Once Foundation

ONCE Foundation, one of our partners, presented a study measuring the loss in profit in the touristic sector due to lack of accessible transport, infrastructures and services. Conducted by the British University of Surrey, the data lead to the shocking number of 142.000 million Euro loss per annum.

Creating a more inclusive society requires initial investment, in terms of transport and infrastructure. Such studies could help stakeholders to understand the huge economic benefit they could expect from such investment.

Accessibility was our main topic in 2014. We issued a thematic Zero Project Report hereon with numerous Innovative Practices and Policies leading to a more accessible and inclusive society.

For instance, and this is also related to our upcoming report on inclusive education and ICTs, we highlighted a framework agreement ONCE Foundation had signed with the Spanish Ministry of Culture & Education for improving barrier-free access to universities throughout the country.

They also developed Amóvil, an interactive online platform helping people to find compatible and accessible mobile devices.

The full article about the study from the British University of Surrey is available in Spanish on the ONCE Foundation website by following this link.

Next Steps The journey so far

One of the Zero Project Innovative Practices in 2015 was the individual support provided by the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies of Ireland. Called Next Steps Project, they were a recipient of the Zero Project Award 2015.

Lately, they published a useful and inspiring document summarizing their core activities: Next Steps – The Journey So Far.

In it, you will find very detailed case studies; methodology and insights that will help you duplicate their success story elsewhere. You will also find many life stories that show the beneficial impact of their work on persons with disabilities, on their family and on the whole community. It can be a powerful tool for advocacy and a source of inspiration for everyone.

Read it, spread it, and use it for the common good of your own community!


National disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) have an important role in the nomination process of CRPD members, and the mandate of half of them will be renewed during the 9th Conference of States Parties (COP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that will be held on 14-16 June 2016.

Our partnerthe International Disability Alliance, has prepared documents that could help you walking through the elective process and get active by identifying and advocating for qualified individuals for nomination. The documents are available, if you click this link.

The deadline for States Parties to send in their nominations has been set for 14 April 2016. Therefore, you should do research, screening, background check and proposal to your national government before this date.

We suggest you also to visit the Committee’s website dedicated to the 2016 elections.

MIUSA - mobility international USA

You may remember one of our Innovative Practices 2015 related to independent living and political participation:

The WILD training program, a well-chosen acronym for Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability. It is a three-week curriculum taking place in the west coast of United States of America (Eugene, Oregon), aiming to enhance the leadership potential of women with disabilities from all around the world.

They recently opened their application for the 8th International WILD and we strongly suggest all interested women with disabilities to apply as soon as possible. The deadline is the 1st of February. The program will take place from July 30th to August 21st, 2016.

Also, the cost are very low ($250 USD programme fee), covering plane ticket, local transport, meals and accommodation. Scholarships are available based on applicant’s demonstrated financial need.

To see other eligibility and qualifications criteria, please visit the application page at:

United Nations Logo

Exactly 11 months from now, the 13th December 2016, will be the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

In November 2015, the Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations declared its intention to use this very special opportunity to prepare a celebration programme with an objective of achieving universal ratification and implementation of the CRPD. You can have a look at the full resolution: A/C.3/70/L.25/Rev.1. At this occasion, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, was urging national reforms to ensure social inclusion.

The Zero Project was created in 2009 to support, monitor and highlight solution for the implementation of the convention. You can have a look at the result of our work on this website and in our previous reports, all available for download here.

The University of Tokyo will host a seminar on the 20 and 21 February 2016, on the Implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the role of Civil Society.

The Seminar will cover in details the situation of the rights of persons with disabilities in East Asia: China, Hong Kong, Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan and Japan. It will also be an opportunity to discuss practical and effective solutions.

In this regards, the Zero Project, represented by Amelie Saupe, was invited to present its most Innovative Practices and Policies. Her presentation is planned to be on the 20 February 2016, at 10:00, in the Lecture Room No. 1 (B1) of the Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.

The exact address is 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Japan 113-0033, and you can consult a map here: http://www.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/fservice/address/access-e.html

You can also download the Draft Programme of East Asian Seminar on CRPD Implementation and the Civil Society.


Here is good news to start the New Year for many of our partners and awardees of Innovative Practices and Policies:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made 6 million dollars available for programme inclusive of person with disabilities.

