ENIL is pleased to share with you a film about the meaning of Independent Living, made by Javier Monferrer Benlloch. Javier, from Spain, was born on 24th September 1979 in Castellón de la Plana and considers himself an active person. So far he has lived in two places – Nules (where he grew up), Castellón, Valencia and Naples, Italy.
Javier is a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. This has not stopped him from being an active person who does not stop for a moment to fight to overcome obstacles – in the physical environment and also coming from people’s attitudes.
Javier studied Accounting at university. In the beginning, he was not a top student, he even had to retake some of his exams. His interest was in the field of sport – he trained youth players in the Nules Football Club and also the young futsal team of “Muebles Sabina”.
In September 2003, he started studying Business Administration. During these three years at university, he lived in an accessible residence for disabled people. The residence met his access needs, but he felt institutionalised and somehow excluded from his non-disabled fellow students. That is why he decided to start an Erasmus Programme in Naples (Italy) for 9 months.
It was a key moment in his life, because there he first heard about Independent Living and Personal Assistance.
When he went back to Castellón, he continued his education with a Marketing and Market Research postgraduate degree. At the same time, he set up a futsal club, of which he became a Chair – the “Athletics Nules Futsal”. Afterwards, he went back to Italy as an intern through the Leonardo Programme, being an excellent example of a young disabled person who fully uses his potential in different areas.
In September 2015, Javier decided to go back to university, this time to study New Trends and Innovation in Communication Processes. He joined an Independent Living organisation “Como quieres vivir” (meaning “How do you want live?”) – one of ENIL’s allies – where he contributed to the organisation’s work towards full inclusion of disabled people. As part of his work as an activist, he created a video about the meaning of Independent Living.
You can watch the video here.