ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

Welcome to the last edition of ENIL, Independent Living News for 2013! 

In this edition we introduce you to Jean-Pierre Ringler who we are delighted to induct into the ENIL Hall of Fame. He is one of the leading pioneers of the independent living movement in France. He and his colleague Vanessa Jeantrelle from Coordination Handicap et Autonomie (CHA) were instrumental in the organisation of the Strasbourg Freedom Drive this year. In November, ENIL held a North Regional meeting which focused on the future development of the region and through sharing experiences and ideas the development of plans to improve the lives of disabled people. Also in this edition, we would also like to invite you to complete a survey and give us feedback in relation to our Newsletter. 

There have been many highlights throughout 2013 for ENIL including the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Strasbourg Freedom Drive, our work for a Resolution against the Cuts has progressed significantly and we are continuing to gain support at grassroots and European Level for the Independent Living definitions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in our events and provided support to ENIL throughout 2013 and look forward to continued cooperation in 2014!

Finally, we would like to wish everyone a joyful and happy holiday season and best wishes for the New Year!

Hall of Fame: Jean-Pierre Ringler

In this interview, Jean-Pierre speaks about the growth of the independent living movement in France over the last number of years and how he along with other independent living activists are attempting to influence positive changes in French policy to ensure its continued growth for many years to come.
Could you tell me a little about your background?
I was born in France in 1947. I became disabled at the age of eight due to explosives dating back to the second world war.

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Role Model: Mari Siilsalu

This month our Role Model is Mari Siilsalu and we speak with her about how she developed the idea of peer counseling being introduced into schools in Estonia and how she made this into a reality.
Mari Siilsalu, the ENIL coordinator of Estonia, won a prize! Tartu City in Estonia awarded her the Youth of the Year award for 2013 and celebrated her for creating a safer environment in Tartu schools through the development of a peer-counseling system.
Mari realizes through the prize that one can sometimes make a real impact without too much effort. She says “In this case I was just moving around at school every day and saw others having troubles with teasing or saw different kinds of misunderstandings between students and teachers. I realized I could help them because of my experience of having been through similar problems as a student

 ENIL Demands Towards the European Parliament Elections in 2014

 These ten demands have been agreed by the Board of the European Network on Independent Living and should help us ensure that the Independent Living of disabled people is given the attention it deserves by those standing in the European Parliament elections in 2014.
  1. Implement the right to live independently and be included in the community, as set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 Northern Regional Face-to-Face Meeting 2013

The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL held its north regional team meeting from November 21 – 24, 2013. It took place in Elva (Estonia). The meeting was attended by 15 persons from six different countries - Latvia, Sweden, Norwegian, Estonia, Lithuania and Finland. This was the first time that so many of the north regional countries met face to face. Discussions were on future development and how to improve the lives of disabled persons through the sharing of experience and ideas.

 Gothenburg wins the 2014 Access City Award

Gothenburg, Sweden wins the 2014 Access City Award! This makes ENIL especially proud of Erik Ljungberg, a past ENIL board member, who fought a long battle to force Gothenburg to make its public transport system accessible. Gothenburg highlights its accessible public transport in its brochure entitled “The City Accessible for everyone”. Today several wheelchair users can use the same tram as a result of Erik’s persistent efforts! Erik did not rest when seeing discrimination and barriers to full participation of disabled people

The European Network on Independent Living calls for a stop to killing

Belgium took another step forward in allowing the killing of disabled people - now children. There are other states doing the same through legislation for euthanasia but Belgium is the first to lift all age restrictions. First the panel within the Belgian Senate committee voted 13-14 to allow minors to seek euthanasia and then the senate voted 50 – 17.
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More in this Issue

The Full Social Jacket
ENIL marks the Human Rights Day by calling for resolute action to uphold the rights of disabled people in Europe

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