United Nations Logo

UN reaffirm commitment to the CRPD

At the 11th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Secretary General of the United Nations reaffirmed commitment to the CRPD by outlining details of a new review of how the United Nations addresses disability.

At a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 12th June 2018, António Guterres outlined the new initiative:
“The review will look at all aspects of how the United Nations addresses disability, from accessibility, where there is still a lot to go, and employment to mainstreaming disabilities across all our work, particularly development and humanitarian aid. It will inform a new UN Action Plan and an accountability framework to help us aim higher and live up to our promises”.

The review is aimed to “make sure that the United Nations is leading by example”

Read the full transcript of the speech on the UN website.

A while wheel over a multi-coloured background: Text: SDG's Global Dashboard www.sdgsdashboard.org

Global SDGs Dashboard Launched!

iTech Mission, an ISO certified social enterprise has launched an interactive Sustainable Development Goals Dashboard. The Dashboard is an amazing online tracking tool for the UN’s 17 goals and 169 underlying targets to be achieved by 2030.

The dashboard can be adapted by any country to track, monitor and report data on goals most critical to them. You can explore the tool from many angles – Starting with country or with goal, and present the data in a wide variety of visual formats.

Visit the website and start enjoying this impressive tool. You can also watch a video of the dashboard to learn more about the tool and how to use it.

The Microsoft logo

Microsoft Unveils $25 Million Disability Initiative

Microsoft has announced it is committing $25million to a new 5-year program that will make artificial intelligence tools available to developers with the goal of creating “accessible and intelligent solutions”. The project has been dubbed “AI for Accessibility” and was unveiled at Microsoft’s annual developer conference in Seattle. Read more about the unveiling from the Disability Scoop website.

The Disability Matters Logo - Silhouettes of persons with disabilities rising on a ramp

Apply for the Disability Matters Europe Award!

Springboard Consulting are once again asking for nominations for the Disability Matters Europe Award. The awards recognise effectiveness and sustainability of organisations’ disability-related initiatives.

Companies selected as a Disability Matters Europe Honoree will be asked to present at Springboard Consulting’s world renowned Disability Matters Conference from the 5th to 7th November in Horgen, Switzerland.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by contacting ivette@consultspringboard.com. Make sure to apply before the 29th June deadline!

Melissa Malzkuhn and Roberta Cordano pose for a photo with Martin Essl with their Zero Project award

Melissa Malzkuhn named an Obama fellow for 2018

We want to say a huge congratulations to Melissa Malzkuhn of Gallaudet University who has recently been named as an Obama Fellow for 2018. Malzkuhn, 2018 Zero Project Awardee, was selected as one of just 20 fellows, from a pool of over 20,000 applicants from 191 countries.

Melissa Malzkuhn presenting

Melissa Malzkuhn presenting at the Zero Project Impact Transfer


Obama Fellows are selected as powerful examples of the many pathways we can take to improve our communities and Malzkuhn was selected for her exceptional work in designing digital tools to give deaf children equal access to language, literacy, and expression.

Find out more about the fellows themselves by visiting the Obama Fellows website and find out more about the amazing work being done by Malzkuhn and Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Centre by read the Zero Project factsheet.


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation logo

Make your application for the Gulbenkian Prizes

The applications for the 2018 edition of the Gulbenkian Prizes are open until 30th of April.

The Gulbenkian Prizes aim to distinguish individuals or non-profit organisations in the following categories: Human Rights, Cohesion, Knowledge and Sustainability.

Specifically, in the Human Rights category, the Gulbenkian Prize aims to distinguish an individual or a non-profit organisation with international impact in promoting human rights. This year, this category focuses on the issue of freedom of expression, information and press.

Don’t miss the 30th April deadline! Make your nomination now and find out more information by visiting the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation website.

Michael Fembek with Martin Essl

EVPA – Interview with Michael Fembek, Director of the Zero Project


Martin Vogelsang

Martin Vogelsang at the Corporate and Entrepreneur Forum

We were incredibly happy to invite Martin Vogelsang from the European Venture Philanthropy Association to the UN in Vienna to take part in the Zero Project Conference.


Martin played a key role as an expert panellist in the Corporate and Entrepreneurship Forum, where he provided posed questions and provided advice to IT-related start-ups working in the assistive technology field.

Shortly after, Martin was able to catch up with Zero Project Director, Michael Fembek to find out more about the challenges and future vision of the Zero Project.

You can read the full interview by visiting the EVPA website.

Moshe Gaon speaking on stage at the ISCL Summit

By the year 2020, no one with a disability will feel alone – The vision of yoocan

At the ISCL Summit 2018 in Tel Aviv Moshe Gaon, CEO of yoocan passionately explained yoocan’s vision that “by the year 2020, no one with a disability will feel alone. yoocan wants to provide solutions and empowerment to every person with a disability around the globe.”

Gaon announced last month that yoocan Technologies would be launching the first early seed global assistive technologies hub and investors club. The hub and club are designed to allow early stage companies in the ecosystem receive the funding and market access support they need to accelerate their growth.

Yoocan was launched in 2016 as a global collaborative community, for and by people with disabilities. Stories from more than 100 countries are now shared on it, as well as information and knowledge from thousands of community members, organizations, service providers, innovators and vendors. It is now the world’s numbers one collaborative information and connection network for people with disability.

In ISCL summit there were 400 participants from over 40 countries who gathered to exchange information and build the next generation of startup community management tools, practices, and ideas. The ISCL summit’s goal was “to promote community mindsets and methodologies among startup enablers and creators by uniting and bringing together leading community managers from around the world.” Yoocan CEO was invited to share his vision and experience in building the yoocan global community.

For more information, check out yoocanfind.com or contact Moshe:  moshe@yoocantech.com.


The Disability Matters Logo - Persons with various disabilities walking up an orange slope

The Disability Matters Award Application Process has Opened!

For those of you who don’t know – The Disability Matters Conference is held annually in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and awards corporations around the globe who are mainstreaming disability. Awards are given in three categories: Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace, and in North America there are three additional awards Steps-to-Success, Disability Champion and Employer/Supplier of Choice. Don’t miss your chance to have your company publicly awarded at the Conference and to network with experts from academia, non-profit, corporations an government.

To request an award application for your company or to nominate someone else contact Ivette Lopez: ivette@consultspringboard.com (+973 813-7260 x102) or find out more by visiting the website.

Good luck!