The annual Zero Project Conference is the highlight of our year here at the Zero Project. It is an opportunity to celebrate all the innovations we discover during our annual research cycle, and to bring together global experts committed to a world without barriers for people with disabilities. Since our first conference, the accessibility of the conference has been a key focus of the Zero Project.

We want to make the Zero Project Confer­ence an example of ‘good practice’ in terms of conference accessibility, and every year we work to improve the fea­tures and measures we offer. In 2018, our accessibility partner Escola de Gente evaluated the accessibility of the Conference, and their recommendations were key to some of the improvements we trialled for the first time in 2019, such as live audio description for video material and making information available in easy-to-read formats. In 2019, we asked all participants for their feedback on the accessibility of the conference, and are using this feedback to introduce additional measures in 2020. We know we still have work to do, and we can only do this in collaboration with partners across our vast global network.

ZERO PROJECT CONFERENCE ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES

Cover of the Zero Project Conference Accessibility GuidelinesTo support this, we have decided to document our work on conference accessibility, in the hope that by being transparent and sharing our ideas, we will improve our own work in this area and support other organisations looking to do the same.

We are therefore publishing the Zero Project Conference Accessibility Guidelines. We have developed these guidelines in re­sponse to requests we have had from partners who want to make their own meet­ings and conferences more accessible. They are based on what we have learned through implementing new measures and receiving feedback.

“We hope these guidelines, based on our experiences and the insights of the Zero Project community, will be a helpful contribution to the discussion on conference accessibility. We look forward to continuing to share our work and learning from others to constantly improve the accessibility of the Zero Project Conference.”

Martin Essl, Founder of the Essl Foundation

In order to make this guide as practical as possible, we have concentrated on measures we have first-hand experience of implementing. We are aware that these guidelines therefore do not cover everything. We hope that people using these guidelines, or those who have expertise in the areas we have not included, will share their experiences and knowledge with us.

We are grateful to all the organisations who work with us to implement accessibility measures at the conference in Vienna and the wider Zero Project network for their support in doing this. We would also like to thank our accessibility partner Escola de Gente for their ongoing collaboration and support, and for providing a foreword to the guidelines.

“We support these guidelines as we want plural and non-discriminatory societies, in which persons with disabilities are not an exception, but an intrinsic part. We want inclusive and sustainable societies – also for humanity with disabilities.”

Claudia Werneck, Founder of Escola de Gente

NEXT STEPS

Alongside these guidelines, we have also been developing a discussion paper on conference accessibility, which we will publish in early 2020. We will present the guidelines at the Zero Project Conference 2020 and are committed to col­lecting feedback and using this to improve both the accessibility at the Zero Project Conference and future editions of these guidelines. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please let us know at office@zeroproject.org.

Group of people smiling and posing in three rows facing the camera with Zero Project and Zero Project Impact Transfer banners behind them

The Zero Project Impact Transfer program is a partnership between the Essl Foundation, Fundación Descúbreme and Ashoka. It supports organisations to replicate their social impact and innovation in other countries and contexts. The goal of the program is to help proven innovations to spread so that we do not have to reinvent the wheel.

This year is the third year of the Zero Project Impact Transfer and our first year working in partnership with Fundación Descúbreme. 21 projects have already been through the program in the last two years and have presented their innovations and replication plans at the Zero Project Conferences in 2017 and 2018. You can watch a one minute round up of the Impact Transfer session at Zero Project Conference 2019 here.

Previous participants have built on contacts made at the Conference to take forward replication in a number of new countries around the world. Enable India (2018) is taking forward plans for replicating its mobile phone-based disability information service in Ethiopia, the Museum of Modern Art (2018) in the USA has run training on accessibility programs with cultural institutions in Germany, and Greta & Starks (2019) received impact investment following this year’s Conference to scale their app making cinema .

2019/20 participants

We are delighted to announce the participants for this year’s Zero Project Impact Transfer program. There are 10 participants from nine countries taking part, all hoping to find the right partners to replicate their innovative education initiatives globally. The participating projects range from early childhood projects through to vocational training programmes.

