After a record-breaking nomination and selection process, over 80 Innovative Practices and Policies have been selected as 2020 Zero Project Awardees!

We are undergoing the final final fact-checking on the selected projects, and will then spend the next few months working with the organisations to write up their inspiring projects and prepare them for the Zero Project Conference 2020. The awardees have been informed already, but unfortunately we will not be releasing the names of the winners until January, once all checks have been completed and their project “factsheets” will be published on our website. Thanks for being patient! However, we can tell you a little about this record-breaking year and how the process has worked this time round.

Way back in June, you may remember we received an incredible 468 nominations from 106 countries. To put that in perspective, last time we looked at education, in 2016, we received 258 nominations from 58 countries.

Next, across August and September, we enlisted members with and without disabilities in the Zero Project network to support us in selecting which projects should be awarded. Over 500 experts from 99 countries answered the call and took time out of their busy schedules to read and comment on the nominations put before them. This resulted in a tough selection process where projects were ranked using more than 4,000 individual scores and over 1,900 personal comments, plus taking into account a regional and topic-focus. The result is a preliminary selection of over 80 Innovative Practices and Policies from 49 countries.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in this complex and demanding process. We appreciate the time and effort that so many dedicated friends and partners of the Zero Project have provided for free over the last few months to support us. The Zero Project wouldn’t exist without you!

Banner with words 2020 Shortlist Announced an a silhouette of a person speaking into a cone

For the first time ever, the Zero Project is publishing the Shortlist of projects for the Zero Project Awards. These nominated practices and policies have made it through a detailed quality check and through one round of peer-reviewing from experts – with and without disabilities – from around the world. From an incredible 469 nominations, 169 Practices and 24 Policies have made it through to the Shortlist. All shortlisted projects will be invited to attend the Zero Project Conference 2020 at the United Nations Offices in Vienna, Austria.

The final vote is currently underway, which will determine which of these great projects will be finally selected as 2020 Zero Project Awardees on the topic of Education for people with disabilities. Around 75 Practices and 10 Policies will be chosen to be featured in the annual Zero Project Report and given speaking roles at the Conference to share their important and impactful work which supports education for people with disabilities.

Good luck to all remaining projects in the final vote!

The full list of shortlisted practices and policies is:


  • Canales – Virtual platform (Videolibros) for access to literacy in Sign Language


  • Bridge of Hope – Maximise inclusive learning environment for children


  • Department of Education – Inclusive education in Queensland state schools (Policy)
  • Flinders University – Up the Hill Project (social inclusion)
  • Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) – UEBOnline (learn Unified Braille Code)
  • Sonokids Australia – Ballyland educational apps
  • Swinburne University – AccessAbility Careers Hub
  • The Centre for Disability Studies – Uni2Beyond social inclusion at University of Sydney


  • ADPP Center of Expertise for Inclusive Education – Teacher training in Mozambique
  • Bildungsdirektion Wien – Support project for autistic children (Policy)
  • Inklusionsprojekt Wiener Neudorf – Wind Orchestra Class
  • KHM Museumsverband – ARCHES (Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage Ecosystems)
  • Kindern Eine Chance (A Chance For Children) – Therapy camps
  • Light for the World International – Inclusive education in an IDP camp setting
  • Pädagogische Hochschule NÖ & Qualitätssicherungsrat für die Pädagog*innenbildung – Teacher Education Act(Policy)
  • PH Salzburg – BLuE University Programme
  • ProVita Bildungs GmbH – bildung.bewegt (help young people acquire higher qualifications)
  • Sozialministerium – Vocational Training Act (Policy)


  • Disabled Rehabilitation & Research Association (DRRA) – Learn for Life
  • Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) – Learning materials for blind students


  • Ministry of Education – Policy-Guidelines on Assessment, Examination, Promotion and Transition of Students with Disabilities (Policy)


  • Tanzelarija (Organization for the promotion of contemporary dance) – Silent Dance


