TOPHOUSE logo

We are excited to announce that the TOPHOUSE Report on person-centred housing is now available for download.

The TOPHOUSE Report “Including Person-Centered Approaches and User Involvement in Integrated Housing and Support”, coordinated by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), is intended to serve as an overview at European level of existing promising practices on integrated housing & support, with a particular focus in four EU countries (Austria, Finland, Ireland and Spain).

The TOPHOUSE Report aims at serving as a reference and supporting document not only for the development and implementation of the TOPHOUSE project but also for other upcoming projects committed to the promotion of the Integrated Housing & Support principles. That is why some findings and a conclusions chapter are included, outlining a possible way forward on how to develop adequate housing assessment & allocation processes and how to do this specialist job more consistently.

Find out more by going to the TOPHOUSE page on the Zero Project website and download the report here.

Photo of Hun Sreynak, a user of Light for the World`s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities programme

“We are helped, and we help other women with disabilities through setting up our own projects.”

My name is Hun Sreynak and I contracted polio at the age of three. I was not able to walk, and when I wanted to start attending school my parents told me I could not do so because of my disability. So I spent a whole year teaching myself to walk so I could attend school.

I faced discrimination in many ways during my school years, and especially at university where I had to crawl up the stairs to class on the third and fifth floors. This is the situation for many people with disabilities in Cambodia – they face discrimination in all stages of life, especially women.

In 2016, I applied and got accepted to Light for the World’s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities programme. Here I met many women with different types of disabilities, and I learned that I was not alone! We all had good times together and enjoyed the training. This programme empowers us: we learn, share, and practice monitoring and evaluation, all of which provides us with meaningful opportunities to demonstrate our competency and ability to other people.

We are helped, and we help other women with disabilities through setting up our own projects. In 2017, my new leadership skills were acknowledged as I formally joined Light for the World as a Programme Liaison Officer; and in 2018, I received a scholarship for a Master’s programme in Disability Studies in Kuala Lumpur.

Read more about Light for the World’s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities project in their factsheet.

Photo of Osku Timonen holding his EU Disability Card

“I could enjoy the music on an accessible platform and with a good view.”

My name is Osku Timonen, and in June 2018 I became one of the very first recipients of an EU Disability Card in Finland. I don’t need any assistive devices, but in my daily life I do need some help, for example, while carrying food and drinks.

The card has already proven very useful in several situations. For instance, last summer I had a chance to participate in a number of music festivals, and in each instance the festival staff warmly welcomed me after I showed them my EU Disability Card. As a result, I was able to enjoy the music on an accessible platform and with a very good view of the main stage. The card has also been useful on the Finnish railways, where I have readily found someone to help me to carry my things. And in the cinemas the card has been an easy way to prove my disability and my need for assistance.

As I’m a very keen traveller, I am hoping that the EU Disability Card will also prove helpful while travelling abroad.

You can find out more about the EU Disability Card by reading the factsheet.

A photo of Enya, a beneficiary of the Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Programme (PREPACE)

“My father publicly apologized to me for being so overprotective.”

My name is Enya. I was born in a home with three brothers in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Being the only girl and living with cerebral palsy, I had all the affection but also the overprotection of my family, and so grew up as a shy child. I graduated from high school with the support of the PREPACE Inclusive Education Programme, but I could not go to university due to economic and accessibility difficulties.

This harsh reality motivated me to participate as a founder of the Honduran Independent Living Movement (MOVIH), and I was selected to travel to Osaka, Japan, to take the course on Independent Living at the Mainstream Independent Living Centre. I had to persuade myself that I could do it, and I had to persuade my parents to give me permission.

I returned with a positive attitude, surer of myself and of what I wanted from life. I travelled the country convening conferences, but my family still put obstacles in my way. My father attended a training conducted by MOVIH on the role of parents in the lives of people with disabilities. As a result, he publicly apologized to me for being so overprotective and for having limited me by deciding for me. From that moment on, he promised to respect my decisions, and he has complied.

Yuo can read more about the programme in the PREPACE factsheet.

What to expect in the coming months

So much has happened over the last few weeks. It was impossible to read, watch and hear everything that happened across those three busy days!

But don’t worry! There are so many ways that you can still be involved in the best of #ZeroCon19 over the coming weeks and months. So here is a little timeline of what to expect from us going forward.

Photos from the Conference

We are already uploading photos from the Zero Project Conference, covering all three days. You can access them all from the Zero Project Conference page.

Videos of the Conference

Caroline Casey presenting in front of the audience with a Zero Project poster behind

Caroline Casey opening #ZeroCon19

All sessions in all three rooms were filmed for all three days of the Zero Project Conference. We will publish the full videos on the Zero Project YouTube channel very soon!

