Zero Project 2019: Independent Living & Political Participation Award Winners

Every year the Zero Project celebrates innovative practices and policies focussing on the rights of persons with disabilities around the world.

The 2019 award winners for practice and policies on independent living and political participation have been announced. In total 65 practices and 11 policies from 42 countries have been recognised on a range of topics. 

Inclusion International is delighted that six of its members have been recognised this year. The Arc (USA), Asdown (Colombia), Fundación Saraki (Paraguay), Plena Inclusion (Spain), Keystone Moldova (Moldova) and FEPADEM (Ecuador) have all been identified as leading the way for innovative practice.

Congratulations to each of you!

Colombia: Promoting sexual and reproductive rights

Four organizations (Profamilia, ASDOWN Colombia, LICA and PAIIS) have developed the first training in Colombia on capacity and sexual and reproductive rights for people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. They have created information cards for judges, health professionals, persons with disabilities, and their families.

Ecuador: Training persons with intellectual disabilities to be self-advocates

FEPAPDEM has created a self-representation training programme. Facilitators learn to support and train self-advocates and leaders with intellectual disabilities on rights, participation, supported decision-making, and development of expression.

Moldova: Forum Theatre Programme & Community for All

Keystone Moldova has been recognised twice!

Keystone Moldova uses the Forum Theatre method in schools and kindergartens to increase awareness of discrimination and its impact. Participants report that as a result schools have lower levels of discrimination and improved accessibility policies.

Keystone Moldova worked with the central government and other NGO’s to create their “Community for All” programme which transfers children and adults from institutions back to their families or into community-based homes. It also offers services such as education, health care, and social care to support them.

Paraguay: Increasing voter accessibility

Fundación Saraki worked with USAID to review the country’s legal election framework regarding accessibility and make recommendations to the Electoral Tribunal about increasing participation of voters with disabilities. These recommendations led to new regulations covering a range of accessibility measures, such as permitting absentee ballots for people unable to travel to polling stations for the first time.

Spain: Raising Awareness on the right to vote

Plena Inclusión España established Mi Voto Cuenta (“My Vote Counts”), a campaign that focuses on raising awareness about the right to vote and to have access to electoral proceedings. Mi Voto Cuenta aims to bring the demands of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to the attention of all political parties and Spain’s central election committee.

USA: Airport Rehearsal Programme & Improving the Criminal Justice System

The Arc of the United States has been recognised twice.

Firstly for Wings for Autism, an airport ‘rehearsal’ programme that allows people with autism and with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as their families, to practice all the steps involved in travelling by plane, and to do so in a safe and controlled environment.

Also for NCCJD’s Pathways to Justice, a programme which aims to improve the criminal justice system’s response to victims, witnesses, defendants, and prisoners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The programme offers specialist training to develop local multidisciplinary Disability Response Teams composed of criminal justice and disability leaders, including self-advocates, to improve local systems.