nations Office/Vienna International Centre, Austria.

This year, 260 innovative solutions concerning Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training were nominated by the Zero Project’s network of experts from around the world. Out of these, 68 Innovative Practices and Policies have been selected as the most outstanding and are to be presented at next year’s conference.

With its annual event, the Zero Project supports decision-makers and opinion leaders in their efforts to implement the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) worldwide.

Visit our brand-new website to learn more about it:

If you are interested to participated get in touch:


DRPI Hub Webinar on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Our partner, the Disability Rights Promotion International, which is a collaborative project to establish a comprehensive, sustainable international system to monitor human rights of people with disabilities, is launching its Holistic Rights Monitoring Online: the DRPI Hub.

The DRPI Hub page is a platform that allows you to monitor your own rights or work with others in your country or in your local area to monitor their rights, a training guide to share the skills of self-monitoring on the web.

To learn more about the DRPI Hub, a webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 23rd, 12:00-1:00 pm (EST)). Find the DRPI Hub online.

Please, register to the Webinar here.

Moscow Open Challenge ©

The Open Challenges Program invites the Zero Project

The Zero Project network was invited by the Moscow Agency of Innovations from the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship jointly with the executive authorities of Moscow to the Open Challenges program, which identifies, selects and pilots local and international innovations that can address the city’s needs.

The topic of the challenge is: Innovative solutions to boost social interaction and raise awareness of challenges faced by children with special needs, which started on December 28, 2015 until December 28, 2016.

Thinking that the society at large that has to meet the needs of people with disabilities and special needs, this challenge aims to facilitate a positive response from the residents of Moscow, and to create an inclusive environment that has educational, consulting, social and cultural components.

Submitted technologies and solutions will be considered and assessed, and also recommended for the inclusion into the List of Innovative Hi-Tech Products and Technologies used by the city. Best solutions will be awarded with an opportunity to run a pilot project in the city. Successfully piloted solutions will be recommended for a large-scale implementation in Moscow’s infrastructure.


Stacy Smith, Tari Hartman Squire, Gail Williamson, Jenni Gold, Scott Silveri, and Glen Mazzara | Photo by Niv Shank ©

Foundation Promotes Disability Equality in Hollywood

After 2016 Oscar nominations came out and #OscarsSoWhite began, Hollywood has scrambled to fix its diversity problem by leaving people with disabilities out of the inclusion mandate.

During the Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable on Disability Inclusion, hosted by the Ruderman Family Foundation at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills the 1st of November; Marlee Matlin, the only deaf performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, expressed her concern about disability inclusion among TV characters. Hollywood’s exclusion of disabled people means a lose of authenticity and a discouragement of people with disabilities from pursuing careers in acting, writing, producing, directing, etc. In this way, they aren’t given the same opportunities in terms of access to employment, which is the Zero Project’s 2017 Conference main topic.

The need to raise awareness about this issue by being vocal and be on Twitter was highlighted, so people understand it is important. Despite the infuriating stats and stories shared throughout both panels, no one in the room seemed discouraged or ready to give up the inclusion fight. The fact that the issue was discussed and the point on the situation was marked, it is a first step to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Hollywood.

For more information please visit this website.

Logo for webinar from business disability international and ILO Global Business and Disability Network

BDI’s ‘Learning directly from disabled people’ webinar taking place on 6th December

Our partner, The Business disability International (BDI), and the ILO Business and Disability Network are pleased to invite you to join its free one hour webinar to mark the release of BDI’s inaugural publication: ‘Learning directly from disabled people’ – Building a better and more inclusive global business. 

The webinar aims to enable global leaders to learn directly from disabled customers and colleagues, in a way which benefits business, the global economy and the societies in which the BDI operates. Among the objectives there is a willingness to raise awareness about the important for the business to learn directly from disabled people and how to make this happen by exploring how ‘learning directly’ is culturally appropriate in every country.

The session will take place the 6 December 2016 between 11 and 12am (GMT/London)

CLICK HERE to register for the Webinar.

Report coverage © Final Report of the AFRPD

The Arab Forum on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities releases its latest report on refugees with disabilities

We are pleased to inform that the Arab Forum on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (AFRPD) released its final report on refugees with disabilities in October 2016. The Forum currently serves as the regional representative to Disabled People’s International (DPI), which is one of The Zero Project’s partners.

Based on research conducted in August-September 2016 by members of the AFRPD, the report raises awareness about special challenges the humanitarian aid community faces when it comes to meet the special needs of refugees with disabilities. It draws the reader’s attention to the fact that there are low-cost ways to help displaced persons with disabilities and calls for action.

Finally, the report also raises awareness about DPOs’ work on this issue and the value they can add to the existing humanitarian efforts.



ENIL’s EU Funds for Our Rights Campaign Takes Off Tomorrow

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), one of our Zero Project partner, is launching a new Campaign ‘EU Funds for Our Rights‘, tomorrow 8 November during an event in the European Parliament hosted by MEPs Helga Stevens and Marek Plura.

The Campaign, supported by the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative, aims to advocate for a better monitoring and complaints system for the use of EU funds in relation to transition from institutional care to community living for disabled people. It will focus on the role of ESIFs in supporting the right to live independently and being included in the community, set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

During the coming year, the Campaign will build the capacity of local NGOs, identify gaps in the monitoring and complaints systems and raise awareness among the European Commission and the Member States about the importance of using EU funds to support the development of community-based alternatives to institutional care.


Closing ceremony of the project Inklusive Bildung in Kiel, Germany © Frau Prof. Dr. Ilka Parchmann; Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel

News from Drachensee Foundation: People with disabilities have successfully been qualified as educational specialists

The project Inclusive Education, which was presented during the Zero Project Conference in 2016 by Dr Jan Wulf-Schnabel from Foundation Drachensee, recently announced good news!

Within a three-year full-time qualification the project enabled five people with disabilities to become successfully qualified as educational specialists in order to contribute their expertise in their own cause at colleges and universities. As qualified educational specialists they communicate their everyday lives with disabilities to students and teachers, specialists and managerial staff alike. Furthermore, paid employment for these five qualified educational specialists was created – a so far unique programme at German universities. And last but not least, the Institute for Inclusive Education became an affiliated part of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Germany).

As a result, people with disabilities, who previously worked in a sheltered workshop, now become a permanent part of the scientific system. The now university-affiliated institute sets a clear course towards inclusive education and complements the other research-related institutes of the university in a special way.

During the ceremony on the 31st October 2016, the Secretary of State of Schleswig Holstein, Mr Rolf Fischer, awarded the funding of 1,25 Million Euro to the Managing Director of the Institute for Inclusive Education, Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel, as well as the title, “Affiliated Institution” to the Vice-President of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Prof. Dr. Ilka Parchmann. Subsequently and most importantly, the five qualified educational specialists signed unlimited employment contracts with the Institute.

Closing ceremony of the project Inklusive Bildung in Kiel, Germany © Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel, Managing Director of the Institut für Inklusive Bildung; Laura Schwörer, Education specialist

Closing ceremony of the project Inklusive Bildung in Kiel, Germany © Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel, Managing Director of the Institut für Inklusive Bildung; Laura Schwörer, Education specialist


Closing ceremony of the project Inklusive Bildung in Kiel, Germany © Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel, Head of Project „Inklusive Bildung” at the Drachensee Foundation; and Horst-Alexander Finke, Education specialist

Closing ceremony of the project Inklusive Bildung in Kiel, Germany © Dr. Jan Wulf-Schnabel, Head of Project „Inklusive Bildung” at the Drachensee Foundation; and Horst-Alexander Finke, Education specialist