Life Stories

In the coming months we will share real-life stories of people who have benefitted from the awarded projects. They will tell their stories of what their life was like before and how the projects have impacted their lives.

Highlight clips

Over the coming weeks we will share some short highlights from the conference on social media. This will include inspirational quotes or comedic moments.

Conference Accessibility Report

We will be publishing a report on the accessibility of the conference which includes feedback from participants and partner organisation, with the aim of learning lessons and improving accessibility. The paper will talk through each of the measures, the decision-making process and will analyse which methods were successful and which did not work. Watch this space…

That was the Zero Project Conference 2019!

The Zero Project Conference took place last week between 20th and 22nd February. More than 600 people from over 80 countries descended on the United Nations in Vienna, Austria to discuss, exhibit and present models that improve the ability for persons with disabilities to live independently and to take part in politics. But what actually happened over these three action-packed days?

Over 30 conference sessions discussed independent living

Delving deeper into the discussion at “couch session”

Throughout the three days, more than 30 sessions, including presentations of innovations, couch discussions and specialised forums discussed the many sub-themes of independent living and political participation. All three rooms were filmed and will be shared on the Zero Project YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

Videos from ReelAbilities

Two short films were presented to open days 1 and 2 of the Conference, courtesy of ReelAbilities Film Festival. “The Conference” showed us all how not to run a disability event, and “Guest Room” took us through the emotions of unplanned pregnancy for a young lady with down syndrome. ReelAbilities also joined us for the final session where they took part in the discussion on good practice in videos and media.

Accessible Pilates

An open conference room with people sitting in rows, raising their arms

Warming up with accessible pilates

Anastaysia Gerets guided participants into day 3 of the Conference with a session of accessible Pilates. She had the audience stretching, twisting and breathing to feel calm and energised for the final day of #ZeroCon19.

Over 70 projects collected their awards

More than 70 projects were in Vienna in person to collect their award from Martin Essl at the dedicated award evening, plus give their backstage comments to the waiting camera crews.

Six people standing for photographs with an award certificate

ETI collecting their award on Thursday evening

The videos were online on the Zero Project Facebook page within 24 hours of the ceremony and have been watched more than 50,000 times!

Creative performance from Lumos Foundation

Young people from Lumos expressing their feelings of institutions

Five young people holding sad hand-drawn faces in front of their own faces

Young self-advocates from Lumos Foundation expressed their own feelings and experiences of deinstitutionalisation through a creative piece, performed on the final day in the main room.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks while we bring you all the best bits from the Conference, with clips, photos and sessions soon to be available online!

An empty row of chairs in a conference room, with the Zero Project logo on a poster in the background

The Zero Project Conference has somehow snuck up on us again! It feels like is was just a couple of months ago that we were singing the Zero Project anthem and handing over certificates in a cold and snowy Vienna!

Well, we’re about to do it all again. At least the weather forecast looks better this year!

The Zero Project Conference 2019 will begin next Wednesday (20th February), when over 600 people will descend on the United Nations in Vienna to discuss Independent Living and Political Participation for persons with disabilities.

So far we’re on track for a record-breaking number of countries to be represented, with participants from an incredible 84 nations already registered!

As always, you can tune in online by watching the live feed on the Zero Project website and Facebook page, which includes international sign and captioning.

Make sure to follow us on social media for photos and clips from the conference, and join in the conversation by using the hashtag #ZeroCon19.

You can find a list of speakers and the full agenda on our Conference page.

 

Various pages with writing too small showing writing, tables, pictures and maps, with the cover of the Zero Project Report 2019 at the centre

We are proud to introduce to you the Zero Project Report 2019!

After more than 9 months of research, analysis and reporting, we are delighted to bring you our latest annual report, on this year’s topic Independent Living and political Participation.

Inside this report you will find fact sheets of the 66 Innovative Practices, and Innovative Policies from 41 countries that support independent living or participation in politics for persons with disabilities, along with personalised life stories from many of the projects. The report also introduces 11 new participants of the Zero Project Impact Transfer, in association with Ashoka, where projects are prepared for replication around the world, plus the TOPHOUSE project which shares projects for inclusive person-centres housing in Europe.

The report also includes for the first time a summary in easy language.

All the themes, topics and projects within this report will be discussed during the Zero Project Conference from 20th to 22nd February 2019 at the United Nations in Vienna. You can watch the action from the Conference on the Zero Project website or the Zero Project Facebook page.

Enjoy!

A panel of four experts sat behind a podium with microphones in front

In just two weeks we will already be at the United Nations and getting inspired by the wise words of presenters from all around the world. We already have experts from over 80 countries registered, which is a record for the Zero Project Conference! We cannot wait to welcome you we’re so grateful for everyone that is making the journey to be part of this event.

