Congratulations to #ZeroCon19 awardee and Zero Project Impact Transfer participant Greta & Starks on their new partnership with social impact investor Joachim Schoss, founder of the Scout24 group and MyHandicap.de. Having connected through the Impact Transfer programme, their goal is to make the GRETA app, which provides subtitles and audio description for accessible cinema screenings, available in 6 countries and 14 languages. You can learn more about Greta & Starks and our Zero Project Impact Transfer programme in partnership with Ashoka Austria at http://impact-transfer.org/zero/greta-starks-great-app/
You may have seen our blog post a couple of weeks back about supporting the United Nations to implement their Disability Inclusion Strategy. We received lots of great feedback and interest about getting involved in the campaign – So here’s a second chance to find out what it’s all about and to get involved.
As a little reminder – The UN Secretary General António Guterres announced at the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD in June 2019 that the UN was committed to raise the standards of their performance on disability inclusion by launching a new disability inclusion strategy. Martin Essl, founder of the Essl Foundation and the Zero Project, has written a letter of support to Mr Guterres, praising this fantastic commitment and offering the support of the Essl Foundation in any way that we are able, to turn this commitment into reality. We have also forwarded Martin Essl´s letter to the Austrian Permanent Mission at the UN in New York and also ask them to support this honorable mission.
The UN needs more support to create change – so we have been inviting everyone to join in and do the same. So please go ahead and write an email to your country´s Permanent Mission at the UN in New York, and ask them for their support as well. And share this call for action with your peers!
It has been a record-breaking nomination period. We have received more nominations than ever before! And from more countries!
We have spent the last few weeks diligently checking the nominations and the final figures have now been counted. We have received more than 469 practices, breaking the 400 mark for the first time ever and smashing the record of 372 nominations, received in 2017 on the topic of Accessibility.
The quality of the nominations and the range of countries is also very exciting, with 106 countries represented. And while there are some tough decisions to make, we are trying to think of new ways that we can support and showcase many the projects which regrettably don’t progress further in the competition.
We have now completed the initial review of the nominations and we are in the process of contacting organisations to let them know the progress of their nomination and what to expect over the next few weeks.
A huge thank you to everyone who has made a nomination. We are utterly staggered with the extraordinary range and quality of the projects and are thankful for the efforts of everyone who has nominated! A huge thanks also to those who are taking the time to help us review all the projects.
For the full details of what we received, read our nomination press release.
We at the Zero Project were delighted to hear the commitment of the UN Secretary General António Guterres to raise the standards of the UN’s performance on disability inclusion. The announcement came at the Conference of State Parties in June 2019 in New York. Martin Essl, founder of the Essl Foundation and the Zero Project, has written a letter of support to Mr Guterres, praising this fantastic commitment and offering the support of the Essl Foundation in any way that we are able, to turn this commitment into reality. We will also forward Martin Essl´s letter to the Austrian Permanent Mission at the UN in New York and also ask them to support this honorable mission.
The UN needs more support to create change – so we invite everyone to join in and do the same. Write an email to your country´s Permanent Mission at the UN in New York, and ask them for their support as well. And share this Call for Action with your peers!
It has been an intense but very enjoyable few weeks as we have been receiving nominations from all around the world! For the first time we broke the 400 mark for nominations! We can give you a precise figure once we have completed reviewing everything that has come in.
The call for nominations officially closed on Sunday 23rd June, but we have still been working with many of you to finalise and update your information, before we can let you know if the project has been accepted into the competition. We hope to give more information to everyone who has nominated in the next 2 weeks. Please bear with us in the meantime and stay tuned. We’re working hard and will give you another update soon.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part already – Whether you nominated, shared the call or helped us to find some great practices. This would not have been possible without you!
We are looking for an intern who is available part time (approximately 28 hours/week), salary: 1.100 Euro/monthly and stays with us for at least 12 months (starting summer 2019). Ideally a student or post-graduate student who is willing to join a highly motivated team with worldwide outreach who is ready to accept the challenges of a dynamic, fast developing project. Our office is located in the First District of Vienna.
Time is running out. There is just over one week until the nomination process for the 2020 Zero Project awards closes. Don’t miss your chance to nominate your practice or policy!
If all else fails, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For everyone who has started their applications, don’t forget to complete the information and press submit, or else it will not be included in the competition.
There is no prize money, no trophies and no red carpet. So just why should you make a nomination to the Zero Project?
Take to the stage
By winning the Zero Project award, representatives of Innovative Policies and Practices are given the opportunity of presenting their models at the Zero Project Conference at the United Nations in Vienna. Each winner gets a space on stage to present to experts and leaders from all around the world to share their ideas and innovations on a truly global stage. The 2019 Zero Project Conference brought together more than 600 experts and leaders from 83 countries.