  • Diretoria de Educação Inclusiva (DEIN) –  Public service aimed at 0-4 year-old children (Policy)
  • Livox International – Communication app
  • Mais Diferenças – Projeto Brincar (preschool education)
  • Rodrigo Mendes Institute – DIVERSA platform about inclusive education best practices
  • Rodrigo Mendes Institute – Open Doors to Inclusion
  • Univali University – Game design by children


  • Centre for Inclusive Education – One School for All


  • EduClick – Online accessible education platform


  • Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital – Transition education program
  • jobPath – Employment discovery
  • New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – New Brunswick Provincial Autism Training Framework (Policy)
  • Rick Hansen Foundation – Accessibility Assessor training


  • Colegio Laudare – School providing personalized and comprehensive education
  • Duoc UC – Adaptive ICTs
  • Instituto National de Rehabilitatión – Education in hospitalization
  • SK Comercial – Job integration
  • Universidad Andres Bello – Socio-labour training programme
  • University Viña del Mar – Adapkine sports


  • Centre for Sign Linguistics & Deaf Studies, Chinese University of HK – SLCO Programme
  • Zhejiang University – Staff training in ICT accessibility


  • Corporación TransicionesCrecer – Transition to Adult Life program
  • Fundación Arte Sin Fronteras – Life Project (art without borders)
  • Secretaria de Educación Municipal Armenia – Teacher training (Policy)
  • Secretaria Distrital de Integración Social – Guarantee access, participation & transition in early education
  • Servicio Nacional de Aprendizale (SENA) – Free access to training for PwD (Policy)


  • Universidad de Pinar – Teacher training on early childhood


  • Youth in Transition (YIT) – Support for NEETs


  • Instituto Nacional de Atención Integral a la Primera Infancia –  Model of comprehensive early childhood care (Policy)


  • Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework (Policy)


  • Universidad Politécncia Salesiana – Student support (recognised by UNESCO)


  • Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) – Egypt’s National Policy for ICT Accessibility in Education for Persons with Disabilities (Policy)


  • Felm – Sign language training
  • Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability – On the Verge of Adulthood -transition training


  • European Tourist Guide Federation (FEG) – T-GUIDE (guiding visitors with learning disabilities)
  • Soliver – Digital training tools ‘ZERO BARRIER’


  • capito Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – New ways to art
  • Christoffel-Blindenmission Deutschland – Inclusive school infrastructure in Zimbabwe
  • Guter Unterricht für alle – mathildr (trisomy 21)
  • In der Gemeinde leben – PIKSL mobil
  • Kath. Hochschule für Sozialwesen Berlin – Inclusive health education
  • Technische Universität Dortmund – Transition and student support
  • TU Dresden – Visual Support Group


  • SciFY – SCIENCE FOR YOU NPC – Games for the Blind
  • Stichting International Parents Alliance – ELPIDA E-Learning for parents


  • ADISA – teacher training
  • Fundal – Inclusive schools
  • Rompiendo Límites – Sign language training by the deaf (Chorti community)


  • La Parálisis Cerebral – School Management Strategy for Universal Accessibility


  • Amar Seva Sangam – Early Intervention Therapy
  • CBM India – Open schooling program
  • CHAI – Grassroots Comics
  • IDIA – Access to legal education
  • Invention Labs Engineering Products – Avaz App (language learning with pictograms)
  • Light for the World International – Regional Action on Inclusive Education in North East India
  • Nayi Disha Resource Centre – Online platform for families
  • Sanjay Centre for Special Education Goa – Vocational Units and Engagement Centres
  • Tamahar Trust  – Early Intervention & Special Education with family services
  • Umoya Sports – Inclusive culture in schools through sports
  • Universal Design Center, BNCA – Paradigm shift in Architectural Education
  • WIPRO – School support


  • Center for Disability Studies and Services, Universitas Brawijaya – Affirmative  Admission for Students with Disabilities
  • Pusat Rehabilitasi YAKKUM – Education Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy


  • Department of Children and Youth Affairs – The Access and Inclusion Model, AIM (Policy)
  • LINC Consortium – Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme
  • Special Olympics Europe Eurasia – “Plan 2 Include” (Youth Leading inclusion)
  • UrAbility – ICT Training


