Zero Project Logo

I have the confidence to make life choices I could never even imagine.

My name is Rodrigo and I am 29 years old from Cuernavaca, Mexico. When I arrived at Unidos it was something unexpected because I had never separated from my family. In spite of this, my parents considered it important for me to attend and socialize. I loved it because for the first time in my life I had my own friends, friends who were not my mom’s or my dad’s or anyone else’s friends. They were my own friends! I’ve never in my life enjoyed something as much as Unidos. Thanks to Unidos now I have the confidence to make life choices I could never even imagine. I´m going to take acting lessons and have a part time job.

Find out more about Unidos’ social inclusion programmes by reading the Unidos factsheet.

A photo of Patricio in his pig farm

“Now I am raising pigs and getting support for it from the municipality.”

My name is Patricio and I am 38 years old. Seven years ago, due to an accident at work, I lost my right leg. For four years I took refuge in alcohol and did not want to leave the house. I separated from my wife and daughters.

The field promoter of the MINKA project visited me a few times in my home to invite me to meetings of the local self-help group. After much reluctance I decided to attend the meetings, and since then I have not stopped.

I have also actively participated in meetings for the elaboration of the local disability law in my municipality, and I have defended the ordinance at town hall meetings.

My life has changed radically.

I am currently the president of the new association of people with disabilities in the municipality of Espíndola. I have returned to work and have obtained support for the raising of pigs, thanks to compliance with the local law that states that the municipality will support the small businesses of people with disabilities and their families. Now I travel to other towns in the municipality to disseminate and promote compliance with the ordinance.

But most importantly, I have regained confidence in myself and have re-established my family.

Read more about the MINKA project in this factsheet.

TOPHOUSE logo

We are excited to announce that the TOPHOUSE Report on person-centred housing is now available for download.

The TOPHOUSE Report “Including Person-Centered Approaches and User Involvement in Integrated Housing and Support”, coordinated by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), is intended to serve as an overview at European level of existing promising practices on integrated housing & support, with a particular focus in four EU countries (Austria, Finland, Ireland and Spain).

The TOPHOUSE Report aims at serving as a reference and supporting document not only for the development and implementation of the TOPHOUSE project but also for other upcoming projects committed to the promotion of the Integrated Housing & Support principles. That is why some findings and a conclusions chapter are included, outlining a possible way forward on how to develop adequate housing assessment & allocation processes and how to do this specialist job more consistently.

Find out more by going to the TOPHOUSE page on the Zero Project website and download the report here.

World Health Organization logo

On 22 and 23 August 2019, the GATE team will be hosting the GReAT Consultation 2019 in Geneva. This meeting will bring academics, practitioners, policy makers, and assistive technology users together to guide the content development of the Global Report on effective access to Assistive Technology. The Global Report was requested by the 71st World Health Assembly within the resolution Improving Access to Assistive Technology.

WHO is now calling for contributions from across the globe to be presented and discussed during the 2-day consultation, to ensure that the Global Report will cover a range of different approaches to improving access to assistive technology across all cultural contexts. As an attendant of the GREAT Summit in 2017, we would greatly appreciate your contribution towards the development of the Global Report by sharing any work you have been or are working on related to improving access to assistive technology.

You can submit your contribution here: https://reg.unog.ch/event/28661/user/login?returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Freg.unog.ch%2Fevent%2F28661%2Fcall-for-abstracts%2Fsubmit

For more information on the timeline, content guidelines, and how to submit your contribution, please click here: https://www.who.int/phi/implementation/assistive_technology/GReAT_Consultation_2019_Call_for_Contributions_guidance.pdf?ua=1

The call will close on 31st March 2019. If you have any questions about the submission and selection process, please email: greatconsultation2019@gmail.com

Photo of Hun Sreynak, a user of Light for the World`s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities programme

“We are helped, and we help other women with disabilities through setting up our own projects.”

My name is Hun Sreynak and I contracted polio at the age of three. I was not able to walk, and when I wanted to start attending school my parents told me I could not do so because of my disability. So I spent a whole year teaching myself to walk so I could attend school.

I faced discrimination in many ways during my school years, and especially at university where I had to crawl up the stairs to class on the third and fifth floors. This is the situation for many people with disabilities in Cambodia – they face discrimination in all stages of life, especially women.

In 2016, I applied and got accepted to Light for the World’s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities programme. Here I met many women with different types of disabilities, and I learned that I was not alone! We all had good times together and enjoyed the training. This programme empowers us: we learn, share, and practice monitoring and evaluation, all of which provides us with meaningful opportunities to demonstrate our competency and ability to other people.

We are helped, and we help other women with disabilities through setting up our own projects. In 2017, my new leadership skills were acknowledged as I formally joined Light for the World as a Programme Liaison Officer; and in 2018, I received a scholarship for a Master’s programme in Disability Studies in Kuala Lumpur.

