By Tom Butcher, Zero Project representative in the U.S.
The Zero Project was recently asked by Maria Martinho (Secretariat for the CRPD/DSPD/UNDESA) to present at the 5th Expert Group Meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-Inclusive Development at the UN in New York. As our representative here, I attended the meeting which took place at the headquarters of UNESCO over two days on December 13th and 14th.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the work conducted to date on, and what further needed to be accomplished for, the 2018 UN flagship report on disability and development to be published by its deadline later in 2018. To this end, in a series of sessions, experts presented the inputs received for specific sections of the report (each relating to either one SDG goal or a combination of such goals). These included, for example, the goals covering inclusive and accessible cities/human settlement (SDG 11), poverty and hunger (SDGs 1 and 2) and gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities (SDG 5).
On the second day of the meeting, following these individual sessions, we, along with two other experts, were asked to make presentations on our “ongoing work on disability”.
Tom Butcher with Maria Martinho at the UN DESA Conference December 2017
The first two presentations came from Nancy Bolt of the International Federation of Library Associations, who talked about international library policies and procedures for people with disabilities and the SDGs, and Willetta Waisath from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, who talked about building and using global law and policy data to monitor and advance rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
I, then, gave a very brief presentation about our work, in general, covering social indicators and innovative policies and, much more specifically, about what we had discovered to be the important elements that had contributed to the success of the 11 innovative policies selected for inclusion in the 2017 Zero Project Report on Employment.
The two days were both most interesting and constructive, and it was an honour for us to be included in such august company. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my time at the UN was both catching up with so many of our old friends who were there and introducing our work to people who had never heard of us.
Thank you, Maria!
Last Monday Amelie Saupe presented the Zero Project in Tokyo to a delegation of 30 disability experts from Israel.
The event was hosted by the Israeli Embassy. The delegation’s visit to Japan is part of an annual initiative organised by Beit Ekstein. Every year a different country is visited in order to learn, to meet and to analyse how the activities of the disability community in Israel are comparing. With the support of Zero Project a 3 day program could be arranged, to get insights into employment and education projects in Tokyo and Japan. Beit Ekstein provides person centered services for persons with disabilities in order to increase the quality of life and social inclusion.
It may only be October, but it already feels like the Zero Project Conference is bearing down on us! We are well underway with preparations and are very excited with the sessions that are in the pipeline. However as always, we only provide the stage, but it is YOU that provides the innovation, the fun, the excitement!
We are considering ways that all participants can collaborate to create a memorable piece of art – An interactive, accessible project that everyone can contribute to at the conference. And we need your help! If you or your organisation currently has expertise and knowledge in exciting accessible artistic creations we want to hear from you! We want to hear of projects and programmes that include persons with different disabilities to create something unique and memorable.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can contribute ideas, or if you know any organisations that could contribute to this venture.
It is less than 4 months until the Zero Project Conference 2018! Amongst the many exciting sessions in development, we are planning a session to showcase an “accessible village”. We will bring together around 10 to 15 projects such as accessible banks, parks, public buildings, hotels and more, that we want to present as a virtual accessible village.
And this is where we need your help! We plan to showcase the village through a visualisation, involving graphics, sound and accessible features and we are looking for people or organizations who could provide these features. It could be in the form of a virtual video-game style navigation through the village, or involve presentation of the village through 3-D computer graphics. So please get thinking and get in touch!
Please contact us at email@example.com if you can provide us some ideas, your services, or if you can put us in touch with someone who can!
The Harkin Summit is an invitation-only event that bring together high-level representatives and grassroots implementers from around the world- all working to increase the employment of persons with disabilities.
We have had the pleasure of working with one of Austria’s leading daily newspapers “Die Presse“, in publishing a supplement detailing 43 successful models of employment for persons with disabilities. The article was circulated in the nationwide newspaper and features a selection of practices from previous years of our research, plus some 2017 Zero Project awardees and even some nominations for 2018!
You can download the supplement by visiting the home page of the Zero Project website and clicking on the Die Presse link, or by clicking HERE.
The publication is only available in German, but if like me you need to brush up on your Deutsch then this may be a good opportunity!