  • Access Israel – Training for Inclusive Teaching
  • AKIM Israel – Making Museums and Sites of Leisure Cognitively Accessible
  • Amitim Organization – Amitim Community Centre
  • Israel Elwyn – Creating a Future
  • JDC Israel, Israel Unlimited – Being a student
  • JDC-TEVET – Siftach Breakthrough (inclusive universities)
  • Ministry of Health – Supported Education Services (Policy)
  • Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs – “Creating the Future” intervention program (Policy)
  • Nathan Company – Higher-education mentoring program for students with SMI
  • Nathan Company – Mentoring for people with SMI
  • Philosoft Mobile LTD – Krakal classroom technology


  • Gymnasium Centro Studi e Formazione – Keep the Beat (Aquatics)
  • Ministry of Education, Universities and Research – Promoting inclusive education, pursuant to Law n. 107/2015 (Policy)


  • Al Hussein Society/Jordan Center – Leaving no one behind (pre-school skills program)
  • Alliance Academy Jordan – Aaj Model of Inclusion in schools
  • Arab Episcopal School Irbid – IE for the visually impaired
  • Raneen Foundation – Audio story library


  • Psychoanalytic Association – Ed-Recovery Academy


  • Signs Media Kenya Limited – Signs TV
  • The Action Foundation – Early Childhood Care and Education


  • American University of Beirut – Accessible Education


  • Universidad Politécnica de Santa Rosa Jáuregui – Inclusive studying


  • UNICEF – DAISY textbooks


  • Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture – Inclusive Education Policy (Policy)


  • Ministry of Education, Science and Technology – Nepal Inclusive Education Policy-2016 (Policy)
  • Sama Nepal – Inclusive mainstream schools


  • Light for the World – Skills for Work


  • Children’s Developmental Centre – Inclusive Technology for All


  • Inclusive Solutions Skopje – In my shoes (inclusive design solutions)


  • Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) – Inclusive education (esp. girls)


  • RET Americas – Inclusive school safety in Panama (natural disaster awareness)


  • UNICEF Australia – Early Childhood Development


  • CONADIS (National Council for Integration of People with Disabilities) – Vocational Training
  • Instituto de Accesibilidad – Online training program
  • METRIDIS – University courses on inclusive education
  • Ministry of Education – Inclusive evaluation tool for learning progress (Policy)


  • National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) – Kasali support system


  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – The museum as an inclusive space


  • East Eagle Foundation – Task Force on Transversal Protection 
  • Kadiwaku Family Foundation – Literacy programmes


  • All-Russian Society of Disabled People – Certification in Accessibility Expertise


  • Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture – Inclusive Education Policy (Policy)


  • King Abdulaziz University – Accessible University


  • Humanite & Inclusion Senegal – APPLEH (inclusive schooling strategy)


  • Mathematical Society of Serbia – Final Exam
  • Social Skills Animation – Assistive technology for learning social skills
  • University of Belgrade Faculty of Architecture – Accessible city (architectural education)


  • SG Enable – Transition into employment


  • Biotechnical Educational Centre Ljubljana – Cooperation between stakeholders


  • University of Cape Town – Inclusion for Social Justice
  • Western Cape Education Department – Cape Winelands Resource Classes


  • Corporación de derecho público de carácter – BRAITICO (Braille learning tool)
  • Dirección General de Políticas de Discapacidad – Network of technical cooperation between Latin American ministries of education (Policy)
  • Dirección General de Políticas de Discapacidad – Training in and provision of assistive communication technology (Policy)
  • Fundación A LA PAR – CAMPVS tertiary education project
  • Fundación Dales la Palabra – Tres Olivos (deaf support)
  • Fundación Once – Teaching uni students skills in relation to disability
  • Fundación Once – University employment prep. training
  • Fundación Once & UNED Abierta – Training on legal accessibility issues & accessible tech. 
  • Institut Guttmann – Dofins de colors (inclusive Sports)


  • Parents Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability – Early Intervention


  • MECP-Z – School enrolment
  • The State University of Zanzibar – Teacher Training


