Personal Assistance

Oct 30, 2020,

Independent Living Research Network: Emma O’Neill

My academic career began in 2010 when I completed a BSc Psychology at Ulster University. My original intention was to train as a Clinical Psychologist, however my undergraduate degree introduced me to the realm of research. I quickly became fascinated with qualitative research methodologies particularly the ways in which we interpret the world around us…

Oct 30, 2020,

Meet Kynnys ry (The Threshold Association), our members from Finland

The Threshold Association (or Kynnys ry in Finnish) is a cross-disability organization, which focuses on the basic and human rights of persons with disabilities. It was founded in Helsinki by Kalle Könkkölä and other students with disabilities in 1973. Nowadays the Threshold has offices in Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu Tampere and Turku. In addition to this,…

Sep 30, 2020,

Summary of ENIL’s Members’ Meeting and the Independent Living for All Webinar

Following on from a successful regional members’ meeting in Poland in 2019, ENIL hosted an online members’ meeting on Monday 14 September, with an accompanying webinar on “Independent Living for All” on Tuesday 15 September. The two-day event was well-attended, and questions and debates were lively. Personal Assistance was in the focus of the discussions,…

Jul 30, 2020,

Independent Living Research Network: Ciara Brennan

My name is Ciara Brennan. I am from Dublin, Ireland. For more than a decade, I have worked as a disability researcher in Ireland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Currently, I am a research and advocacy consultant for the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM). DRM is collecting data from around the world in order to measure…

Jun 30, 2020,

First Steps towards a New Disability Strategy

On 18 June, the European Parliament adopted a progressive Resolution for a new European Disability Strategy post 2020 (further referred to as ‘the Resolution’).  ENIL is pleased to see strong emphasis on Independent Living throughout the document. This is particularly visible in three points: deinstitutionalisation with access to services, personal assistance and freedom of movement….

Jun 30, 2020,

ENIL Launches Independent Living Survey (in English, German, French)

The European Network on Independent Living is launching its first Independent Living Survey, with the aim of getting a better picture of access to Independent Living in Europe. Responses will be analysed and published in December 2020. The Independent Living Survey should be completed by disabled people, DPOs or NGOs familiar with access to Independent…

Jun 30, 2020,

Independent Living Research Network: Miro Griffiths

My experience of disability was shaped, initially, by my personal experience of impairment. Before the introduction to disability politics, my overall perspective was one rooted in the individual model of disability, wrapped in a tragedy narrative. I was ashamed of identifying as a disabled person, professionals and practitioners encouraged me to be passive and dependent,…

Jun 30, 2020,

All That Hurts

My name is Elvira Popa and I have been a wheelchair user for many years, living in Râmnicu-Vâlcea, Romania. Life has been very harsh most of the time and here I am telling  one of those episodes when I was kicked down to the ground and left alone to find my way back. 1.The assault The…

Jun 16, 2020,

Overview of Data during COVID-19 Pandemic

This overview provides information about the living situation of disabled people in the European Union during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on the data collected by the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and the European Disability Forum (EDF), until 15 May 2020. The personal experiences that are part of this overview have been…

May 29, 2020,

In Memoriam: Emil Bohinc

When Elena called me on the morning of Wednesday, May 20, I quickly told her I didn’t have time and had pleased her she should be short. This is my standard response to phone calls when I draw. “Wait, I HAVE to tell you that. Emil died tonight. ”At that moment, I collapsed and a…

May 29, 2020,

Independent Living Research Network: Rados Keravica

My pathway to disability research was not a straightforward one but it’s certainly an interesting one. Originally, I had studied international economics at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and obtained a master’s degree there but I’ve never seen myself as the practitioner in the field of finance. What’s more, I didn’t exhibit much interest…

May 29, 2020,

Train Trips, Tricky Tracks

COVID has been restricting our travel ability for a while now. To make sure we do not forget the good old time when we could travel through much of Europe without border controls, I will share with you my experience of booking a train and train assistance for a journey from Brussels (Belgium) to Rennes…

May 29, 2020,

Meet FREEkey Movement for Personal Assistance in Hungary

We are the FREEkey. We are a team of disabled and non-disabled people. The aim of our bottom-up initiative is to provide services that allow persons with disabilities to live in a self-determined way. This means we want to control our lives, to be able to decide on issues that concern us and are important…

Apr 30, 2020,

COVID-19 Pandemic and Independent Living in Scotland

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disabled people’s independent living movement in Scotland had been making progress, influencing national policy making with the Scottish Government and other strategic policy makers, in a variety of ways. Principally, among such progress, the national pan-disability organisation – Inclusion Scotland – had just started to support a…

Apr 30, 2020,

Independent Living Research Network: Gabor Petri, PhD

When people ask me how I started to work with disabled people’s organisations, my usual answer is that it was an accidental choice. As a skint university student of Hungarian literature and linguistics in Budapest in 1999, I needed a job so I ended up working as a part-time personal assistant to people with severe…

Mar 31, 2020,

Living Independently during COVID-19 Pandemic: Spain

Spain is among the countries most affected by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. We asked the Forum for Independent Living in Spain for their account of what is going on in their country, and how it is impacting disabled people in the community and in institutions. “From the start, with the surprise and the limited…

Mar 31, 2020,

EU Social Policy Agenda in 2020 and Beyond

On 29 January 2020, the European Commission published its 2020 workplan. ENIL has analysed it and decided to highlight some of the most promising initiatives in the area of social policy. Please read on for an overview of what to expect from the EU’s social front this and next year. Green Pillar? Remember the European…

Dec 27, 2019,

Good-bye 2019, Bring on 2020

As we schedule our ‘out of office’ replies at the European Network on Independent Living and start counting down to the end of yet another year, I would like to briefly reflect on 2019 and what it meant for us. Firstly, we will remember this year by turning 30 and taking the first steps into…