Join the #AVoteForEveryVoice campaign from IFES

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) have launched a Twitter campaign to highlight the participation of women and persons with disability in political life. In December, IFES posted photos of disability advocates from around the world with statements that supported the rights of women and youth with disabilities under the hashtag  #AVoteForEveryVoice highlights. Get involved in this great campaign by visiting the IFES twitter account and view some of the inspiring pictures in the gallery.


Innovative Practices and Policies 2018 to be announced next week!

Next week we will finally be able to share with you the Zero Project Innovative Practices and Policies for 2018!

This year has been record breaking for many reasons – The highest number of nominations ever, the biggest and widest network of experts ever to vote, and the largest number of countries ever to be involved in the process. All this amazing effort from our friends, partners and our own modest team in Vienna has culminated in a list of 93 exceptional practices and policies.

We’re very excited to share these incredible, inspiring projects with you which span the length and breadth of the globe. From making it easier to get out and about in the Norwegian countryside, to accessing rehabilitation in Togo, and from hopping in a 24/7, 365 accessible taxi in the United States to planning accessible disaster evacuation strategies in Indonesia. Yes, this is indeed a tiny teaser of the projects we’re so proud to share with you, that aim to make the world just that little bit more accessible.

Stay tuned for the full list next week!

Still time to submit for the International Awards Design for All Foundation 2018!

There is still time to candidate for the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2018!

The International Design for All Foundation Good Practices Awards recognise achievements in the field of design for all, great and small, by governments, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and professionals from all over the world. They aim to demonstrate that the implementation of design for all/universal design in any form contributes towards improving quality of life for everyone.

Visit the website now to find out if your project, product or service is eligible and to fill out the form. Selected “Design for All Good Practices” will receive a certificate and be able to use the Design for All logo on materials related to the practice. Best practices will be selected by a jury and will receive the award itself in 2018.

Good luck!


Zero Project Presents at UN DESA

By Tom Butcher, Zero Project representative in the U.S.

The Zero Project was recently asked by Maria Martinho (Secretariat for the CRPD/DSPD/UNDESA) to present at the 5th Expert Group Meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-Inclusive Development at the UN in New York. As our representative here, I attended the meeting which took place at the headquarters of UNESCO over two days on December 13th and 14th.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the work conducted to date on, and what further needed to be accomplished for, the 2018 UN flagship report on disability and development to be published by its deadline later in 2018. To this end, in a series of sessions, experts presented the inputs received for specific sections of the report (each relating to either one SDG goal or a combination of such goals). These included, for example, the goals covering inclusive and accessible cities/human settlement (SDG 11), poverty and hunger (SDGs 1 and 2) and gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities (SDG 5).

On the second day of the meeting, following these individual sessions, we, along with two other experts, were asked to make presentations on our “ongoing work on disability”.

Tom Butcher with Maria Martinho at the UN DESA Conference December 2017

The first two presentations came from Nancy Bolt of the International Federation of Library Associations, who talked about international library policies and procedures for people with disabilities and the SDGs, and Willetta Waisath from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, who talked about building and using global law and policy data to monitor and advance rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
I, then, gave a very brief presentation about our work, in general, covering social indicators and innovative policies and, much more specifically, about what we had discovered to be the important elements that had contributed to the success of the 11 innovative policies selected for inclusion in the 2017 Zero Project Report on Employment.
The two days were both most interesting and constructive, and it was an honour for us to be included in such august company. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my time at the UN was both catching up with so many of our old friends who were there and introducing our work to people who had never heard of us.
Thank you, Maria!



Free EBook “Pflege zu Hause” – Care at home

Many people during their lives will have a close relative or friend needing a carer, or will need a carer themselves due to disability or old age. It can often be difficult to make a decision on where to get assistance from due to concerns over the quality of care and costs. have released a free e-book explaining how choosing care from an Eastern European nurse can be a sensible alternative. The e-book targets German-speaking countries and is therefore written in German only. Find out more and download the e-book on the 24-Stunden-Pflege website.

The European Disability Forum is recruiting!

The European Disability Forum is currently looking for a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) policy assistant for a duration of six months, based in Brussels.

The deadline for applications is the 15th January 2017, so if you’re interested make sure to apply as soon as possible by sending a CV and motivation letter to

Find out more about the role and required experience by visiting the EDF website.

2017 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards announced

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. Nine exemplary leaders within the disability community have been awarded for their extraordinary societal contributions. These international awards, first bestowed in 2013, remember the spirit and legacy of the Viscardi Center’s founder, Dr Henry Viscardi Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs.

We would like to say a special mention to awardees Vashkar Bhattarcharjee of Young Power in Social Action in Bangladesh, and Yuval Wagner, founder of Access Israel, both former awardees of the Zero Project.

Web Accessibility in 4 minutes from W3C

W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium have released a video, for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities explaining web accessibility. If you are new to web accessibility, or need a refresh on the subject, this video gives a great introduction to the benefits of making sites more accessible, plus techniques and standards which can be used to increase access for all.

For more tips, videos and instructions for improving web accessibility, visit W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative pages, or YouTube channel.

WSA Young Innovators 2017 announced!

One of our closest partners and good friends of the Zero Project, the World Summit Awards, have announced their global top 5 young innovators – The next generation digital change makers.

The awards celebrate young people, under 30, who are tackling the United Nations Sustainable Development goals with creative digital solutions.

Amongst the innovations is oPerception from Sudan – An intelligent mobile application that allows visually impaired people to find their personal belongings by scanning the surroundings in real-time using a specially developed object detection algorithm.

Congratulations to all the winners, who made it from a pool of nearly 500 applications, and through a two-phase online jury. Winners present their solutions and receive their awards at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna, Austria in March 2018.


Zero Project presents at Israeli Embassy

Last Monday Amelie Saupe presented the Zero Project in Tokyo to a delegation of 30 disability experts from Israel.
The event was hosted by the Israeli Embassy. The delegation’s visit to Japan is part of an annual initiative organised by Beit Ekstein. Every year a different country is visited in order to learn, to meet and to analyse how the activities of the disability community in Israel are comparing. With the support of Zero Project a 3 day program could be arranged, to get insights into employment and education projects in Tokyo and Japan. Beit Ekstein provides person centered services for persons with disabilities in order to increase the quality of life and social inclusion.