The 6th European Independent Living Day was celebrated widely in Europe and beyond. Although this year the 5th May was on Sunday (a day of rest for many), disabled people and their allies in more than 20 countries celebrated, showing that the Independent Living movement is strong and active! It showed also that it is growing, with several new countries joining the celebrations. Altogether, we have confirmed so far that 24 countries organised something for the Independent Living Day, out of which 23 in Europe (Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and the UK) and one in Asia (Lebanon).
As always, the goal of raising awareness about the right to Independent Living was achieved in various and sometimes creative ways. Some of the activities took place exclusively online. Many events were covered by local media,and most of them were shared via social media, making possible for the Independent Living idea to spread to as many people and through as many channels as possible.
Using the hashtag #ILDay19, we reached over 11.000 people and received support and updates not only from our members, but also many other individuals, national and international organizations (DPOs and other), politicians and MEPs.
On the 6th of May, together with other organisations in Brussels, we compiled messages from nearly 100 people, including 2 MEPs, about the importance of putting Independent Living and social inclusion high on the agenda of the next European Parliament. We wish to use this opportunity to thank the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe, Mental Health Europe and EASPD for joining us in front of the Parliament.
ENIL is still collecting information about all the activities and events that took place for the European Independent Living Day, and is working on a report that will be shared with you soon. If you organised something and would like us to include it in the report, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th June at the latest.
Thank you for being proud, strong and visible and see you next year at the #ILDay20!