ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

Welcome to the May edition of ENIL,Independent Living News! 

In this month's edition we introduce you to our newest role model, Banane Nafeh, who lives in the United Kingdom. In this interview, she describes her role as an Independent Living advisor with Disability Rights UK and also shares her advice to young disabled people on how to overcome any barriers they may face with us. 

ENIL was represented at the EDF General Assembly in Zagreb this month and in this edition you can read a report on this. ENIL's Board member Peter Lambreghts also gave a presentation at KU Leuven University on the importance of Assistive Technology in improving the quality of life of disabled people. Representatives of ENIL, including the Executive Director, Jamie Bolling traveled to Norway in May to be updated on the current situation of personal assistance services there. They also met with representatives of ULOBA who outlined their approach to peer counselling and how this works in practice. 

In this edition, we introduce to our newest intern, Xabi Ansorena from San Sebastian in Spain who is based in the Secretariat in Dublin. We also wish to remind you that the Zero Project are calling for nominations of Innovative Practices and Policies. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter!

Role Model: Banane Nafeh 

My name is Banane Nafeh. I am Egyptian, aged 39, currently living in London, UK. I am married to a kind hearted Indian person whom I met at Regent Park Mosque (London) more than nine years ago. I have got a 7 year old daughter who is a real asset to me especially when my husband goes abroad for work related trips. My beloved daughter is my little personal assistant. I have obviously family commitments besides my work as well.

What things do you like to do in your leisure time?

The Role of Assistive Technology in improving the lives of disabled people 

Peter Lambreghts, ENIL board member recently spoke about the importance of assistive technology in improving the lives of disabled people at Ku Leuven University. In October 2014 a postgraduate course in ‘Community Service Engineering' began and the aim of this course is to provide engineers with the necessary tools to be active in companies in assistive technology and in companies that want to tap their market or product potential in the not for profit sector. Technology can be an important lever for more independent and a better quality of life for disabled people.

ENIL represented at the EDF General Assembly in Zagreb 

The European Disability Forum (EDF) held its Annual General Assembly (officially called General Management Body meeting) on 16-18 May this year in Zagreb, Croatia. The event took place in Westin Hotel – big enough for accommodating all 90 attendants! Participants started arriving on Thursday (15th May) because of the meeting of the EDF Project Monitoring Committee taking place on Friday morning. 

 ENIL visits Trondheim and ULOBA in the field!

Jamie Bolling, Mari Siilsalu and Esti Alvarez visited ULOBA in Trondheim on May 16th 2014. They drove from Härnösand, Sweden with the trip being beautiful and there was an unexpected encounter with a group of Swedish Reindeer eating by the road! Luckily they were busy eating and not charging the road!

They met both with Lena Mari Steinfjell Karlsen, a peer counsellor for ULOBA and Henriette Nielsen, a work leader from ULOBA. Lena Mari has been a counsellor for two years responsible for fifty-seven work leaders in the Troms and Finnmark County area including the Trömsö area of Norway

Alarming news! Restraints on personal assistance in Norway! 

While visiting ULOBA in the field and speaking with Lena Mari Steinfjell Karlsen and Henriette Nielsen (both from ULOBA), ENIL has learned that concrete restrictions are taking place on the use of personal assistance in Trondheim. The Municipality of Trondheim has restricted the use of personal assistance outside of Norway. A user must first ask permission in order to leave the country with a personal assistant. The threat was firstly that a person would not be able to leave the municipality with personal assistance. 

Zero Project 2015: Call for nominations of Innovative Practices and Policies 

The Zero Project team would like to invite leading experts and organizations to nominate outstanding practices and policies concerning this year’s topic:
Independent Living and Political Participation
The Innovative Policies and Practices selected by internationally renowned experts in a multistep process will be:
-         featured in the Zero Project Report 2015, on its website www.zeroproject.org and social media platforms

Meet Xabi Ansorena, ENIL's new intern from San Sebastian!

My name is Xabi Ansorena, and I have been offered the great opportunity by Fomento San Sebastián to carry out an internship in ENIL between February and August 2014, as part of the Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

I was born in San Sebastian, the north coast of Spain, 28 years ago. I studied a Degree in Psychology from 2004 to 2009. In the last year of University, I did an internship in a hospital where they provided rehabilitation for people with brain damage.
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