Over the next two weeks a lot will happen and there is so much to get involved with, whether you are attending the Conference or not! We are pleased to give you some details of what to look out for and how to take part.

Attendees will be sent information directly for how to get to the venue, how to sign in and how to make the most of their time at the conference. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! However, there’s lots of extra useful information for those who cannot make it, or supplementary information for those attending.

Front Cover of the Zero Project Report. The Zero Project logo and writing "Imdependent Living and Political Participation on white background

Soon to be released: The Zero Project Report 2019

Zero Project Annual Report

A few days before the Conference we will release the Zero Project 2019 Report on the topic of Independent Living and Political Participation. The Report will feature the 76 awardees (66 practices and 10 policies) which help improve the lives of persons with disabilities in living more independently or taking part in their community and politics. The report will also feature an easy-language summary, and an analysis of promising inclusive social housing practices as part of the TOPHOUSE project. We will be checking in with our great group of Zero Project Impact Transfer participants from 2018, plus introducing 11 exciting new projects who are going through an intensive preparation for scaling and replicating their projects in new countries.

You will be able to download an accessible pdf of the report on the Zero Project website and physical copies will be handed out at the Conference

Screen shot of streaming at the Zero Project Conference. On the left "Spain APSA Tempe - "Forandfrom" stores Shoe-shops, barrier-free for all. on the right two men in suits shake hands in front of a Zero Project backdrop.

The live stream of #ZeroCon18

Live Stream

Once again, we will be streaming all three days of the Conference live on our Facebook page and on the Zero Project website. All the action from the main room will be presented live, including English captions and international sign. Browse the agenda to see which sessions you want to catch or tune in throughout the day to see what’s going on. Just some of the many highlights will be the Keynote speech by Jenny Lay-Flurrie of Microsoft on the morning of day 1, the award ceremony on the evening of day 2, and a special creative piece performed by young people who are supported by Lumos Foundation on the morning of day 3.

Twitter feed of #ZeroCon18 showing people posing for photos and posting positive comments about the Conference

Posting on the #ZeroCon18 hashtag

Social Media

As ever, we will be sharing, reacting and interacting on our social media channels throughout the Conference. Make sure to use the hashtag #ZeroCon19 so you can join the conversation, whether attending the Conference or watching from home.

Post-Conference media

When the curtain finally comes down on the final day of #ZeroCon19, the fun will not end there! Stay tuned to our social media channels across the following weeks as we upload highlight clips, photos and stories to help share anything you might have missed. We will also make each session available to watch again on our YouTube channel, including rooms 2 and 3 which will not be streamed live.

If you have any specific questions about any session or want to find out more, then please get in touch!

Two men sitting at a desk, discussing.

Part 4 of our awardees blog brings you projects that work to influence policy, including self-representation, participation in politics and how to strengthen access to legal and human rights.

Self-representatives influencing policy-making

A group of 17 self-advocates proudly holding their certificate in a group photo
Proud participants of FEPAPDEM’s self-advocacy training

For meaningful and lasting change in policy, it is important for those that the policies affect are the same ones influencing it. FEPAPDEM in Ecuador runs a program which trains people to train persons with intellectual disabilities to become self-advocates and speak out about the issues that are important to them. Also in Ecuador, Fundación Discapacidad y Desarrollo works with local disabled people’s organisations to identify needs of residents with disabilities and address them through local regulations. And in the Pursat province of Cambodia, Light for the World trains representatives to advocate for inclusive policies in local commune and district meetings.

Participating in politics in low- and middle-income countries

A Blind man standing behind a cardboard voting booth
A Blind man taking part in a mock election in northern Malawi, through FEDOMA

Some of our 2019 awardees facilitate the conditions for people with disabilities to actively participate in politics in low and middle income countries. In Nepal, the Disability Empowerment and Communication Centre assists with inclusive voting and supports running for parliamentary elections. Similarly, the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi is carrying out many methods to encourage voting and running for parliament, such as stakeholder engagement, lobbying and media coverage.

Strengthening access to legal and human rights

A group of people holding posters and placards during a demonstration on the street
NCPEDP bringing organisations together for sustained advocacy for disability legislation in India

A small group of winning projects are aiming to improve access to legal and human rights through targeting change in national legislation. Mobility International USA’s Global Disability RightsNow! program is targeting change in seven countries by providing local disabled persons organisations with free technical training and mentorship to improve their own in-country plans. In India, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People has conducted sustained and systematic advocacy to help push through a new national disability law, with funding from Mphasis. Finally, in British Columbia, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reducaiton has launched a 10-year strategy for improving the lives of people with disabilities, for example through simplified benefit applications and raising the benefit rate.