  • Amar Seva Sangam (India) – enabling access to early intervention therapy for children in India’s rural communities
  • Association for Shared Learning ELA (Bulgaria) – ‘One School For All’, offering schools a structured and systematic approach to making their policies and processes inclusive
  • capito Mecklenburg Vorpommern (Germany) – ‘New Ways to Art’, training people with disabilities to become museum guides
  • Humanity and Inclusion Senegal (Senegal) – a programme to identify, support and enrol primary-school aged children with disabilities and strengthen inclusive education in Senegal
  • inABLE (Kenya) – providing assistive technology computer labs in specialist schools for blind students in Kenya
  • KVPS (Finland) – ‘On the Verge of Adulthood’, a programme supporting transition from secondary education
  • Livox (Brazil) – alternative communication platform for people who cannot communicate verbally, or people with learning difficulties
  • Manzil Centre (United Arab Emirates) – a comprehensive education & vocational programme for people with disabilities, offering support from pre-education through to post-employment
  • Nayi Disha Resource Centre (India) – an online platform to empower parents of children with intellectual disabilities
  • Universidad Andres Bello (Chile) – a three-year vocational training programme for students with intellectual disabilities

We will be sharing more detailed information about all these projects in the run up to the conference in February. You can also visit the Zero Project Impact Transfer webpage for updates on previous years’ participants and this year’s cohort.

If you are interested in learning more about these innovations and how you could support their replication, please contact Paula Reid from the Zero Project team on p.reid@zeroproject.org.

Essl Foundation and Fundación Descúbreme are entering a long-term partnership to expand the Zero Project mission of a world without barriers to the Spanish-speaking community worldwide. Fundación Descúbreme is also joining forces in the accelerator program Zero Project-Impact Transfer and will organize an annual Zero Project Conference in Santiago de Chile.

Vienna/Santiago de Chile, 6th December 2019: Essl Foundation and Fundación Descúbreme are announcing a long-term partnership to expand the Zero Project mission of a world without barriers to the Spanish-speaking community worldwide. Essl Foundation maintains strategic leadership of the Zero Project in full consultation with Fundación Descúbreme. Essl Foundation operates and finances the annual conference in Vienna and Fundación Descúbreme operates and finances the annual conference in Santiago, both under the brand of the Zero Project.

The organisations are also joining forces with Ashoka to broaden the Zero Project Impact Transfer programme worldwide.

“To contribute to a world without barriers in the areas of education, employment, urban development and independent living /political participation we aim to reach many more people with disabilities through innovations in the future. In partnering with Fundación Descúbreme, the Essl Foundation is taking another step forward in achieving this goal in Spanish speaking countries and is very much looking forward to this cooperation!” – Martin Essl, Founder of the Essl Foundation

The Essl Foundation has been working on the topic of social inclusion for persons with disabilities and has accumulated extensive knowledge on four strategic topics. This knowledge can be used by organizations either in the public or private sector – currently facing new challenges for people with disabilities in Spanish-speaking countries. Therefore, we are very grateful for the opportunity and hope to have a fruitful partnership with the Essl Foundation, starting with the Zero Project Conference in Santiago.” – Carola Rubia, Executive Director of Fundación Descúbreme

 

Essl Foundation and Fundación Descúbreme will co-publish the Zero Project Report in Spanish Language, will launch a Spanish-speaking website and open a news channel in Spanish. Most importantly, Fundación Descúbreme will organize the Zero Project-Latin America Conference annually, starting in early May with the topic of education.

 

A great opportunity to build a world without barriers, starting in February in Vienna and in May in Santiago with the topic of education.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Michael Fembek Carola Rubia Durán
Director of the Zero Project Executive Director Fundación Descúbreme
Essl Foundation Fundacion Descubreme
m.fembek@esslfoundation.org carola.rubia@descubreme.cl

 

Two people stand in front of an exhibition backdrop with the Zero Project Impact Transfer logo and a video screen. Beside them is a table with papers on it.

It has been a busy week for the Zero Project team! We have been travelling all over to take part in a range of exciting events, including activities for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with partners from across the globe. We have had the opportunity to talk about the work of the Zero Project and meet so many inspiring people, all committed to a world without barriers for persons with disabilities.

One of these events was the Sabanci Foundation’s annual Philanthropy Seminar in Istanbul at the beginning of the week. We were honoured to be invited and were there to talk about the Zero Project Impact Transfer programme, which we deliver in partnership with Ashoka and which supports social innovations to scale their impact to other geographies. We will shortly be announcing this year’s participants, so stay tuned!

