Evy-Anni Evensen and Kjersti Berg of Telemark County Council holding their winner certificate

It’s always great to hear from former winners. It was already a good month for our great friends in the county of Telemark, Norway, who were referenced in the recent UN flagship report on disability and development. But the good news doesn’t keeps coming! Their excellent work making accessible footpaths will continue in 2019. Three railroads have stopped running in the region, offering a fabulous opportunity to create new paths.

We wish them all the best in 2019 and look forward to seeing their continued progress.

To learn more about the project, read the factsheet on the Zero Project website and learn about the effect it has on the lives of those who use it by reading the story of Anne-Lise Dahl.

Banner - Awardees announced next week!

We’re almost there! The factsheets have been written, the report is being formatted and the printer is warming up. In just one week we’ll be able to reveal more than 70 projects that will be announced as Zero Project 2019 Awardees.

These projects have made it through a tough process including two rounds of scoring and reviewing by experts from around the world and have been whittled down from the 318 hopeful applicants that put their cases forward back in the summer.

Since you’ve been so patient, maybe we can give you a little teaser…

We are looking at support for Indigenous persons with disabilities in Canada, election study groups for persons with intellectual disabilities in Sweden, solar-powered hearing aids in Botswana, tactile ballot papers in Turkey and a very “Neate” box in the UK. Can you guess any of them?

2019 in Zero Project green with the Zero Project logo replacing the 0

A very happy new year from the Zero Project! All of us here wish you the best for 2019! What amazing things did you achieve in 2018? Let us know!

Let’s take a little time to reflect on what happened at the Zero Project in 2018. With the help of our incredible partners and friends around the globe we achieved more than we could have dreamed of. Some of our highlights are:

  • We hit our maximum capacity for the Zero Project Conference for the first time – We could never have imagined all those years ago that we’d actually have to be turning people away who wish to attend the conference. As much as we’d have liked, we just couldn’t fit any more innovators, leaders and policy makers into the 2018 Zero Project Conference!

    A large conference room, full of participants

    The main room is packed at the 2018 Zero Project Conference. ©Pepo Schuster, austrofocus.at

  • We introduced the Zero Project Impact Transfer – We partnered with our friends at Ashoka Austria who roped in experienced mentors and experts to help prepare ten Zero Project Awardees to build their models for replication around the globe, culminating in presenting on stage at the Zero Project Conference. Exciting news from some of those projects soon…
  • We grew our following on Facebook by 40% – Over 4,500 people now like the Zero Project on Facebook! Our Facebook videos were viewed over 75,000 times. For our small team, this is truly mind-blowing! Thank-you!
  • We awarded 68 practices and 15 policies – Possibly the most enjoyable part of our work. We were able to celebrate such a range of organisations and projects, from all around the world at the Zero Project Conference award evening.
  • We started two brand new side projects – An accessible IT academy in Vienna – An inclusive course for Cyber Security and Data Protection which is due for it’s first intake in early 2019, and, TOPHOUSE – A project with our partners from around Europe, which aims to support professionals to be inclusive and effective in the social housing system.

    Two people signing forms at an information desk in an event hall

    Interest in the Accessible IT Academy at an information event

  • We presented the Zero Project Anthem for the first time – The inaugural performance of the Zero Project Anthem took place in the rotunda of the United Nations in day 2 of the conference. And what fun it was. Check out the performance, along with 100 students of the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Thank you for being part of our journey in 2018.

EuroFound report front page. A lady types on her smart phone. Report title: Social and employment situation of people with disabilities

A special forum at the Zero Project 2019 Conference in February will look at data – How to collect it, how best to interpret it and how and who to present it to. We are delighted that Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) will be joining us for this session to share their insights. This is especially timely off the back of their recent publication of their excellent policy brief which looks at the social and employment situation of persons with disabilities.

Find out more and read the report itself by visiting the Eurofound website.