Read more about Light for the World’s Leadership Skills for Women with Disabilities project in their factsheet.

Photo of Osku Timonen holding his EU Disability Card

“I could enjoy the music on an accessible platform and with a good view.”

My name is Osku Timonen, and in June 2018 I became one of the very first recipients of an EU Disability Card in Finland. I don’t need any assistive devices, but in my daily life I do need some help, for example, while carrying food and drinks.

The card has already proven very useful in several situations. For instance, last summer I had a chance to participate in a number of music festivals, and in each instance the festival staff warmly welcomed me after I showed them my EU Disability Card. As a result, I was able to enjoy the music on an accessible platform and with a very good view of the main stage. The card has also been useful on the Finnish railways, where I have readily found someone to help me to carry my things. And in the cinemas the card has been an easy way to prove my disability and my need for assistance.

As I’m a very keen traveller, I am hoping that the EU Disability Card will also prove helpful while travelling abroad.

You can find out more about the EU Disability Card by reading the factsheet.

A photo of Enya, a beneficiary of the Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Programme (PREPACE)

“My father publicly apologized to me for being so overprotective.”

My name is Enya. I was born in a home with three brothers in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Being the only girl and living with cerebral palsy, I had all the affection but also the overprotection of my family, and so grew up as a shy child. I graduated from high school with the support of the PREPACE Inclusive Education Programme, but I could not go to university due to economic and accessibility difficulties.

This harsh reality motivated me to participate as a founder of the Honduran Independent Living Movement (MOVIH), and I was selected to travel to Osaka, Japan, to take the course on Independent Living at the Mainstream Independent Living Centre. I had to persuade myself that I could do it, and I had to persuade my parents to give me permission.

I returned with a positive attitude, surer of myself and of what I wanted from life. I travelled the country convening conferences, but my family still put obstacles in my way. My father attended a training conducted by MOVIH on the role of parents in the lives of people with disabilities. As a result, he publicly apologized to me for being so overprotective and for having limited me by deciding for me. From that moment on, he promised to respect my decisions, and he has complied.

Yuo can read more about the programme in the PREPACE factsheet.

The Disability Rights Fund Logo

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) – a grantmaking collaboration between donors and the global disability community which supports the human rights and inclusion in development of persons with disabilities – announces the opening of a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) in Malawi, Myanmar, and Nigeria. DPOs in Haiti and Indonesia are invited to apply by invitation only. The deadline for RFP submission is March 22, 2019.

Interested organizations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and RFP details posted on the Fund’s website, at http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/for-grantseekers/. Any questions about the request for proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org.

Disability hub europe logo including tag line For sustainable growth and social innovation

The launch event for Disability Hub Europe for Sustainable Growth and Social Innovation (DHub) will take place at the European Parliament, Brussels on 21st March 2019 from 14:00 to 18:00.

DHub is a singular collaborative European thematic platform, providing involved organizations an innovative, valuable and differentiating opportunity to stand out and reinforce their sustainability leadership and action linked to people with disabilities. The final aim of DHub, aligned with the SDG 17 “Partnerships for the goals”, is to foster social and labour inclusion of people with disabilities in Europe while promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses.

On 21st March 2019, we will be at the eve of key rendez-vous – including the European elections – that will influence our Europe’s 2030 Agenda. We will meet with professional from diverse horizons (companies, European Institutions, civil society organisations, academics) to discuss on what DHub has to offer and how multi-stakeholder alliances can foster social and labor inclusion of people with disabilities in Europe while promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses.

Find out more at the launch event website.

What to expect in the coming months

So much has happened over the last few weeks. It was impossible to read, watch and hear everything that happened across those three busy days!

But don’t worry! There are so many ways that you can still be involved in the best of #ZeroCon19 over the coming weeks and months. So here is a little timeline of what to expect from us going forward.

Photos from the Conference

We are already uploading photos from the Zero Project Conference, covering all three days. You can access them all from the Zero Project Conference page.

Videos of the Conference

Caroline Casey presenting in front of the audience with a Zero Project poster behind

Caroline Casey opening #ZeroCon19

All sessions in all three rooms were filmed for all three days of the Zero Project Conference. We will publish the full videos on the Zero Project YouTube channel very soon!

Life Stories

In the coming months we will share real-life stories of people who have benefitted from the awarded projects. They will tell their stories of what their life was like before and how the projects have impacted their lives.

Highlight clips

Over the coming weeks we will share some short highlights from the conference on social media. This will include inspirational quotes or comedic moments.

Conference Accessibility Report

We will be publishing a report on the accessibility of the conference which includes feedback from participants and partner organisation, with the aim of learning lessons and improving accessibility. The paper will talk through each of the measures, the decision-making process and will analyse which methods were successful and which did not work. Watch this space…