On 17th July 2013 the Zero Project will support hosting the side event “Economic empowerment of persons with disabilities: where we are now and the way forward post-2015″at the 6th Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The event is co-organized by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights as well as the Permanent Missions of Austria, Finland, Thailand and New Zealand, and is taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The discussion will focus on ways to include the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 agenda in light of the forthcoming High-level Meeting on Disability and Development and beyond, with a focus on promoting decent work opportunities and ensuring the realization of employment rights (Article 27 of the CRPD) as essential means to achieve economic empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities. In the presence of various international organizations and disabled people’s organizations the Zero Project will, among others, present its findings of 2013 concerning employment rights of persons with disabilities.

The Conference Programme can be found at: http://www.zeroproject.org/about/presentations/newyork/programme/

The 2nd Annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy is held on June 27 and 28, in Athens. During its Session on “Supporting the Underprivileged, and Contributing to Creating a Social Welfare Society – Disability and Accessibility”, Michael Fembek, Zero Project Coordinator,  will present the Zero Project and our most recent research topic on UN CRPD Article 9 – Accessibility:

  •     Daphne Economou, President, Cerebral Palsy Greece
  •     Michael Fembek, Program Manager, Zero Project, ESSL Foundation
  •     Francesca Rosenberg, Director of Community, Access, and School Programs, Museum of Modern Art
  •     Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities

The conference programme can be found at: http://snf.org/index.php?ID=news_EN&Rec_ID=7000

As well, a Live Stream will be available at: http://snf.org/index.php?ID=news_EN&Rec_ID=7175

On 11th June 2013 our Head of Policy Research, Ingrid Heindorf, will be presenting the Zero Project during a speed dating event at the 11th European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) Conference in Dublin, Ireland. Being held in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EUSE conference will take place at Croke Park Stadium and Conference Centre, June 11th – 13th, and represents an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest advances and development in supporting people with disabilities and mental health difficulties into jobs and in retaining workers who acquire a disability during their working lives. More than 50 talks, events and parallel workshop sessions will be presented from 30 countries across five continents. Speakers include Dr. Paul Wehman from the U.S., an international esteemed expert and one of the original founders of supported employment, and Dr. Rachel Perkins from the U.K., one of the country’s most preeminent experts on mental health and employment, who is founder of one of the Zero Project’s selected Innovative Policies 2013. Workshops will take place throughout the three day conference in areas such as mental health, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and assistive technology in the workplace. The full programme is available here.

“What works in practice? The right (to) support? Findings of the Zero Project Report 2013 on employment rights of persons with disabilities” – with this title our Head of Policy Research, Ingrid Heindorf, will be presenting our research on 30th May 2013 at the 12th Research Conference of the Nordic Network on Disability, in Turku, Finland. The NNDR2013 conference is expecting 300 participants and the programme includes over 200 presentations. It brings together researchers, policy makers, activists and practitioners to share scholarship and ideas, and provides a forum for Nordic and international collaboration in disability studies. The conference is organized by Nordic Network of Disability Research and Finnish Association for Disability Research and keynote speakers are Eva Feder Kittay, Dan Goodley, Jan Grue and Kalle Könkkölä. The full programme is available here.

Spring has also arrived on wheelmap.org. The Sozialhelden crew let new features bloom on their interactive website on the accessibility of public places such as restaurants, bars, supermarkets and banks. Users can mark public spaces as accessible, partly accessible or not accessible with a traffic light system for wheelchair users. Besides knowing about a certain place and its accessibility before actually going there and therefore possibly saving time and efforts, wheelmap.org promotes social inclusion and brings accessibility to the public eye.

Screenshot wheelmap.org

New projects are presented online which invite people to engage and become a supporter. These projects focus – among others – on schools or architects, but also on local action days on mapping a certain area regarding accessibility or information for companies on improving accessibility.

Please read more about Wheelmap.org here or find more information on www.wheelmap.org.

(c) The Accessibility Foundation

The second Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) took place on May 9th! According to the founders of GAAD it “is a community-driven effort whose goal is to dedicate one day to raising the profile of and introducing the topic of digital (web, software, mobile app/device, etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities to the broadest audience possible.” The Zero Project is also working on accessibility and dedicates its third Zero Project Conference, which will be held in February 2014 in Vienna, to this important topic. Accessibility to goods and services available to the public, including information and communications technologies will be in a special focus of the next Zero Project Report.

Exactly five years ago the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force.

A lot has been achieved already. For example, in all surveyed EU countries now legislation is in place and covers all newly constructed buildings to which there is public access and all disabilities. Browse through our Indicator results to know more!

Many innovative initiatives exist. For example, the Business Disability Forum, who has some 350 members who employ nearly 20% of the UK workforce, helps to build “disabilitysmart” companies supported by a network of outstanding disabled opinion leaders as expert advisors and ambassadors. Browse through our Innovative Practices!

There are some outstanding policies, too. For example, Sweden is one of the few countries which legally entitle persons with extensive disabilities to cash payments for the purchase of self-directed personal assistance services. Find out more about our Innovative Policies!

Help us to spread these innovative practices and policies because: A lot remains to be done!


Genashtim is a socially responsible organization, committed in promoting world-class high quality online learning and support services.

Genashtim employee

Apart from relevance in today’s socially-networked world, online learning helps in the global fight against climate change minimizing commuting, paper usage, and construction materials for classrooms. Thus, less fuel consumption, less emission of pollutants, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Online learning also overcomes the mobility barrier which is common to many persons with disabilities. This enables the persons with disabilities to avail of the learning, and also be sustainably employed in its delivery.


Find a video on how Genashtim works online, more information on their website and our article on Genashtim here.

Tyze has recently been placed on the Rockefellers Foundation’s list of 100 innovators. Tyze Personal Networks, based in Vancouver, B.C. is a care focused social venture that directly addresses the costs, complexities and challenges faced by caregivers and care providers. Tyze provides an online tool that enables friends, family, neighbours and care professionals to join together to organize support for a person with health or social care needs. Tyze stands apart in its approach to privacy, connectedness and in nurturing a bridge between formal and informal care. The Tyze network model of care



contributes to better outcomes for individual and improved communication for everyone involved.

Tyze CEO Vickie Cammack says “The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes that change occurs when we give citizens tools to solve their own problems. Technology has accelerated change across the planet and altered the way people live. Being nominated for their Innovation Award and placed on the Rockefeller Foundation’s list of 100 Innovators is an honour. We’re proud to be leveraging technology to help caregivers, friends, families and neighbours, to do what they want to do, which is to connect, collaborate, and care for one another.”

For more information read our article about Tyze online and visit www.tyze.com

Find the Tyze Press Release online.

Project F123

The F123 Software has been included as a promising technology in the 2013 UNESCO Global Report: „Opening New Avenues for Empowerment: ICTs to Access Information and Knowledge for Persons with Disabilities“.

Project F123 provides all the software a person with a disability needs to use, a computer, including operating system, applications, and assistive technologies (such as screen readers or virtual keyboards) in USB drives or installed directly on computers.  In the case of the USB version of F123, a small change in the boot sequence of the BIOS of a computer allows the person with a disability to use almost any computer without the need to install anything on its hard disk.

Therefore, Project F123 enables access to educational and employment opportunities through free and open source assistive technologies.

The UNESCO Global Report can be downloaded at:

Find a Video in English and French

Or follow the F123 Project on Twitter


Read our article about F123 Project online