We are thrilled to announce that the factsheets of our Zero Project Innovative Practices and Policies 2020 are online now!

We present you with factsheets from 75 Innovative Practices and 11 Innovative Policies from 56 countries that support persons with disabilities on our 2020 topic of education.

These projects cover a range of topics including, assistive technology in schools and universities, inclusive education systems in low and middle-income countries, early childhood and pre-school programmes, legal and rights-based approaches to inclusive education, inclusive education programmes in museums and cultural institutions and many, many more.

Again, huge congratulations to every single one of these incredible organisations. We’re immensely honoured to be able to promote your amazing work!

In September 2016 Zero Project Partner the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) organised a study visit on deinstitutionalisation in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of the study visit was to present the steps Sweden took to close its institutions for disabled people – a process which ended 16 years ago, on 1 January 2000. The key messages of the study visit were captured on camera, in a short film, which can be accessed here:

Watch ‘Institutions Are Not Solutions: Learning from the Swedish experience’

Deinstitutionalisation is often referred to as a ‘complex’ process. The objective of this study visit was to break it down into steps and to speak to those involved in the reforms. The Act Concerning Support and Services for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (so-called LSS) played a key part in the process. It came into effect at the beginning of 1994, with different measures including the legal right to personal assistance. This legislation – a Zero Project Innovative Policy 2015 – helped close long-stay residential institutions and enabled people to live in their own apartments or small homes housing 5 – 6 persons.

If you are interested in knowing more about the study visit or in attending a study visit on deinstitutionalisation in the future, please contact Jamie Bolling (jamie.bolling@enil.eu).

The 12 Innovative Policies 2016 are about laws and regulations that have substantially improved inclusive education models, or accessible Information and Communication Technologies. The 12 Innovative Policies in pictures.


You can browse all Innovative Policies 2016 here: http://zeroproject.org/policy-type/2016/

International Day of Democracy_UN

Since 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided that 15th September would be the International Day of Democracy. The theme for 2015 is space for civil society.

Political participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations was also the theme of the Zero Project Report 2015 (available in English and German in the Download section). The report highlighted a number of innovative practices and policies from around the world, such as, for instance:

  • The Accommodating Diversity for Active Participation in European Elections (ADAP) project that overcomes the voting obstacles faced by people with intellectual disabilities and older people. Read more >>
  • Japan’s revision of election law, which led to the enfranchisement of more than 136,000 persons. Read more >>
  • South Africa’s policy to ensure the inclusiveness of its Parliament. Read more >>
  • A successful advocacy project that promoted the right to vote for persons deprived of their legal capacity in Croatia. Read more >>
  • New Zealand’s Access 2020 Disability Strategy that makes sure that all aspects of the electoral process are accessible to these persons. Read more >>

Furthermore, today is also the deadline for sending submissions to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguila), on the topic of the right of persons with disabilities to participate in decision-making. To answer the consultation, follow this link.

Projekt Transformace

Maths Jesperson will speak about the Swedish psychiatric reform and present the Innovative Policy “Personal Ombudsmen System” at a conference organized by the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. At the conference, experiences on the transformation of social services in the Czech Republic and abroad will be shared and discussed. The event will take place on 16th June 2015, in Stod.

See also the Video about the Personal Ombudsman System


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Here is the conference programm: Transformation of social service CONFERENCE PROGRAMME



Sonu Gogna is blind person in an organisation converting books into DAISY © Saksham

Among the 50 countries with copyright exemptions, India’s approach stands out as it is inclusive and non-bureaucratic, catering to the needs of persons with disabilities living in the Global South. India’s Copyright Amendment Act No. 27 of 2012 opened up possibilities for persons with disabilities to gain access to information and to make accessible formats available to them without a license.

Since 2014, an online Braille library provides books in accessible formats and the Copyright Board was established, which is responsible for issuing licenses to those who wish to make works accessible on a profit basis and acts on cases of infringement of the Act. In addition, India was also the first country which has ratified the “Marrakesh Treaty” (to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, 2013).

You want to know more? Check out our policy page here: http://zeroproject.org/policy/india/

Life Story_Takumi Nagoya Japan

Ms. Takumi Nagoya is a 52-year-old woman with Down syndrome. She consistently voted into her early twenties, until she was deprived of her right to vote because of the appointment of her father as her legal guardian. She went to court in order to regain her right to vote, with the strong support of her father who dramatically declared that he could not die while his daughter was deprived of her voting rights.

In 2013, when delivering the ruling that re-established Ms. Nagoya’s basic right to vote, Judge Makoto Jozuka concluded his decision with the encouraging words: “Please use your political rights and take part in society. Be proud and lead a good life.”

To read more about this specific Innovative Policy, click on this link.


Tokyo District Ruling on 14 March 2013. © Keiko Shima

During the 4th Zero Project Conference 2015, we highlighted the revision of Japan’s Election Law due to a spectacular court case. Read more about the policy here. The fact that this Innovative Policy has been awarded received further attention. For example, this website (in Japanese) wrote about it featuring a picture of the representatives receiving their award. In addition, Inclusion International published an article written by one of the Japanese speakers who was present at the Zero Project Conference 2015.

Takumi Nagoya (center) with her father and mother, Amelie Saupe (Zero Project)

Also in Tokyo and Ushiku preparations for the 2015 Zero Project conference are in full speed. On Wednesday 11th February Amelie Saupe, Zero Project, Nagase Osamu, Inclusion International and Hitomi Sugiura, Tokyo Advocacy Law Office went to Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, to meet Takumi Nagoya. Thanks to her successful court case in 2013 at the Tokyo District Court more than 136,000 persons under guardianship are now enfranchised to vote. To read more about this specific policy: http://zeroproject.org/policy/japan-2

Meeting Takumi and her 82 year old father, mother and 3 sisters was great. Since Takumi will not be able to join her sisters and her father on their journey to Vienna at the end of this month, we got the chance to record a short video message so she can at least have a voice during the conference.

Familie Nagoya (Japan)

Familie Nagoya (Japan)

LOGO ZERO PROJECT gruen mit claim 01

More than 100 members of the Zero Project network from around the world receive today an invitation to participate in the final selection of 15 Innovative Policies concerning Independent Living and Political Participation.

Those policies which receive most votes will be presented at the Zero Project website, Report and Conference by the beginning of next year!