ENIL – European Network on Independent Living (IL) celebrates 25 years of being in existence having started in Strasbourg in 1989. To commemorate this event and celebrate our growing network the ENIL board is delighted to announce that May 5th has been declared as the European day on Independent Living. This day can be used as a day of celebration, for protests or any other event in the name of Independent Living throughout Europe and aims to foster unity for disabled people and our supporters and to also raise awareness of Independent Living.
May 5th is also Europe Day for the Council of Europe. This is a day for peace and unity. Traditionally this date has been a day of protest for the Independent Living movement and many disabled people and their organizations have used this day to raise awareness hoping to change and improve conditions for the lives of disabled people.
ENIL – The European Network on Independent Living believes in equal opportunities for disabled people and fights against discrimination in Europe. Being a cross disability organization with representation throughout Europe, ENIL promotes human rights, social inclusion, solidarity, deinstitutionalisation, self-representation, and self-determination no matter the disability.
After 25 years of fighting for the human rights of disabled people ENIL is becoming a stronger and more united force within Europe, influencing politics for Independent Living (IL). May 5th will be a day for awareness raising and one to show how we are proud, strong and visible!
Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement of disabled people who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect. Independent Living demands the same choices and control in every-day lives as non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. To grow up in families, go to the neighborhood schools, use the same bus as neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with education and interests, and to start families are some of our demands. Jamie Bolling – Director of ENIL and Il leader in Sweden