The Sabanci Foundation seminar was a fantastic opportunity to meet new contacts and existing partner organisations based in Turkey, including some previous Zero Project awardees! It gave us an opportunity to introduce this year’s Impact Transfer projects to potential partners and see which of this year’s innovations might be relevant to organisations working in Turkey. It was also a chance to connect with some of our international partners, such as Access Israel, Light for the World and Greta and Starks, who were also presenting their work at the conference. The panel session on ‘Empowerment through Education’, featuring a great range of speakers, was thought-provoking and inspiring, particularly given the Zero Project’s focus on education this year, and Yetnebersh Nigussie from Light for the World gave a fantastic keynote speech.

We are grateful to all our partners who support our work, invite us to take part in their events and allow us to develop the Zero Project network even further. We hope to have the opportunity to see many more of our partners, and make new contacts, in 2020! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on our work.

Join advocates and leaders from outside the UN system to have a candid conversation on employment issues affecting persons with disabilities.

The event will be held on December 3rd 2019 at 3:00 pm-6:00 pm at the United Nations Secretariat building in the ECOSOC chamber in New York City.

Read the “This is My Workplace” event information sheet.

Please RSVP using the following link to attend and receive more information about the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-2019-this-is-my-workplace-registration-81996286099

The first is a set of Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. They are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities.

The second publication is a case study in collaboration with UNICEF on Access to Humanitarian Aid in Mozambique. The case study is a major output of Light for the World’s work post-Cyclone Idai in Mozambique; it shows clear examples of how to turn these guidelines into a practice.

Check out the publications below:

IASC guidelines

Access to Humanitarian Aid Case Study

In observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Kessler Foundation together with the United Nations’ Office of Human Resources is celebrating the “This Is My Workplace” event.

Join advocates and leaders from outside the UN system to have a candid conversation on employment issues affecting persons with disabilities.

The event will be held on December 3rd 2019 at 3:00 pm-6:00 pm at the United Nations Secretariat building in the ECOSOC chamber in New York City.

The global community must ensure that no one is left behind and join the “This is My Workplace” movement to create and promote a truly inclusive culture in the workplaces where everyone can succeed and perform to their full potential!

Read the “This Is My Workplace” event information sheet

Please RSVP using the following link to attend and receive more information about the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-2019-this-is-my-workplace-registration-81996286099

The UN DMSPC/OHR annual International Day for Persons with Disabilities event is almost here and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

What: With the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, launched by the Secretary-General in June 2019, the United Nations is increasing its efforts to attract, recruit, develop and retain persons with disabilities. The United Nations Secretariat, with endorsement from the Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance United Nations- Martha Helena Lopez, have come together with the Kessler Foundation, which is one of the largest public charities in the United States supporting persons with disabilities, to organize the “This is MY Workplace” movement.

The event brings together advocates and leaders from outside the UN system to have a candid conversation on issues affecting persons with disabilities. This year’s event will be focusing on a core issue for true integration- Employment.

Why: We, the global community, must ensure that no one is left behind and raise our voices and join the “This is MY Workplace” movement to create and promote a truly inclusive culture in our workplaces where everyone can succeed and perform to their full potential. A disability-inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do, it is also a practical one: sustainable development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included equally.

Where: The event will be held on December 3rd 2019 at 3:00 pm-6:00 pm at the United Nations Secretariat building in the ECOSOC chamber in New York City.

Please RSVP using the following link to attend and receive more information about the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-2019-this-is-my-workplace-registration-81996286099

The SozialMarie logo

The 16th call for proposals for SozialMarie is open! Prizes are awarded for projects that design and implement innovative solutions to societal challenges. Calls are welcome from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Projects from Slovenia should not be more than 300 km away from Vienna.

15 solutions will be awarded, with the top 3 solutions receiving prize money of €15,000, €12,000 and €5,000. The other 12 projects will receive prize money of €2,000 each.

The deadline to submit the applications is 21st January 2020.

For more information please visit the SozialMarie website.

UN DESA logo

UN Enable have published a new web page which includes more than 100 disability strategies/action plans. The page aims at facilitating knowledge sharing and identification of good practices in disability-inclusive development and the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Go to the webpage and find out what action plans are in place for your country, or the country that you’re working in. If you are involved in national disability strategies or action plans which are not shown on the web page, make sure to let them know!