Europe in Action

Aug 26, 2011,

Ireland: Leaders, leading a new way forward

Ireland as an island has always been an outward looking country, set between the melting pot of America, our friendly neighbour Britain and the network of vision that is Europe. For us Leaders living in Ireland we have always been eager to have what our neighbours have – a system of Direct Payments. The Leader’s…

Aug 24, 2011,

Support needed – Montenegrin Government closed down the Council for the Care for Persons with Disabilities

Open letter to Montenegro President by Milan Šaranović, Acting Executive Director of the AYDM (Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro), on the behalf of 12 Disabled people organizations. Download the letter (PDF) See the Montenegro government Decision on Establishing the Council for Protection against Discrimination, MNE. To support this letter send an email to  

Aug 13, 2011,

Slovenia: Letter of a user of Personal Assistance

    When my life started to change because of my illness I was 30 years old, in a rock&roll relationship and with a small child. I was just preparing to start to plan my new life goals, new insane ideas and a new peace. At that time nothing was going my way or the…

Aug 13, 2011,

Letter of Mrs. Mira Čas to the Slovenian Authorities

  Life is a journey, for which no one gets a map. Anyone is travelling thru his or her life according to his own needs. Some people choose the easy way to achieve the goal, while they say that they have the courage and vision. Consequently, there is something horribly wrong within our society, which…

Aug 11, 2011,

YHD: Illegal distribution of funds between disability organizations in Slovenia

YHD – Association for theory and culture of handicap has sent a legal opinion to the National Assembly of theRepublicofSlovenia, specifically, to the Labour, Family and Disabled Persons Board, which we fought due to many years of discrimination against our association concerning the allocation of resources by the Foundation for Financing of Humanitarian and Disabled…

Jul 28, 2011,

I. L. and the difference between Social-Medical care and Personal Assistance. University of Psychology. University of Valencia June 22nd

ENIL Valencia Team was invited by the professor of the MA Degree in “Social-Medical Care for Disabled People”, at the University of Psychology of Valencia, to hold a Conference for students and faculty about Independent Living and Personal Assistance. On June 22nd, Itziar Fernández, ENIL’s Regional Coordinator of the South of Europe and Pilar O’Connor,…

Jul 28, 2011,

Monitoring the UN CRPD in Montenegro.

On May 26th  a Coalition for monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was established in Bar, Montenegro. This Coalition is composed of 24 local and national DPO-s. The Montenegrin Government has signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability – UNCRPD and are now under…

Jul 27, 2011,

After the Independent Living Conference in Rome: What lies ahead?

The International Independent Living Conference in Rome was held during two busy days and was a comparison between the international and national experiences with the main topic of Personal Assistance as a means of inclusion of people with disabilities. This meeting was strongly supported by ENIL Europe, through the coordination between the Secretariat of Valencia,…

Jul 27, 2011,

DPAC campaigns and protests agains benefit cuts in the UK

Source of the news and images DPAC website On the evening of the 21st of July disabled people and supporters gathered at Kensington and Chelsea’s Social Services to defend and support Elaine McDonald and Disability Rights. More photos to be found at

Jul 26, 2011,

Rio came to Stockholm for one afternoon

One afternoon in late June, the members of JAG took over the streets of Stockholm. Together with an authentic samba orchestra, we offered a carnival procession, which exuded pride, joy and self-esteem.   About 200 people, members in JAG, personal assistants, relatives and supporters, participated.     Why a samba carnival? The members in JAG…

Jul 05, 2011,

Meet Pilar O’Connor, Valencia (Spain)

Although my surname might make you think that I am Irish, I was born in Valencia (Spain) forty-nine years ago. I spent most life in a small town on the Mediterranean coast until I moved to the city where I am living now and that is the same city where I was born. I share…

Jul 04, 2011,

Introducing SERVUS system in Slovenia for greater independence

YHD has started a co-operation with a company which is introducing the SERVUS system in Slovenia. The company has approached us, because a few years ago we already had a successful cooperation with one of its managers, getting brand new computers and software to 20 users of the Independent Living Programme. This new co-operation is…

Jul 01, 2011,

ULOBA’s 20th birthday! Stolthetsparaden 2011, we are proud, visible and strong!

On the 18th of June the Pride Parade took over the streets of Oslo for the fourth consecutive year with over 1000 participating. The parade is the largest demonstration of disabled people ever in Norway. Together we marched from Universitetsplassen to Oslo Spektrum to show the world that we are PROUD, STRONG and VISIBLE! After…

Jun 14, 2011,

Meet Katja Villatoro, Valencia (Spain)

My name is Katja and I live in a village near Valencia for almost ten years. Before I used to live in Benidorm (Alicante), my profession was in the healthcare area and I was working in a private clinic as an assistant in the surgical area. I have a son, Unai, he lived with me…

Jun 14, 2011,

Meet Aglaia Katsigianni, from Drama (Greece)

My name is Aglaia Katsigianni. I’m a 42 years old woman with physical disability living in Drama, a city in the northern Greece. I’m single, living with my – super! – mom, because independent living doesn’t exist in Greece.. My dad has passed away, several years ago. My disability is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and it…

Jun 02, 2011,

Biography of Ed Roberts and worldwide list of Independent Living Centers

Meet Buddy Bougere from New Orleans, USA. He is writing a biography on disability pioneer Ed Roberts and is working on a worldwide list of Independent Living Centers. Read all about it and help Buddy Bougere with completing his list. 961 Independent Living Centers In 37 Countries by Buddy Bougere © Copyright by…

May 31, 2011,

Meet Lizy Scheltjens, from Flanders (Belgium)

I’m a youngster from about 30 years and I was raised in an open-minded way. My younger, non-disabled brother and I were raised in an equal way. I spend my school time at a school for disabled people but I didn’t see this as an obstacle because there they taught me how to be independent….

May 31, 2011,

Rencontre avec Corinne Lassoie, de Wallonie (Belgique)

J’ai fait des études de tourisme et c’est dans ce domaine que je travaillais mais ma vie a basculé deux fois. Tout d’abord quand j’avais 24 ans et que je me suis retrouvée en chaise roulante suite à mon premier accouchement et puis il y a sept ans quand mon mari m’a quittée. Souffrant d’un…

May 31, 2011,

Meet Corinne Lassoie, from Wallonia (Belgium)

I’ve studied tourism and this is the area I worked in, but my life changed twice. First when I was 24 years and I found myself in a wheelchair after my first delivery and then seven years ago when my husband left me. Suffering from a severe disability, unable to live alone, I fought to…

May 31, 2011,

Interview: Professor Robert Schalock

The Expertise Centre Independent Living (Belgium) published a study in May 2011 on quality of life of people who use a Personal Assistance Budget (PAB) in Flanders to organize their support. Following this research we spoke with the renowned professor Robert Schalock. He tells us more about the concept of Quality of Life.
-A lot of our readers have heard about you and your work in the field of Quality of Life-research. For the people that don’t know who you are, could you introduce yourself?

The concept of quality of life appeared in my writings in the mid 1980s based on the evaluation of community based programs in Nebraska. At that time, we were establishing community-based residential and vocational programs for persons with intellectual disability and were placing individuals into more independent and productive community environments. We were proud of our accomplishments were as we continued the research activities it became apparent that something was missing in our work. I remember well, for example, making the following comment in a 1986 AJMR article: “Although we had succeeded in placing people into more independent and productive environments, we had overlooked an important item: their quality of life.’Even though I knew very little about the concept from a literature perspective, intuitively it made good sense to focus on a life of quality, which lead to the work on quality of life that I have been involved in ever since.