Ms. Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm is a mainstay of the Norwegian movement for the rights of disabled people. She is the secretary general of Uloba Independent Living Norge SA, and she has held and still holds many other roles and offices.

At the age of 18, she was involved in a road traffic accident that left her in an electric wheelchair and in need of assistance with even the most basic activities. At that time, people in this situation were dependent on their family if they wanted to live a life like other young people – with education, work and plans for the future. The alternative was a place in an institution, which was not an option for Marøy Melstrøm and many other young people who wanted to live their lives.

In 1988, she and four other persons therefore took matters into their own hands and established the working group for personal assistance (Arbeidsgruppa for Personlig Assistanse (APA)), which in 1991 became the cooperative society Uloba. Marøy Melstrøm has been deputy chair of the board of Uloba, BPA advisor, head of peer counsellors and assistant general manager, and is now the secretary general. Marøy Melstrøm trained as a social worker, but has spent her whole career developing citizen-controlled personal assistance (BPA) and the Uloba organisation. In addition, she has held and still holds many offices in many national and international organisations that deal with the situation of disabled people.

In addition to having long-standing personal experience of BPA, Marøy Melstrøm was the first person in Norway to be granted work assistance, i.e. assistance at work, in 1997.