International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


On July 17th 2014, the Zero Project Team participated as speaker to the IASSIDD roundtable on “Inclusion in the community – community-based services”, moderated by Albert Brandstätter, Lebenshilfe Austria, and which included also the following panellists:

– Klaus Brunner, Seld-advocate, Lebenshilfe Vorarlberg

– Heinrich Schellhorn, Soziallandesrat, Region of Salzburg

– Nicolette Blok, Moderator, Trainer, Consultant, as Relative active in the field of Self-Advocacy for people with disabilities

– Thomas Driessen, Executive Director of alpha nova, a social service provider of highly innovative services in the field of inclusive living and working, and personal assistance

– Ingrid Heindorf, Zero Project Team Geneva, World Future Council.


The roundtable discussion focused on how services need to become community-based, in order to allow people with all kinds of disabilities to be included in the community. A serious number of current challenges were mentioned and discussed. For example, how to redirect current assistance funding in Austria (personal budgets), what action is needed by service providers and which challenges they have in becoming person-centred, which particular problems arise for people with intellectual disabilities, etc. The Zero Project Team presented the status of its current research on Independent Living and Political Participation and highlighted that those innovative practices and policies researched, will contribute towards making inclusion in the community a reality, including in Austria. The team invited everyone present to participate. During the discussion the team had also the opportunity to highlight in particular the Innovative Policy 2012, the Swedish Personal Assistance Act, which legally entitles persons with extensive disabilities to cash payments for the purchase of self-directed personal assistance services (see Zero Project Report 2012).


The 4th IASSIDD Europe Congress is a major European event presenting and debating the newest advances in research on intellectual disability from around the globe at the premises of the University of Vienna. The congress program had a stringent and prominent inclusive format, giving people with intellectual disability the opportunity to actively participate. The topics addressed at the congress followed a structure closely linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). The IASSDD Europe 2014 Congress was organized jointly by IASSIDD, the University of Vienna and Lebenshilfe Austria.