7 Months until the 2019 Freedom Drive

7 Months until the 2019 Freedom Drive

Only 7 months left until ENIL Freedom Drive 2019, our big biannual meeting, as well as our 30th Anniversary celebration, and week by week we are adding more pieces to the final agenda puzzle.

In this month’s article, we would like to introduce the workshops* we are going to have during the Freedom Drive. The workshops will take place on 1 October, in Mundo J (Rue de l’Industrie 10) and will run for 90 minutes each.

Workshop 1: Disabled Refugees and Independent Living      

The workshop will present the Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW) Project. This is a 3-year project run by the Independent Living Institute (ILI) in Stockholm, Sweden. The main goal of the project is to develop methods that will improve conditions for the reception of disabled refugees in Sweden and their access to Independent Living. The workshop will be used to disseminate information about the DRW project methods and results. The aim is also to make connections with other actors at the EU level and to develop additional activities in the area of migrants and Independent Living, to be implemented by ENIL and our members.

Workshop 2: Neurodiversity and Independent Living

The workshop will be run by Tess Van Deynse, a person with autism from Belgium. Tess lives alone and she is active in fighting for equal rights for disabled people. This is the way Tess described her workshop: “My workshop will be about neurodiversity. Different types of thinking, because the brain works in a manner different from most people. But that isn’t bad, because we always think outside the box. Not all people accept this, because we have a lot of communication problems in daily life.” This workshop will present the tools, the do’s and don’t’s for communicating with people who are neurodiverse.

Workshop 3: User-led Personal Assistance

Personal assistance (PA) is essential for realising disabled people’s right to independent living and community inclusion, as stated in Article 19 of the UN CRPD. In response to decades of advocacy, PA schemes have spread throughout Europe. However, in recent years, many of these schemes have been subjected to cuts, tightening of eligibility criteria or other forms of restructuring. Given these trends, what is the current state of PA in Europe and what are the prospects of this fundamental condition for disabled people’s participation in social life? These questions have been addressed in a new research on PA by Teodor Mladenov, Marie Curie Research Fellow at ENIL, and will be presented during this workshop.

Workshop 4: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The aim of this workshop is to inform participants about the importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and get them to increase their involvement in the SDGs work.  There is strong inclusion of disabled people in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 19 specific references to persons with disabilities. SDGs require all Governments to take a holistic approach to the development of laws and policies in their countries, with a transversal inter-ministerial collaboration needed to foster intersectionality. Disabled people need to be included and mainstreamed into other thematic areas, such as employment, education, infrastructure, disaster risk reduction. Similarly to the CRPD, SDGs have to be integrated in laws, policies, budgets. While the CRPD focuses on disability, the SDGs mainstream human rights of persons with disabilities; they should therefore be used together. Going back to the two mottos – “Nothing about us without us! & “Leave no one behind!” – this workshop will discuss the relevance of SDGs to Independent Living and our advocacy work in Europe. The workshop will by run by Nadia Hadad, ENIL Board member.

Workshop 5: Using the European Structural and Investment Funds to support Independent Living

The workshop will focus on the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) and explore how we can make sure that they are used to support, rather than hinder Independent Living. Natasa Kokic, who coordinates our EU Funds for Our Rights Campaign, will present key information about these funds and explain how DPOs can get involved in monitoring and advocacy activities related to the use of ESI Funds.

Workshop 6: Co-production (to be confirmed)

This workshop will present the groundbreaking work of disability activists in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Led by our Board member Tara Flood, the workshop will explain how disabled people managed to embed co-production in all parts of their community – from housing, transport, support to leisure etc. – and make sure they are part of all decisions and processes from the very beginning.

*Please note that we will have all the above-mentioned workshops only if there is enough interest. Each workshop will have a limited number of participants and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Once registration for the Freedom Drive opens at the end of March, it will be possible to sign up for all the workshops.

Call for volunteers – Reminder

Finally, we wish to remind you about our call for volunteers during the Freedom Drive week. If you are based in Brussels and you are interested in helping out during the event, please contact Kamil Goungor, our Development Officer and contact point for the Freedom Drive at: kamil.goungor@enil.eu.

To stay updated about the 2019 Freedom Drive, please check this Freedom Drive summary page on our website, and make sure to check our website, the Freedom Drive Facebook page, as well as our Newsletters.

#2019FreedomDrive #FD2019

Leave a comment