Innovative Policies and Practices are published in the annual Zero Project report which is made available in hard copy at the Zero Project Conference and as a free accessible download from the Zero Project website. Policies and Practices are also published on the website. The report and website are used as research tools for international organisations, for example in 2018 the United Nations flagship report on Disability and Development referenced and linked directly to 50 practices and policies on the Zero Project website.
Become part of a global disability network
All nominators, shortlisted projects and awardees have the opportunity to become part of the Zero Project network, which can lead to further opportunities. Members of the network have the chance to participate in selecting the Innovative Practices and Policies, and in doing so they get exposure to some of the latest and greatest innovations around the world.
Recognition at international events
Throughout each year the Zero Project takes part in other regional, national or global events on accessibility and inclusion such as the Conference of State Parties, the Harkin Summit and the M-Enabling Summit. This gives us further opportunity to share some projects, depending on the topics of the events.
Partnering and replication opportunities
Many innovators that have taken part in the conference have reported that their conversations with other participants have led to other opportunities for growth and replication. Experts and leaders come to the conference from all sectors such as business, philanthropy, and local, regional and international government. The 2019 Conference brought together representatives from Microsoft, G3ict, USAID, UNESCO, ITU, Light for the World, Lumos, European Network on Independent Living, MEPs from the European Union, plus Richard Kessler from the Kessler Foundation and Senator Tom Harkin of the Harkin Institute.
From time to time the Zero Project creates additional reports, for example on sub-topics or cross-cutting topics. Some examples include the 2018 Analysis on Digital Technologies for Service Providers, produced in partnership with EASPD. This report brought together 15 innovations from the Zero Project network which showcased the power of technology to improve lives. Other examples include supplements on accessibility in a national Austrian newspaper, and the 2017 Zero Project Almanac, bringing together the innovations of the 4-year Zero Project cycle.
And if you want to find out more about any of the opportunities, just get in touch with us at email@example.com. We hope to hear from you soon!
“I finally exercised my constitutional right for a secret vote“
My name is Luis Venialbo. I am 65 years old and 35 years ago I completely lost my vision when a retinitis pigmentosa was manifested in my eyes. This changed my life in Paraguay drastically, but this was not an obstacle and I decided to become a teacher for blind students. Later in my life, I graduated as a lawyer and became a leader in the disability sector. This was possible thanks to reasonable adjustments, perseverance in the face of difficulties and the support of my family, mainly that of my wife whose eyes complemented my tenacity.
Notwithstanding a wonderful relationship based of respect and love, we very often have different opinions, particularly when it comes to politics. Due to the lack of accessibility to exercise my right to vote without assistance, I always depended on her support to mark and cast the ballot. But even trusting my wife I always asked myself “will she have marked the candidate I chose?” I never had the certainty that my vote was for my preferred candidate.
In 2015, thanks to reforms implemented under the assistance of the Inclusive Elections Project, I was able to use braille ballots for the first time. I finally exercised my constitutional right for a secret vote, with the certainty of having voted for the candidate of my preference. This experience was replicated in the general elections of 2018.
Find out more about the Inclusive Elections Project in Paraguay by reading the factsheet.
Most of you probably know by now what it means to be awarded by the Zero Project. But what you might not know is there are other exciting opportunities, and you don’t necessarily have to be an awardee to benefit!
Zero Project Impact Transfer
Across the last two years we have teamed up with our good friends at Ashoka to run the Zero Project Impact Transfer. Each year, at least 10 projects are selected from the nominations to take part in an acceleration programme to prepare their project to be replicated in other countries or contexts. This includes a training and mentoring programme with experts from the business and philanthropic worlds, plus a 2-day boot camp in Vienna, Austria shortly before the Zero Project Conference. Successes so far include the Museum of Modern Art in New York delivering training to representatives from over 20 museums at workshops in Vienna and Berlin, and Enable India sharing their information sharing service in Ethiopia by teaming up with the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development.
Zero Project in Latin America with Fundación Descúbreme
We are excited to embark on a new adventure with our great partners at Fundación Descúbreme in Chile. This project is aiming to increase the impact of the Zero Project in Latin America. Fundación Descúbreme will work with the Zero Project throughout 2019 through the nomination and selection process and in 2020 will co-host a Zero Project conference in Santiago, Chile. There are many ways that nominated projects may benefit, such as opportunities to present and exhibit their work.
Zero Project Conference – Presentations and exhibitions
Each year we base the conference schedule around the awardees, who present their innovative models that support persons with disabilities. But you may not know that we also invite all projects that made it to the shortlist to take part in the conference! Depending on the innovation, the topic and the stage of the projects, we choose a number of those from the shortlist to take part in conference in other ways such as the exhibition or presenting in sessions.
So go ahead and make your nomination! We look forward to hearing from you!