ENIL, Independent Living News.

 Editorial Update

Welcome to the latest edition of Independent Living News!

The ENIL Western Region had a very fruitful meeting on the 22nd and 23rd of October in Antwerp, Belgium. Independent Living champions from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland and the U.K. exchanged knowledge and shared experience. Regional meetings like this are very valuable for our network and the movement. We will certainly continue this way of working together. We thank the participants for their great contribution!  

Also in October we had the ENIL Youth study session in Strasbourg. You can read more about it in this Newsletter. The foundations for an ENIL Youth Network have been set down. This is necessary for the future of our movement. Well done youngsters!

In 2013, we will be gathering in Strasbourg again. We will have our 6th Freedom Drive (9th – 12th September). This is the tenth anniversary of the Freedom Drive. You will be informed regularly about the events and the speakers but it promises to be one of the most exiting events we ever had! So start making travel and accommodation arrangements and mobilize others to participate. To get in the mood you can watch the 2011 Freedom Drive video that won the ENIL video competition from CIL Carmichael House, Dublin, Ireland.  

Also in this newsletter you can find some important reading material. The Common European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to Community- based care and the Toolkit on the use of EU funding to support this process which ENIL through our project ECCL (European Coalition on Community Living) contributed to significantly have recently been published. There is a very recent study on the impact of the crisis on people with disabilities in Europe. This research report delivers evidence that is really alarming and confirms how necessary it is for us to go on with our fight for Independent Living and against the cuts and austerity measures.  

We are making good progress, taking the lead in a Working Group ‘Defend the Right to Independent Living’ by cooperating with other NGO’s. Step by step we are coming closer to our goal of realizing our proposed resolution by the European Parliament to stop and reverse austerity measures that hit people with disabilities disproportionally. We will need your support in 2013 to promote it and to lobby for its adoption by the EU Parliament!

We also ask you in this Newsletter to sign the petition from The Open Society Mental Health Initiative entitled “The EU must stop the illegal misuse of Structural Funds to build or renovate institutions for People with Disabilities.”

The ENIL Board has adopted an updated version of ENIL’s key definitions on Independent Living. These definitions are intended for use in the development of guidelines, policy and legislation at European Union level, Member State level and local level. They have been developed to prevent manipulation and the misuse of our language.

Enjoy reading our newsletter. We hope it brings you useful information and inspiration!

In Profile: Mirko Tomassoni

Mirko Tomassoni is a disability activist and politician from San Marino. He was former Captain Regent, which is a position which is equivalent to Head of State.

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Strasbourg Freedom Drive Video Winner

Thank you to everyone who submitted videos into the ENIL Strasbourg Freedom Drive Competition.ENIL are delighted to announce that the video from CIL Carmichael House, Dublin, Ireland 

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Swedish Success Story: Aiai

Aiai is a Swedish success story. It is a web based instrument for the administration of personal assistance. This article is based on an interview between Jamie Bolling and Anna Bonnevier in the honor of Erik Ljungberg.

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Strasbourg Study Session; Recommendations to National Governments

These recommendations were drafted by the participants of the Study Session “Supporting Young Disabled People to Become Future Leaders of the Independent Living Movement”  

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Strasbourg Study Session: Gatis Caunitis from Latvia tells of his experience!

My name is Gatis Caunītis and I am disabled person since 1995. When I was six years old, I played hide and seek and entered an unlocked electrical unit and was hit with a strong power voltage, the result of which I lost both of my arms

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Sign This: Petition to the European Parliament

The Open Society Mental Health Initiative aims to collect signatures from individual European Citizens and organisations for a petition entitled ” The EU must stop

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Italy; Hunger Strike

On October 21st 2012, approximately 50 people with disabilities, many of whom have multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy and their families went on a hunger strike. They went on hunger strike in protest against the lack of commitment by the Italian Government which has set aside 
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Strasbourg Study Session; "We are going to run out of time"

"We are going to run out of time” This sentence came up again and again during the week. It has to be said that there were many themes to be discussed throughout the week and above all ENIL gave the participants points to argue and tools to communicate effectively.


European Foundation Centre Launches Study

The EU crisis seriously compromises the rights of people with disabilities and a study now brings us evidence to show that this is indeed true.On November 6th 2012, the European Foundation Centre launched a study entitled:

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ENIL Key definitions on Independent Living

These definitions are intended for use in the development of guidelines, policy and legislation at European Union level, Member State level and local level.

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European Expert Group Launch Common European Guidelines on Deinstitutionalisation

The European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based care launched a set of guidelines on how to make a sustained transition from institutional 

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ENIL Personal Assistance Survey

ENIL – European Network on Independent Living is in the process of carrying out a European survey on personal assistance. The goal of the survey is to gain detailed information on the situation of personal assistance services in as many of the EU member states 

"The World became my Room" Kalle Könkkölä 

 The World Became My Room, written by Kalle Könkkölä and Heini Saraste (1996) on the life of Kalle, the Finnish guru for Independent Living, is a must read! Kalle spoke and Heini wrote. 


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