It has been a very busy month, not just for us, but for our diligent partners who have been busily scrutinising the 2018 nominations for Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies. With their help, we have cut the list down to 140 practices and 34 policies, ahead of the final vote which takes place in September. It is such a shame to already see so many great practices drop out at this stage and we send our thanks to everyone running the incredible projects out there. We hope to see much more of you in the coming years!
We are inviting over 3,000 experts and specialists in the disability field from around the world to have the final vote on the shortlisted practices. Good luck to everyone!
It has been an incredible couple of months for us here at the Zero Project as we were inundated with the best that you have to offer. It’s taken a while, but we’ve counted, counted again and analysed the results. And these results tell us that we received an amazing 372 nominations from 76 countries, which includes first-time nominations from Honduras, Iran, Swaziland and Zambia! Israel top the list with the most innovative practice nominations, while Spain have given us the most innovative policy nominations.
For those statisticians out there, we have put together a more detailed breakdown of the results, which you can find below, and also in the downloads section of the website. Enjoy!
The Zero Project has completed the nomination process for Innovative Practices and Policies in the field of accessibility. It has received 317 nominations for Innovative Practices and 55 for Innovative Policies from more than 70 countries around the world
Vienna 7th August 2017: The Zero Project researches the status of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) around the world. This year, is focusing on employment, work and vocational education and training.
The nomination process started in May 2017 and the Call for Nominations of Innovative Practices, as well as Innovative Policies, closed at the beginning of July.
The Zero Project received an astounding 372 Nominations from 76 countries, and astounding is also the variety of accessibility that is created by them: from assistive technology to tourism, from urban development to access to health and justice, from accessibility in humanitarian aid to orientation maps, artificial intelligence and automated easy language support.
The process of carefully screening, shortlisting, voting on, and finally selecting the Innovative Practices and Policies 2018 of the Zero Project has already begun.
Call for Innovative Practices: 317 Nominations
The Call for Nominations of Innovative Practices resulted in 317 nominations from 73 countries and all regions of the world: 24 were received from Africa, 87 from Asia, 129 from Europe, 43 from North America, 30 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 4 from Australia.
Countries where the most Innovative Practices were nominated: Israel (36), Austria, home country of the Zero Project (34), United States (33) and Spain (14). For the first time, nominations were received from Honduras, Iran, Swaziland and Zambia.
Call for Innovative Policies: 55 Nominations
The Call for Nominations of Innovative Policies resulted in 55 nominations being received by the Zero Project. These Nominations for Innovative Policies came from all regions of the world: Africa (7), Asia (6), Europe (25), North America (9), Latin America and the Caribbean (6) and Australia (2). Countries with the most nominations for Innovative Policies were: Spain (8), Austria (6) and Canada (4).
Next steps in the selection process
The Zero Project team, with the help of its partners and expert network, is currently shortlisting all nominations, based on its three criteria: Innovation, Impact and Scalability.
In September, the Zero Project network will be asked to vote on the shortlisted nominations as the next step in the selection process.
In a final step, the Zero Project team will thoroughly research all practices and policies before final decisions are made by the end of 2017.
The overall aim is to select a total of up to 70 Innovative Practices and 10 to 12 Innovative Policies, to be published in the Zero Project Report 2018 on Accessibility and to award them at the next Zero Project Conference in February 2018 at the UN in Vienna.
UN Habitat is Seeking applications for the 2017 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.
The 2017 award is an international contest which seeks to recognize outstanding initiatives that are making significant contributions which:
Have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people’s quality of life;
Are the result of effective partnerships between the public, private and civic sectors of society;
Are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable
The award is open to candidates within all sectors: national an regional governments; local authorities and their associations; non-governmental organizations; multilateral agencies; community based organizations; research and academic institutions; public and private foundations; media entities and individuals in different categories.
Find out more by visiting the UN Habitat website and make sure to apply for the award before the 31st August deadline!
The nomination process for the Zero Project 2018 is now closed. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to submit a practice or a policy. We now begin the hard (but enjoyable) task of reviewing all the applications. This will be the start of a multi-stage voting process, culminating in a final vote by up to 3,000 of our experts around the globe. We will be able to give a more comprehensive update shortly.