 

Banner of "Switching focus" report. Whose responsibility to improved disabled people's employment and pay

Indeed! What can they do? A great question and one that we try to tackle in part every 4 years when our topic of Employment comes along. But four years can be a long time to wait. In the meantime, we can point you towards an excellent publication by good friend of the Zero Project, Liz Sayce.

You can find the full report, an easyread executive summary and Word version:

Full Report

Easyread executive summary

Word version

Zero Project Snowman in green

It’s that time of year again. The Zero Project will take a little break and enjoy the holidays. And so should you too! We’ll be back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle final preparations for #ZeroCon19!  See you on the other side!

An empty row of chairs in a meeting room with a green Zero Project banner in the background

We are delighted to announce that the first-ever United Nations Report on Disability and Development has referenced Zero Project Innovative Practices and Policies 50 times. The report, released on International Day of Persons with Disabilities was published by, for, and with, persons with disabilities, in the hopes of fostering more accessible, and disability-inclusive societies. It provides direct links to the factsheets in the Endnotes section. Not only this, the report has included dedicated sections to outline examples of good practices, sharing in our passion for presenting solutions.

Secretary-General António Guterres said the report “shows that people with disabilities are at a disadvantage” regarding most SDGs, “but also highlights the growing number of good practices that can create a more inclusive society in which they can live independently”.

We are honoured that the United Nations has used the Zero Project as a source of so many good practices! This is the whole reason we exist – to find and share outstanding innovations with the world, in the hope they get recognition, support, opportunities to grow and replicate, and act as a source of inspiration. We also hope this shows what can happen when a project is selected as an awardee.

We will be contacting those former awardees who have been referenced in the report individually to celebrate their great achievements over the coming weeks. We’ll also be looking more deeply into the report to see what we can learn from it going forward. But before that, we just want to say a huge congratulations to all those who have been referenced. We are very proud of you all!

Shaking hands in front of a Zero Project banner

Here’s a little secret from the Zero Project – We selected our awardees back in October! I don’t know how we have kept the news to ourselves as we’ve been absolutely bursting to tell you about these incredible projects on the topic of Independent Living and Political Participation.

And they are…

Sorry, you will have to wait just a little bit longer! We’re still putting the finishing touches to the report and website to do justice to these outstanding projects.

A huge thanks to all the amazing people who have been working so hard to provide us with all their information, pictures and stories to allow us to share their projects with the world!

And thanks to everyone else for being so patient with us through this long process. We can assure you the wait is worth it!

The Zero Project Team having a discussion in the middle of large empty United Nations conference room

How time flies! This week we found ourselves back at the United Nations, already planning the 2019 Zero Project Conference. In just over two months we will welcome around 600 participants from over 60 countries to Vienna, Austria to join us in discussing, networking with, and celebrating innovations that help improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

We are currently putting together an ambitious programme on our 2019 topic of Independent Living and Political Participation, and there’s so much that we can’t wait to share with you!

As a little taster we’ll be:

  • Linking up with our good friends at Ashoka Austria again to present 11 scalable models, having primed them for replication at the Zero Project Impact Transfer Forum;
  • Discussing accessible elections, voting systems and balloting techniques from around the world;
  • Learning what good self-representation for persons with intellectual disabilities looks like in a couch session presented by self-representatives;
  • Finding out how persons with disabilities can navigate the criminal justice system fairly;
  • Awarding over 70 Innovative Policies and Practices at a dedicated award ceremony with backstage interviews; and,
  • Presenting the results of the TOPHOUSE project with our partners from around Europe, which aims to support professionals to be inclusive and effective in the social housing system.

And so much more…

Stay tuned!

G3ict logo

The DARE Index, in its first edition, features 121 individual country report cards, rankings and analysis aimed at providing global benchmarks for disability advocates, governments and private sector organizations to assess their progress and identify opportunities in implementing digital accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Find out more about the Index, including how it is put together and how you can use it by visiting the G3ict website.