I am Hatiye, an illustrator and designer based in Istanbul, Turkey. I will be a volunteer for ENIL until the end of June. After waiting a long time to obtain my visa, I am very glad to join ENIL team. I am also lucky that I will catch the Freedom Drive 2019.

I graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Visual Communication Design in 2015. I completed my master’s degree in Design, Technology and Society Program at Özyeğin University with my thesis on the representation of disability in Turkish picture books.

I got involved in several projects about disability rights during my master’s studies.

I worked as a designer at the Centre for Independent Living Sofia (CIL Sofia) with an Erasmus+ Internship for two months. In addition to the design experience, I found many opportunities such as meeting the activist Kapka Panayotova, understanding the social model of disability and learning my rights as a disabled person. In addition to my internship, I got an opportunity to be a workshop illustrator at two disability-related events. I was invited to attend final workshop of the VOICES Project as an illustrator. It was organized by and held in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, Institute for Lifecourse and Society, National University of Ireland Galway. Afterwards, I participated as an illustrator in the Teacher Training Program, “Supporting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Education: Together in Life at School” supported by Sabancı Foundation and held by Sociology and Education Studies Application and Research Center (Seçbir) and Tohum Otizm Vakfı.

My first weeks in Brussels have passed very quickly. It is the first time I am living with a Personal Assistant independently. Victoria, my first personal assistant is also an artist and designer. We became a great duo with her in a short time. (You can see her in the photo behind me.)

I believe that working as a volunteer at ENIL will be very helpful to improve my human rights perspective, learn more about disability rights, independent living, observing the implementations and practicing. Additionally, I will have a chance to design visual materials for ENIL, learn more about accessible design and meet a lot of activists. This opportunity will be very effective for me to share my independent living experience in Turkey, using the social model of disability, learning and teaching disability rights in the light of human rights.

You can get in touch with me at escvolunteer2@enil.eu and see my portfolio on hatiyegarip.com.