ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

Welcome to the October issue of ENIL, Independent Living News!

For many of the Independent Living supporters in Europe this month started in Brussels where the 7th Freedom Drive took place. It this newsletter we have included several articles dedicated to the results, feedback and follow up of our great lobby event. You’ll find out who the new ENIL board and nominating committee members  are, ENIL’s amended constitution after the General Assembly 2015, a response from one of the MEPs who was present at the meeting in the European Parliament on 30th September.

We kindly remind you that we launched the ENIL Mobility Survey which aims to collect information that disabled people encounter when they want to study, work or live in another EU member state. If you haven’t completed it and wish to share your personal experience, you still have time to do so! Filling in the short survey would take only a few minutes of your time. Download it from here and send it to dilyana.deneva@enil.eu

ENIL and the Council of Europe organize another study session for young disabled people – in Strasbourg, France, between 17th and 24th April 2016. The name of the study session is “Supporting Young Disabled People to Explore Sexuality and Relationships as Integral to their Social Inclusion and Independent Living”. Participants must be disabled people, aged 18-35 years, living in one of the 47 Council of Europe member states. More information and the application form can be found in the article below. Please feel free to disseminate the information among your contacts so that more young disabled people get the chance to apply!

This month we published several watchdog articles – disturbingly showing that there are lots of threats for the independent living of disabled people around Europe. Deinstitutionalization, cuts affecting personal assistance are among these threats and below you will find articles about the situation in France, Sweden and Romania.

There is always good news as well and here we present you one young, positive person who is currently working as an intern at at Onafhankelijk Leven (OL) – a Centre for Independent Living in the city of Gent. Kamil shares about his impressions from his work so far which was mainly related to Freedom Drive. He has also produced a report from an event he attended – organised by MEP Daciana Sarbu with the support of the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative and hosted at the European Parliament in Brussels on 14th October. The event was entitled “Community not Confinement: the role of the EU in promoting and protecting the right of people with disabilities to live in the community”.

Another supporter of the independent living movement, a Freedom Drive participant and an ENIL ally – Michael Holden – wrote a blog article for ENIL’s website which reveals outrageous practice of local taxi companies in Belfast.

We hope you will enjoy reading October's newsletter of ENIL. Don't forget you can also follow our news from our website, facebook and twitter!


Freedom Drive Update – 28 October 2015

The Brussels Freedom Drive is now over and we at ENIL are in a process of evaluation, still processing everything that happened, all that we achieved, all that can went well and that which can be improved in the future. But one thing is sure – this year’s edition of our important lobby event was very successful and we will do our best to follow up the great results achieved!

7th ENIL Brussels Freedom Drive 2015 – Great Success!

The 7th Freedom Drive was a great success with over 400 persons attending the March and over 200 – the other Freedom Drive events.

ENIL’s Efforts for Independent Living Recognised by MEP Kuneva

ENIL would like to introduce the Greek MEP Kostadinka Kuneva and share with you her letter of support to ENIL in our Independent Living fight.

ENIL Mobility Survey – Complete by 31 October!!!

ENIL is reminding you about a research we are doing – on the barriers faced by disabled people when wanting to move or study in another EU Member State.

Study Session 2016 Now Open for Applications!

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), in cooperation with the Council of Europe, is organising the Study Session “Supporting Young Disabled People to Explore Sexuality and Relationships as Integral to their Social Inclusion and Independent Living”.

Child Abuse Raises Questions Over Effectiveness of Deinstitutionalisation Programme In Romania

ENIL has on many occasions raised concerns about the process of deinstitutionalisation which consists of moving disabled people from institutions into group homes (also referred to as ‘family-type’ homes). This often results in replicating institutional culture in the community, rather than independent living.

Disabled French Economic Pawns

UNAPEI, a French organisation defending the rights of disabled people , delivers today a black book to the French Social Security to denounce the exile of disabled French citizens placed in Belgium institutions.

Immoral Choice Imposed by the Swedish Government

STIL, the founders of Independent Living in Sweden, yesterday issued a statement claiming that the Swedish government is pitting marginalized groups against each another.

EVS Volunteer Kamil Goungor On His Adventures in Belgium


“Community, Not Confinement” – OSI Event in The EU Parliament – 14th October

Deinstitutionalisation (DI) is among the most painful topics in the fight for independent living. Still neglected. Still misused. We still face re-institutionalisation instead of the actual DI process and this affects the lives of thousands of people across Europe while governments claim that measures are taken and problems are resolved.

Paying Extra for Taking Your Wheelchair – Discrimination or What?!

One of ENIL’s allies – Michael Holden from Northern Ireland – shares his experience of discrimination in the following article. Have you gone through anything similar?
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