It concerns field missions only, and organizations must apply directly through their local USAID missions. Applications sent to USAID/Washington will not be considered. The fund will be giving to the local USAID mission, however participation is optional and therefore interested organizations should contact their local mission prior to submitting applications to verify their participation.
The deadline for missions to submit their concept papers to USAID/Washington is February 26, 2016, which means that you have to be in touch with the local missions quite some time before that. Missions will establish their own internal deadline to receive applications. Prospective applicants must check with their local USAID mission to verify additional deadlines and plan accordingly.

Mission contact information can be found at: https://www.usaid.gov/mission-directory

Contact them quickly, and good luck!

Zeroproject Review 2015

The Zero Project team wish you all a Happy New Year and seize this opportunity to present you an overview of our work during the past year.

First of all, thanks to your generous contribution, we had received at the end of July 337 nominations on inclusive education and ICT from 98 countries. The success of this call was due to a large diffusion by our partners. A careful selection process followed, and about 100 of the Innovative Practices and Policies were picked to be part of our report. Its publication is expected in February. Also thanks to you, we kept updated our map with indicators on the implementation of the UN CRPD.

Throughout the year, the Zero Project was invited to present the results of its work in different fora and conferences all around the world:

In February we had our fourth and very successful Zero Project Conference in Vienna.

In March, we presented our 2015 report in front a high-level public of ambassadors, permanent mission and UN staff, as well as other NGOs, during the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Mid-April, we organized an informal consultation with the CRPD Committee in Geneva.

Also in April, the Zero Project organized two conferences and published a report specific to Austria.

In June, four events featured the Zero Project at the 8th session of the CoSP to the UN CRPD in New York. By the way, you can also check out our download section for all our reports and press releases.

Also in June, Maths Jesperson presented the Zero Project Innovative Policy “Personal Ombudsmen System” at a conference organized by the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

In August, Michael Fembek presented a selection of successful practices on inclusive education during the 14th session of the CRPD Committee, in Geneva.

In October, the Zero Project attended the annual EASPD conference in Vienna.

At the end of October, we went to the UN DESA conference in Nairobi.

We also expended our partnerships, with international organisation like UNICEF as well as Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and Disabled People’s Organisation (DPOs). Our previous report was also covered in the European Yearbook of Disability Law.

Many of our awardees from the 2015 report on independent living and political participation got mediatic and institutional attention. You can have a glimpse of the success stories of organisations from JamaicaSingaporeIndiaJapan, and many other countries on our website.

Design4all Logo

Today we would like to suggest you a good opportunity to promote your innovative practices.

This initiative comes from Design for All, a non-profit organisation promoting research, knowledge development, promotion and application of design solution for an inclusive society.

They opened a call for nomination for the International Awards Design for All Foundation 2016, and the last day to compete will also be the last day of the year: 31/12/2015. So you still have 8 days.

To check if your product, service or project can be selected just click here.

It the result is positive, you can candidate by filling this form and you might receive the “Design for All Good Practice” label soon.

All Good Practices 2015 will be displayed in Paris at the URBACCESS fair in March 22nd and 23rd and the 5 best ones will receive the trophy during the Awards Ceremony.

European Commission Logo

Two days ago we told you about the international initiatives to include the rights of persons with disabilities into the universal sustainable development goals. The implementation of these initiatives is highly dependent on a strong political will, including at the regional level. Recently the European Union demonstrated such will.

As you can see on this video, on the 2nd December, the European Commission finally proposed the European Accessibility Act.

As a result, the most important products and services (from telephony to transport) will now have to be accessible from the start. This act will be especially useful for small businesses to take advantage of an EU market with one single set of requirements related accessibility, and will help to spread many of the small projects that we featured in our best practices during the past 4 years. And it will also stimulate innovation since requirements for accessibility will be a prerequisite to get EU funds.

And here are more examples of practices that could benefit from this EU regulation:

– The building of disability-smart business, by our partner the Business Disability Forum, will certainly be facilitated.

– More services like website for job research (see our 2013 report on employment), transport and accommodation (Railway or  buses, hotel see our 2014 report on accessibility) or even bank services will be  will surely be made more universal.

– Cultural services, like museum, will also be re-designed for all.

– Company will be encouraged to develop more accessible mobile Devices and online tools, such as the interactive city map for wheelchair user we reminded you about for the international day of person with disabilities.