Enrica di Clemente, Intern at Zero Project

Welcome Enrica di Clemente!


We welcome our new team member Enrica di Clemente!

Last week Enrica joined the Zero Project Geneva Team as a volunteer. She finished her postgraduate education in 2011, focusing mainly on Diplomatic Studies.

As an intern at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations she had the opportunity to expand her groundwork to conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and civilian capacities. Besides proposal development activities as a volunteer, much of her interest over the last years has concentrated on human rights.


We are happy to have you and look forward to work with you!



Carmen Arroyo de Sande

Zero Project Team says “Goodbye” to Carmen!


Since Spring 2013 Carmen Arroyo de Sande was part of our Indicator team in Brussels, where she worked for the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and coordinated the EFC Disability Thematic Network.

From September 2014, she will start working for EASPD as a Project & Liaison Officer. The Zero Project Team appreciated a lot her professionalism and good humor, we will miss her a lot!!

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Zero Project at IASSIDD roundtable


On July 17th 2014, the Zero Project Team participated as speaker to the IASSIDD roundtable on “Inclusion in the community – community-based services”, moderated by Albert Brandstätter, Lebenshilfe Austria, and which included also the following panellists:

- Klaus Brunner, Seld-advocate, Lebenshilfe Vorarlberg

- Heinrich Schellhorn, Soziallandesrat, Region of Salzburg

- Nicolette Blok, Moderator, Trainer, Consultant, as Relative active in the field of Self-Advocacy for people with disabilities

- Thomas Driessen, Executive Director of alpha nova, a social service provider of highly innovative services in the field of inclusive living and working, and personal assistance

- Ingrid Heindorf, Zero Project Team Geneva, World Future Council.


The roundtable discussion focused on how services need to become community-based, in order to allow people with all kinds of disabilities to be included in the community. A serious number of current challenges were mentioned and discussed. For example, how to redirect current assistance funding in Austria (personal budgets), what action is needed by service providers and which challenges they have in becoming person-centred, which particular problems arise for people with intellectual disabilities, etc. The Zero Project Team presented the status of its current research on Independent Living and Political Participation and highlighted that those innovative practices and policies researched, will contribute towards making inclusion in the community a reality, including in Austria. The team invited everyone present to participate. During the discussion the team had also the opportunity to highlight in particular the Innovative Policy 2012, the Swedish Personal Assistance Act, which legally entitles persons with extensive disabilities to cash payments for the purchase of self-directed personal assistance services (see Zero Project Report 2012).


The 4th IASSIDD Europe Congress is a major European event presenting and debating the newest advances in research on intellectual disability from around the globe at the premises of the University of Vienna. The congress program had a stringent and prominent inclusive format, giving people with intellectual disability the opportunity to actively participate. The topics addressed at the congress followed a structure closely linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). The IASSDD Europe 2014 Congress was organized jointly by IASSIDD, the University of Vienna and Lebenshilfe Austria.


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We received ECOSOC consultative status


Recently, the Zero Project leader, the Essl Foundation, received ECOSOC consultative status. Consultative status provides nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with access to not only the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), but also to its many subsidiary bodies, to the various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, ad-hoc processes, as well as special events organized by the President of the General Assembly.


Currently 3,900 NGOs enjoy consultative status with ECOSOC (See list as of 1 September 2013, PDF) and they can:

- Attend international conferences and events;
- Make written and oral statements at these events;
- Organize side events;
- Enter United Nations premises;
- Have opportunities to network and lobby.


For more information about the ECOSOC Status go to ECOSOC Status or see the folder (pdf) “Working with an NGOs Guide to Consultative Status“.


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Zero Project Austria



The Essl Foundation, along with its partners World Future Council and the European Foundation Centre, is proud to have received an EU PROGRESS grant for the organization of nine regional conferences in Austria.

The events will focus on the topics of Independent Living and Political Participation and the implementation of the UN CRPD and will be held from March to June 2015.

We are happy and already in the midst of preparations, gathering many renowned Austrian partners.



Die Essl Foundation, in Kooperation mit dem World Future Council und dem European Foundation Centre haben gemeinsam eine EU Förderung (EU PROGRESS Grant) erhalten. Diese Förderung dient zur Durchführung und Organisation von neun Zero Project Landeskonferenzen in Österreich.

