It’s that time of year again: European Independent Living Day is fast approaching! Every year on 5th May, disabled people and Centres for Independent Living raise awareness of the campaign for Independent Living. It’s a chance for disabled people to show that they are proud, strong and visible and campaign for their rights in many creative ways.
This year ENIL is encouraging people to make a short video in their homes on the theme of ‘Thanks to Independent Living I Can…’ What can you do thanks to Independent Living? Go to concerts? Go on holiday? Live in your own apartment? Whatever it is, tell us about it! Post your video on social media on 5th May.
CILs across Europe already have exciting plans for offline events too. Sixteen countries already shared with us their plans. A summary of them is presented below.
In Lithuania, LNF will hold a conference on personal assistance. Merton CIL in the UK will have a members meeting with key decision makers on the topic of independent living. In Belgium (Flanders region) non-disabled people will be given the chance to chat to a disabled person and discover their ‘bucket list.’ A panel debate on how personal assistance can be used to access education and employment will take place in Norway. There will be a large demonstration in Berlin and many smaller events across Germany. Young members of the Spina Bifida Association in Turkey will make videos on Independent Living.
A photography contest focusing on disabled people will be held in Portugal. Similar activity – photo and video campaign related to personal assistance – is planned by ‘Association of Disabled Persons of Karlovac County’ in Croatia. ESA Theatre in Azerbaijan will organise a performance on Independent Living. In Tbilisi, Georgia, there will be a demonstration, a film screening and a discussion event. In Albania a round table on Independent Living will be held with key ministers. An open air debate on Independent Living will be held outside Parliament in Romania. Additionally, the ADAPTO Association will give an awareness-raising presentation.
In Greece, the Drama Association will have a public event, asking people to write down their thoughts on the importance of independent living. Ideas will be collected and posted on social media. Activities will take place across Serbia, including street action in Sombor and a meeting with the mayor in Belgrade. In Hungary, MEOSZ will launch its position paper on Independent Living. ÉFOÉSZ will encourage members to make videos and then show them on 5th May at their self-advocacy event. CIL Sofia (Bulgaria) plans to collect old wheelchairs, to decorate them and put messages on them related to the lack of real political changes since Bulgaria ratified the UN CRPD.
Has this inspired you to get involved? If you would like to organise an event or activity in your country, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, tell us what you’d like to do and any support you need. Whatever you do, make sure you document it with pictures and videos and share them on social media on the day. We’re looking forward to seeing what you get up to and celebrating with you on 5th May!