  • Eğitimde Görme Engelliler Derneği – Accessible Note (music)
  • Engelsiz Erisim Derneği (Association of Barrier free access) –  Barrier-free Distance Education
  • Living with Allergy Association – Kindergarten for Children with Allergy & Asthma
  • Talking Hands – Sign language


  • Manzil Center – PRIDE (People Receiving Independence & Dignity through Education)
  • Wafa Binsulaiman – Support for mothers in early recognition (to prevent deterioration)


  • ENABLE Scotland – Stepping Up (investigation of the world of work)
  • International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment – Mobile Phone Teacher Training Curriculum
  • Landmarks Specialist College – The Archer (working in a pub)
  • Save the Children International – HOPE (school enrolment)
  • Sightsavers – Early Childhood Development in Malawi


  • ACT Services, Inc. – Emergency Evacuation Plan for all college students
  • Aira – Back to School Program (AI & Remote Human Agents)
  • Beacon College – College for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and ASD
  • Benetech – Bookshare (accessible ebook library)
  • Champlain Community Services – Education from Graduation to Retirement
  • Disability Equality in Education – Teacher Training
  • Hands & Voices – ASTra (Advocacy Support & Training) for the DHH
  • Hocus Focus, Inc. – Arts-based approach (using magic tricks)
  • Houston Community College – VAST Academy (post-secondary career training)
  • inABLE – AT computer labs in schools for the blind
  • International Association of Accessibility Professionals – IAAP Accessibility Certification
  • Microsoft – Immersive Reader
  • Office of Disability Employment Policy – Community College Pathways to Careers (Policy)
  • PHILLIPS Programs – Indoor vertical farm career
  • SPAN Parent Advocacy Network – Inclusive Child Care Program
  • Special Olympics Europe Eurasia – Young Athletes & Family Health Forums
  • SpeechGear – Streamer (website for the DHH)
  • St. Cloud University Confucius Institute – US-Chinese student exchange
  • Syracuse University – Disability Law and Policy Program
  • Taft College Foundation – Transition to Independent Living Program & Taft Community College
  • The Hirsch Academy – Autistic Self-Advocates School
  • The Trust for the Americas – DIA Inclusive Innovation Lab
  • The Viscardi Center – Henry Viscardi School
  • Three Talents – IT Training Academy for Persons with Disabilities
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules
  • University of Vermont (Think College Program) – Certificate Program
  • University of Vermont (Center on Disability and Community Inclusion; Think College Program) – State of Vermont Transition and Post-Secondary Education Initiative (Policy)
  • University Research Co., LLC – Literacy Toolkit
  • World Vision – Development Spaces
  • World Vision – Homework Clubs


  • Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Educación – Teacher training (typhlotechnological tools)
image of a pencil on a green background with words The Zero Project is looking for an Author/Editor

The Zero Project is looking for support from a native or an excellent English speaker to support factsheet and report writing. We are looking for a contractor who can provide authoring and editing support between October 2019 and January 2020. The ideal candidate should have experience of working on the topic of disability inclusion or accessibility and would be able to give some examples of their work. The writing will be analytic and fact-based. To see some examples of the Zero Project reporting, please see some examples in the Downloads section of the website, including the 2019 Zero Project Report.

If you are interested to offer your services for this project then please contact with some examples of your work and tell us why you would be interested to assist. Please also tell us about your experience which would make you suitable for this role and give an indication of what rates you charge, ideally per word/page or per hour.

The amount of work is flexible and negotiable so please also give an indication of your availability across this period.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Seneit Debese of Greta and Starks poses for a photo with the Zero Project award, alongside Zero Project staff

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 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

The United Nations headquarters tower in New York with country flags waving in front

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.

The United Nations headquarters tower in New York with country flags waving in front

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!

Four people posing for a photo in suits with a Zero Project certificate

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!

A group photo of the Zero Project team in a large open room in front of a Zero Project banner

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.

Find the detailed Job advertisment here

Banner: Call for nominations closes next week! #ZeroCall20

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!

Don’t forget, we have loads of information that can help you, such as our 2020 nomination video, Q&A document and our 2020 Education Themes document.

If all else fails, please contact us directly at

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.

Good luck!