In This Issue
Broad support for ENIL Resolution!...
The importance of Independent Living terminology...
U.K. Disability activists fight cuts with (first) success!...
John Evans from ENIL speaks to Europe about the devastating effect of the cuts...
Independent Living Classics: the 2007 Barcelona speech by Dr Ratzka...
Salzburg Won! Most accessible European City 2012!...
UN Human Rights: Study on the Implementation of Article 33 of the UNCRPD in Europe...
Independent Living Scotland addresses its Parliament...
Europe's way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective...
ENIL is looking for a Researcher...
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Independent Living News! Editorial team
Jamie Bolling
Ines Bulic
Juan Benages
Peter Lambreghts  

Independent Living news! is ENIL's twice-monthly email newsletter. As a grass roots organisation, ENIL wants to hear from you. Email  Independent Living News! with your articles, promotions and photographs.
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    5th December, 2011


Enil logoIndependent

Living News!

European Network
on Independent Living

Nothing about us without us!


Editorial Team Update

Welcome to another issue of Independent Living News! Due to a technical error you might have received our previous newsletter for a second time last Friday. Our apologies for that.

But here you can read brand new articles, with a special focus on Western Europe.

Also in the West, as in the rest of Europe, our movement is fighting the cuts and austerity measures that affect our possibilities to live independently.

You can help us by being active in the same struggle in your own country or region. But also by seeking support from your MEPs for the ENIL EU resolution proposal and by safeguarding Independent Living terminology. You can read more about it in the articles below.

After all the alarming news of cuts throughout Europe, we can report a first success of disabled activists in the U.K. who 'won back' mobility payments.

Also in the Netherlands, where ENIL is building up contact with DPOs, insiders learn us that the original plans for drastic cuts in the direct payments scheme are breaking down step by step. We will keep you informed on this!

So ... these little sparks of light are certainly encouraging and proof that it's worthwhile and necessary to keep on fighting for our human rights.


Due to a technical error, a copy of the previous issue of ENIL's Newsletter was re-sent to all subscribers last week. Our apologies to everyone and we hope you find the new issue an interesting and useful read. 


As you all know the financial and economical crisis is hitting people with disabilities in a disproportionately way. Through our network of independent living activists in Europe we are receiving alarming messages about austerity measures and cuts in independent living services and personal assistance. Fighting this negative tendency is one of the main focuses for ENIL right now. That is why we made the ENIL Proposal for a Resolution of the European Parliament on the effect of cuts in public spending on persons with disabilities in the European Union. We launched this proposal in September on the Strasbourg Freedom Drive 2011. Time for an update! 



The importance of Independent Living terminology 


Ed Roberts, founder of the IL movement

Independent Living movement has inspired many people for several decades. Ideas and views who used to be controversial at first have been affirmed by good practices, disability studies and political documents (e.g. UNCRPD) time after time. This success has lead to an increasing number of cases of abuse or 'hijacking' of Independent Living terminology. It's clear this causes problems for promoting Independent Living, for lobby work and for the movement as a whole. And of course fraud can never be tolerated. 


Read more... 

U.K. Disability activists fight cuts with (first) success!


The wave of inhuman and inefficient policy decisions that hit people with disabilities disproportionally in many European countries is still on a roll and is affecting or threatening our 

A protester in a wheelchair at the Hardest Hit march. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

Quality of Live and our Human Rights. Naturally this can make you feel sad and victimized, ... but if we don't stand up against this, no one else will do it for us.

That is why joining the Independent Living movement is now more important than ever.

Read more... 


One of the greatest experts on Independent Living, John Evans, uses every opportunity to warn people with disabilities, policymakers and other stakeholders about the effects of the cuts in public spending that are going on. In many European countries governments take inhuman, irrational and contra productive decisions to cut budgets that are necessary to make Independent Living possible for people with disabilities.

John Evans was interviewed on this important topic by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. He also delivered a strong speech on the European Day of People with Disabilities on December 1stin Brussels. (Link in FRA website)


Download the full speech: The impact of the austerity measures on disabled people in Europe


Read more... 

Independent Living Classics: the 2007 Barcelona speech by Dr Ratzka


If we speak about inspirational leaders in the Independent living movement we quickly come to Dr Adolf Ratzka. In 2007 he spoke in Barcelona on the dependency culture towards people with disabilities and how to break it. The title of his speech was: "Independent Living for people with disabilities: from patient to citizen and customer". Read and enjoy!  


Read more... 

Salzburg Won! Most accessible European City 2012!



The City of Salzburg won the 2011 Access City Award. The Commissioner Reding at the European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference in Brussels presented the award on December 1, 2011. At the ceremony the three other finalists "runners-up" were also revealed as well as the cities receiving special mentions.

Special mentions were given to the following cities:

  1. Tarrassa in Spain received the special mention for the area of the built environment.
  2. Ljubliana in Slovenia received the special mention for the area of transport and related infrastructure.
  3. Olomouc in the Czech Republic received the special mention for the area of information and communication including new technology.
  4. Grenoble in France received the special mention for the area of public facility and services.

Read more... 

UN Human Rights: Study on the Implementation of Article 33 of the UNCRPD in Europe


 The Study aims to provide States with detailed information on the bodies set up under Article 33 CRPD so that they can take stock of the experiences of other States. It also purports to assist international human rights mechanisms, including the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in providing guidance on the implementation of Article 33 CRPD and in examining compliance with this provision by States Parties to the Convention.

Read more... 

Independent Living Scotland addresses its Parliament 


Disabled people need the kind of welfare state which is not a mere 'safety net' but which invests in tackling disabling barriers and in providing resources to meet the additional costs related to impairment.


Europe's way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective 


Source: EDF web  

Brussels, 1 December 2011 /// To mark the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, the European Commission organised in cooperation with the European Disability Forum (EDF) a policy conference in Brussels on 1 and 2 December. During two days, representatives from the disability movement, experts with disabilities and decision-makers focus on the effects of the crisis: "Europe's way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective." It is particularly necessary since the EDF Observatory on the crisis has compiled an alarming report that reveals persons with disabilities are paying for the economic crisis by the reduction in incomes, services  and employment.

ENIL is looking for a Researcher


The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is looking for a Researcher to work on an FP7-Cooperation project entitled Social Platform on Innovative Social Services - INNOSERV.



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