ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

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

In this edition of our newsletter, we would like to introduce you to two new Role Models. Alba Gonzalez is from Spain and in this interview, she tells us how her educational choices impacted upon her employment opportunities and how she came to take up a position in Brussels.  Alba also spoke this month at the ENIL Roundtable on Personal Assistance held in the European Parliament on the 18th November 2014 about her experience of living and working in a different member state. Our second Role Model this month is Zumreta Galijasevic from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This month, she tells us how she harnessed the strength within her to  purse her dreams and how she continues to stay motivated in this pursuit.

Also, in this edition, we are delighted to launch the publication of Disability Hate Crime - A guide for Disabled People's Organisations, law enforcement agencies, national human rights institutions, media and other stakeholders. This guide was created by ENIL in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities of the Republic of Croatia as a training tool for the Seminar on Hate Crime which took place in Zagreb, Croatia on the 13th and 14th October 2014. The guide explains:

  • How to distinguish between crime, disability hate crime, hate incidents and hate speech
  • How hate crime can affect victims
  • How to report disability hate crime, with recommendations on how to combat hate crime and improve the life chances of disabled people
This month we also bring you two disability watchdog articles. The first disability watchdog focuses on an article published by the BBC on the conditions in an institution in Lechaina, Greece where more than sixty disabled children are being held in purpose built cages. The second watchdog highlights the situation of a disabled man in France who has been without the use of his power wheelchair for over five months. 

In November, ENIL-ECCL also launched the Shadow Report on the Right to live independently in the European Union. ENIL also held a Roundtable on the portability of Personal Assistance in the European Union in the European Parliament. You can read about both of these events in this months newsletter!

We hope you find this edition of our newsletter informative and engaging! 

Role Model: Alba Gonzalez

Alba Gonzalez is from Spain and is our newest Role Model. Alba also spoke this month at the ENIL Roundtable on Personal Assistance held in the European Parliament on the 18th November 2014. At this event she spoke about her experience of living and working in a different member state. In this interview, she tells us how her educational choices impacted upon her employment opportunities and how she came to take a position in Brussels.

Role Model: Zumreta Galijasevic

This months Role Model is Zumreta Galijasevic from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, she tells us how she harnessed the strength within her to  purse her dreams and how she continues to stay motivated in this pursuit.
My name is Zumreta and I’m from Bosnia and Herzegovina. When I was three, I got diabetes. As I was a little girl, I cannot remember what life without diabetes was like. When I think about it, I wouldn’t even know how to live without diabetes. In a way, life is disciplined but this makes you do things you normally would not do. 
 

ENIL Launch Disability Hate Crime Guide in cooperation with the Croatian Disability Ombudsman 

ENIL in cooperation with the Croatian Disability Ombudsman and the OSCE/ODIHR held a two day seminar on hate crime against people with disabilities. It took place on the 13th and 14thOctober in Zagreb, Croatia. ENIL has prioritised its work in relation to hate crime over the last few years as it is very important that disabled people are able to live independent lives without the fear of being harassed, humiliated, attacked or even be a victim of hate crime.

ENIL - ECCL Launch Shadow Report on the Right to Iive independently in the European Union

On 14 November, ENIL launched its Shadow report on the implementation of Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the European Union. Produced in the framework of its initiative the European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL), the report seeks to provide the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with information that will be of assistance when assessing the extent to which the EU has complied with its obligations under Article 19 of the CRPD.

Elosh: Developing training for integrated housing and support in Europe

Since October 2013, ENIL has been working with EASPD, SITRA, FEANTSA, Housing Europe and Mental Health Europe, as well as seven organisations in Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Finland, Slovenia, France and Ireland on a project focused on developing training for integrated housing and support for disabled people (incl. people with mental health problems) and homeless people

ENIL Roundtable on the Portability of Personal Assistance in the European Parliament

On the 18th November 2014, ENIL held a Roundtable on the issue of portability of, and access to personal assistance within the European Union in the European Parliament. ENIL has been contacted by or made aware of, a number of personal assistance users from the European Union unable to take a university or work place in another Member State because of restrictions in accessing support services or not being able to take their support package with them. We also know of cases when the EU funded projects were not able to accommodate personal assistance users because of the cost involved.

Greece: Children in institutions locked up in cages

On 14 November, BBC published an article on the conditions in the institution in Lechaina, Greece, where more than 60 disabled children are being held in purpose-built cages. At the same time, a supported living service in the same county, funded by the European Union, lies empty due to the lack of staff.
ENIL has asked our Greek members, who recently established the first Independent Living organisation in Greece “i-living”, to comment on the case.

Powerchair broken: Quadriplegic man stuck at home for more than 3 months

Since June 21th 2014, Zig Blanquer, a 35 year old from Nantes, France, with neuromuscular disease cannot use his power wheelchair any longer, which is a key part for his daily life. This electric wheelchair is an extension of his own body. It is crucial to change positions, release muscular tension and serves in leading his personal and professional life. When the breakdown of his power wheelchair occurred, Mr. Blanquer immediately contacted his local service provider. 
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