Valencia conference on Independent Living and Human Rights

Jamie Bolling – Executive Director of ENIL visited the Secretariat in October. The main event was a conference on Independent Living and Human Rights organized by Carmen Najera– the Spanish Coordinator. Jamie spoke on the Freedom Drive and follow-up  through meetings with MEPs.

In the background during the day a TV team was conducting interviews of various people for a film on Independent Living inSpain. So stay tuned for the film!

Meetings were organized between IL members and other actors including architects and politicians to discuss IL indicators. Questions on planning of inclusive housing projects were discussed as well as the importance of awareness raising of politicians and the influence of political party programs.

One interesting meeting for Jamie was with José who has now lived outside institutions for a little over a half a year. José witnessed on how Independent Living gave him the courage to make the step in getting a life!

Jamie asked José if ENIL could interview him so his experience could be shared. After the visit of the institution inStara Zagora, ENIL is occupied with plans on how to better lobby for the closure of institutions. Two hundred people with disabilities all living under one roof is not a common site and should not be the case. To think that there are even larger institutions! The world is to be integrated not segregated.

Jamie Bolling

October 2011

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