A photo of Lucy Bennett
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The story of Lucy Bennett, senior designer for AMAC Accessibility

“Equal, inclusive access empowers everyone to achieve.”

My name is Lucy Bennett, and I’m the senior designer for AMAC Accessibility. For the last year and a half, I’ve been responsible for AMAC’s marketing media and work to make sure we’re promoting ourselves with the same level of accessibility that our services provide. I also began working as a leader in the design community to push for more accessibility and inclusion in the field for people with disabilities.

I’ve always had the desire to be a leader in the design community, but didn’t feel I had the skill or unique experience to contribute. Once I began the ICT Accessibility MOOC and learning about universal design and the ways designers can benefit from the accessible ICT practices, I found a cause to be passionate about and a unique viewpoint to share with emerging designers.

Equal, inclusive access empowers everyone to achieve. Through taking the ICT Accessibility MOOC, I’ve been able to teach others about accessibility and how it can improve the human condition. I was invited to be a member of AIGA’s Diversity & Inclusion task force; shortly after receiving that invite, I was also asked to participate in AIGA’s first multi-chapter design thinking workshop, relaunching the EMERGE 2.0 programming to help emerging designers.

Through the EMERGE 2.0 programming, we’ll craft an accessible framework that will be used nationwide to empower a new generation of designers, giving them new opportunities for growth and leadership.

Read more about the ICT Accessibility Open Online Course and how it is promoting accessibility by reading the factsheet.

Group photo of the 2018 Zero Project awardees
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Zero Project Receives 318 Nominations from 78 countries

What a few months it has been! When we opened the nominations back in May we thought we had a rough idea of what to expect. Hopefully we’d be fortunate to receive amazing, inspiring nominations from around the world and yes, we would expect most of them to come in just before the deadline! But what we weren’t ready for was the sheer quality of the field this year. Now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to say no to some of these amazing projects.

This year, we have received a whopping 318 nominations from 78 countries. That is an increase of over 20% on what we received when we last visited this topic four years ago.

We are well under way with reading and evaluating the nominations, alongside our experts around the globe. This is possibly the best part of our work – Where we can learn about what the incredible community is doing around the world to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

This year we have been reading about wheelchair basketball in Afghanistan and teaching political processes in Sweden. We have read about grassroots leadership for women with disabilities in Cambodia and inclusive elections in Kenya. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Somehow our experts have to help us bring the field down to around 70 by the conference in February. I do not envy them!

Thanks to everyone who has made a nomination. We will be getting in touch with you individually over the coming weeks to let you know how your application has been doing, so please bear with us!

To read more about the nomination statistics, check out our press release for the nomination phase.

Zero Project banner with text: Zero Project is looking for a freelance author

The Zero Project is looking for a freelance author!

The Zero Project is excited to announce a new opportunity for a limited period. We are looking for an experienced and self-motivated freelance author to join us on a short-term project between August and October 2018. We are looking for a native English speaker who will work on a sub-project of the Zero Project. The role will involve writing approximately 50 ‘fact-sheets’, similar to the ones published on the Zero Project website. The factsheets will be written based on existing material that the Zero Project will provide, with no research required.

If you are interested in the role please send your CV/experience to w.kainz@zeroproject.org and tell us why you would like to work with us.

Please share this with your own networks!

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Zero Project is Looking for support!

You are interested in supporting a highly motivated team with worldwide outreach and you are ready to accept the challenges of a dynamic, fast developing project?

Then please send us your application now!

We are looking for a person, who can support us within the next 12 months starting from August 2018, and is available part time (25 to 30 hours/week). Our office is located in the First District of Vienna.

For more Information click here.

Applications to d.neuwirth@esslfoundation.org

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The story of Wael Galmouch, user of the Inclusive Tourism project in Lebanon

“Now I can even invite some of my friends with disabilities to the beach.”

I am Wael Galmouch, and I have always been fond of going to the beach, where my friends and I would walk around and relax. Then I had my accident. I became physically disabled, and since the beach tents that we used to go to were not accessible for people with disabilities, I had to wait for the few occasions when my friends would carry me there. But it was not the same as before, because I had to stay in one spot. I could not reach the water, and we had to cut our trip short when I needed to use the bathroom.

Things changed, however, when the Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union initiated the “Inclusive Tourism” project in Lebanon and adapted tent number 19, the dock from the parking area to the water, in addition to providing an accessible bathroom and menu. Now I am back to visiting the beach as I used to do before my accident, and I can even invite some of my friends with disabilities to join me now that it has become available for all.

 

Find out more about how LPHU are making tourism inclusive in Lebanon by reading the factsheet.

A picture of Marta Gomis.
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The story of Marta Gomis, shop assistant in “For & From” Tempe shop

“In our shop all persons with disabilities can make any purchase by themselves.”

My name is Marta Gomis, and I am a 27-year-old girl with Down syndrome. Since October 2010, I have been a shop assistant at the “For & From” Tempe shop in Elche. For me this job is like winning a prize, because I always wished to work in contact with people and in the world of fashion. Encouraged by my parents, I took a vocational training course on commerce. Afterwards, I came in contact with APSA Association, and with my trainers I improved my competences.

Now I have already been working in the shop for seven years, thanks to the opportunity that Tempe gave me. My colleagues and my trainer from APSA help me a lot, and together we solve the little challenges of every day.

I love to help our customers. To service people that I already know makes me especially proud and happy. The experience of these seven years has helped me to become self-confident and to perform my tasks efficiently.

Our shop is very unique since it is a fully accessible space, and is designed so that persons with disabilities like me can work with complete autonomy and independence. Since its opening, adaptations have been made in the shop so that any customer can come on their own. Today, persons with a physical or sensorial disability can make any purchase by themselves, and if they need help, I am ready to provide it!

 

Read more about how APSA provides the possibility of barrier-free Shopping by reading the factsheet.

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The story of Revital Swirski, municipality council member trained by Access Israel

“The PR department has added the option of sending complaints by SMS.”

My name is Revital Swirski-Shurtz. I am a council member in Kiryat Bialik, a municipality in northern Israel. As a person using a wheelchair, I am very much aware of the need for accessibility and am very active in promoting accessibility in my municipality.
My municipality employees have attended three accessibility training sessions conducted by Access Israel, in addition to their famous “Accessibility Tastes Dinner” for the management team.

Besides the fact that the employees were all very moved and excited by the training, one consequence has been that the Collection Department – which has a lot of interaction with the local residents – installed accessibility systems for the hearing and vision impaired, added accessible seats to the waiting area, and even installed an accessible watercooler. The employees have become much more sensitive to and aware of the needs of people with disabilities and say they now feel more confident to communicate with them.
Another innovation is that the Public Relations department has added the option of sending complaints by SMS and has provided a special customized service for people with disabilities. Further, all official ceremonies and events are now fully accessible. More and more residents with disabilities have started to feel comfortable in their interactions with the municipality, and so attend more events and deal more independently directly with the municipality.

Find out more about how Access Israel has developed a business model for training service providers regarding issues of accessibility by reading the factsheet.