Zero Project Report 2017 out now and available for download

The Zero Project has published its current research on employment and vocational education & training: 56 Innovative Practices and 11 Innovative Policies have been given awards as Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies of the Zero Project 2017. In addition, Zero Project Social Indicators measure the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in 120 countries, with a focus on employment (as defined in Article 27)

The Zero Project has started its second four-year research cycle and revisits employment – first covered in 2013. 260 practices and 48 policies were nominated by the Zero Project network of 3,000 experts, both with and without disabilities. Network members were also involved in evaluating, shortlisting, and voting for the most outstanding models using the criteria of innovation, impact and scalability. All Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies are now fully searchable, as is the project’s full database, using the new search algorithm on the Zero Project website – https://zeroproject.org.

The Zero Project Report also includes Social Indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD in 120 countries, using a survey that was completed by experts, both with and without disabilities, from the partner networks of DPI, World Federation of the Deaf, World Blind Union, and EASPD. The Social Indicators paint quite bleak pictures, especially when it comes to the availability of data regarding the employment of persons with disabilities. They do, however, also highlight some notable exceptions.

The Social Indicators cover, in addition, Goal 8 of the SDGs: the survey asked about the availability of data regarding employment of young people with disabilities, and about data on people living in institutions.

The Zero Project Report can be downloaded here.

Most of the award winners will be present at the Zero Project Conference 2017 to receive their awards personally. The Zero Project Conference can be viewed on a live-webstream and there are several other accessibility features. Details will be announced soon.

Contact information:
Dr. Michael Fembek
Zero Project, Director
Essl Foundation
c/o Haus der Philantropie
Schottenring 16/3
A-1010 Vienna, Austria

Download the full press release: Zero Project Report 2017 out now and available for download (English, MS Word)


“We grow up when we feel able and have a salary”

“The job search conducted me to the Municipal Office of Labour Information (OMIL) of La Granja. I was working as production operator but I was looking for something more motivating so I find the More Capable Program from Sence out and also the opportunity offered to be trained as pastry assistant at the Francisco Frías Valenzuela of my commune. When I started the training, I haven’t a lot of expectations, but now I realise that the best I could do is to register to the More Capable training.

Thanks to the labour intermediation component (managed by the OMIL), that is part of More Capable; I had the option to work at the same place where I was going to be trained (once the class hours are finished). It was better than my entire job search. I have worked in many different things but never in something I really liked.

A few months after finishing the training, already in my new job, I revived. At home I was always muted, I didn’t use any make up, I was fatter and this was a shot of energy. Now I have my own money, I count, I’m a women and I’m able. I can stand up and I don’t care if I’m alone; I’m happy.

Before the training I wasn’t able to make a cake, but a short time after the beginning I understood that I could. When I arrive to home and show my cakes, my family loved them; this was the most important for me. My kids could see a better mom, more secure. Before that we were limited in a lot of thing, like Internet because we had not enough money to pay it. Now I can pay this with my salary and my kids are happy. It’s crazy how we grow up when we feel able and have a salary.

Now I’m working at the pastry of the Líder Supermarket. I couldn’t be in safer hands”


Learn more about Chile’s Mas Capaz programme supporting persons with disabilities to access the labour market, especially disabled women and youth.

Nominations for The Right Livelihood Award 2017 are Open!

The Right Livelihood Award, also called the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, is an award for the people and their work and struggles for a better future. The Laureates come from all walks of life: they are farmers, teachers, doctors, or simply, concerned citizens.

The nominations deadline for the 2017 Right Livelihood Award is approaching! Do you know any individual or organisation who deserves the recognition and support of the Right Livelihood Award? Then send your proposal by 1 March 2017! Proposals from everyone through an open nomination process are accepted.

Check out their video to learn more!

Clever idea in inclusive and accessible design from Japan

The Japanese industrial standards require that the topmost part of milk cartons be indented so that people with visual impairments can distinguish it from other drinks by touch and tell whether they are getting whole milk instead of other dairy drinks. Although this is not compulsory, it seems that most manufacturers have implemented this rule.