Diese Konferenzen werden von März bis Juni 2015 stattfinden und haben folgende Schwerpunkte: Selbsbestimmt Leben und Politische Teilhabe und die Umsetzung der UN Konvention auf Landesebene.

Wir freuen uns darüber und sind schon intensiv beim Vorbereiten, und holen dafür viele namhafte österreichische Partner an Bord.


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It’s research time! — Zero Project 2015


Zero Project 2015 is coming and step 1 – the nomination process – has come to an end. In July 2014, the Zero Project team invited leading experts and organizations to nominate outstanding practices and policies concerning our this year’s topic:


Independent Living and Political Participation.


By August 14th we received 230 nominations from more than 75 countries from around the world. We are extremely grateful to everyone who participated this year – from Australia to Zimbabwe!!


Thematically, roughly two thirds work on Independent Living issues, and one

third on Political Participation. We are not only very happy with the quantity of nominations, but also with their quality. So many projects have been nominated that sound excellent.


Now it’s time for the next step. Research!


The Zero Project research process has now started and thereafter the nominations will undergo final selection at the end of September.


Join us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch!


The Logo for UN Enable

Zero Project is joining UN Expert Group Meeting


The Zero Project was invited to join an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on disability data and statistics in Paris, from 8th to 10th July 2014. Over 25 global experts working on disability research, data and information participated in the meeting. The Zero Project was represented by Michael Fembek – Head of the Zero Project.

The meeting covered two priority issues.


Priority 1

The first day focussed on discussions to improve international comparability of disability data and statistics, which resulted in specific recommendations for the United Nations system.


Priority 2

The second day of discussions involved a review of the goals and targets in the zero draft of the sustainable development goals produced by the Open Working Group(OWG), with a view to assess ways the emerging development framework could ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities.


This EGM was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


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Participate and submit Innovative Practices and Policies!

Once again, the Zero Project team invites leading experts and organizations to nominate outstanding practices and policies concerning this year’s topic: Independent Living and Political Participation.

The Innovative Policies and Practices selected by internationally renowned experts in a multistep process will be, amongst others:
- featured in the upcoming Zero Project Report 2015, on this website and related social media platforms; and
- their representatives will be invited to speak at the Zero Project Conference 2015 at UN Vienna!

Submitting a nomination is easy: Download instructions and nomination form from the links below (available in 8 different languages) and then send the completed nomination form to Ms Doris Neuwirth: office@zeroproject.org.

We look forward greatly to receiving your nominations!

The Zero Project Team and Zero Project 2015 Partners


Zero Project 2015 Call for Nominations:

Arabic – أرابيسك

Email Call for Nomination (arabic, MS Word)
Instructions (arabic, MS Word)
Nomination Form (arabic, MS Word)

Chinese – 吃呢司生产

Email Call for Nomination (chinese, MS Word)
Instructions (chinese, MS Word)
Nomination Form (Chinese, MS Word)


Email Call for Nomination (deutsch, MS Word)
Instructions (deutsch, MS Word)
Nomination Form (deutsch, MS Word)

Deutsch Einfache Sprache

Email Call for Nomination (deutsch, Einfache Sprache, MS Word)
Erklärungen (deutsch, Einfache Sprache, MS Word)
Nominierungsformular (deutsch, Einfache Sprache, MS Word)


Email Call for Nomination (english, MS Word)
Instructions (english, MS Word)
Call for Nomination (english, MS Word)

English Plain Language

Email Call for Nomination (english, Plain Language, MS Word)
Explanations (english, Plain Language, MS Word)
Nomination Form (english, Plain Language, MS Word)


Email Call for Nomination (spanish, MS Word)
Instructions (spanish, MS Word)
Nomination Form (spanish, MS Word) 


Email Call for Nomination (French, MS Word)
Instructions (French, MS Word)
Call for Nomination (French, MS Word)


Email Call for Nomination (italian, MS Word)
Instructions (italian, MS Word)
Nomination Form (italian, MS Word)

Russian – руссищ

Email Call for Nomination (russian, MS Word)
Instructions (russian, MS Word)
Call for Nomination (russian, MS Word)