Japan is making strong efforts on improving persons with disabilities’ life. In 2014, Japan has been awarded for an Innovative Policy 2014 on Accessibility, incentivizing individuals and housing providers to build dwellings that respect requirements on accessibility and usability by offering them lower interest rates.




1st World Conference on Supported Employment!

We are pleased to invite you to apply to the Employment for All awards 2017

The Conference, Employment for All – A Global Perspective, organized by our partner, EASPD and joined by EUSE; aims to identify and highlight different systems for inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and providing equal opportunities for them to access gainful employment and enable them to gain a greater control over their independence in terms of employment and financial stability. Different themes related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the labour market will be discussed.

It will take place from 14th to 16th of June 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Employment for All Award is given to Social Services/ Support Providers and Businesses or Employers who have designed and implemented effective systems for employment of people with disabilities.

Being the topic of our Zero Project Conference 2017, the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the workforce has been the focus of our work for the last months.


Check out the information about the conference,  the application process and fill out the application form before the 6th of February.

Disability Convention and Strategic Litigation

On 24 November 2016 Adolf Ratzka from the Independent Living Institute, one of our partners, organized a conference  on the implementation of the CRPD and disability discrimination law.

Different sessions of the conference discussed how to use strategic litigation as a tool for implementing the rights of persons with disabilities; the role of lawyers and lawyering in the implementation of protection against discrimination; and the role of civil society in enforcing disability law.

One of the speakers was Mr. Sid Wolinsky, an expert on strategic litigation and founder of Disability Rights Advocates, an organization that strengthened protection against discrimination associated with disability. In his video on strategic litigation, he explains ”law as tool to change society”.

Professor Gerard Quinn, one of the architects behind the steering wheel Convention, stressed that the legal and political processes are as important as the rights themselves.

This approach is possible not only in the US but also in other parts of the world where we can use the legal system in our struggle for inclusion and equal opportunities. The Zero Project‘s policy approach is heading in this direction by identifying innovative policies that advance the rights and improve the lives of persons with disabilities in the fields of accessibility, education, independent living and employment.

To use law as a tool, we need to learn how to use the law.

Find out more about the conference and speakers here.



WORLD’s new resources and data to improve the rights of persons with disabilities

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), The WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, has released a new set of resources in order to improve the quantity and quality of the rights of persons with disabilities in all 193 UN countries.

The package includes new global data, electronic maps, downloadable datasets, and social media content, alongside factsheets. The topic of the factsheets are listed below and they are all screen reader accessible and you can find large text versions and translations into Spanish and French on the WORLD’s website:

  • Assessing National Action on Education Rights for Children with Disabilities
  • Assessing National Action on Civil and Political Rights for Persons with Disabilities
  • Action on Supporting Access to Health for Persons with Disabilities
  • Assessing National Action on Work Rights for Persons with Disabilities

WORLD Policy Analysis Center has developed globally comparative, quantitatively analyzable data on many areas critical to adults and children with disabilities. The data produced examines whether equal rights for people with special needs have been recognized constitutionally, whether education is inclusive, and whether countries provide direct assistance to families to help with the additional financial costs of raising children with disabilities.


YPSA has been awarded by honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh

During a function on the occasion of the 25th International Day of Persons with Disabilities and 18th National Day of Persons with Disabilities, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarded Vashkar Bhattacharjee of YPSA as a successful person with disability for his outstanding contribution in disability and development, specially support to the activities of disability inclusive ICTs, making digital talking books, and making the skills and technology available for the people with disabilities. His great contribution will support to achieving the target of SDG by 2030.

Vashkar Bhattacharjee is the founder of Chittagong Computerized Braille production Centre and ICT and Resource Centre on Disability. He is also actively involved with a number of local, national and international agencies ranging from Bangladesh Visual Impaired Society to APCD Foundation in Thailand, among other activities on this issue.

The Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) has been awarded as an innovative practice by the Zero Project Conference 2016 on Education and ICT, for its accessible learning materials for students with visual impairments.