Die Zero Project Konferenz läd auch in diesem Jahr wieder dazu ein, innovative Projekte einzureichen. Der Schwerpunkt liegt diesmal bei Selbstbestimmtem Leben. Unterstehend alle Informationen auf Englisch:


Call for Nominations of Innovative Policies and Practices:

Independent Living and Political



Deadline to submit nominations: July 4, 2014

The Zero Project looking for innovative practices and policies that have clearly and measurably improved Independent Living and/or Political Participation of persons with any kind of disability.

What does the Zero Project mean by INDEPENDENT LIVING?

Independent Living is possible through the combination of various environmental and individual factors that allow all persons with disabilities, regardless of the level of their support needs, to have control over their own lives. This includes the opportunity to make choices and decisions regarding where to live, with whom to live and how to live. Services must be accessible to all and provided on the basis of equal opportunity, allowing persons with disabilities flexibility in their daily life. Independent Living requires that the built environment and transport are accessible, that there is availability of technical aids, access to personal assistance and/or community-based services.

Community living refers to persons with disabilities being able to live in their local communities as equal citizens, with the support that they need to participate in every-day life. This includes living in their own homes or with their families, going to work, going to school and taking part in community activities. Any practical assistance provided to persons with disabilities should be based on their own choices and aspirations. (Both Definitions by the European Network for Independent Living, ENIL. See also Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.)

The Zero Project acknowledges that practices and policies linked to employment and accessibility empower an individual to exercise the choice and control which is essential for living independently. However, as the Zero Project 2012/13 was devoted to employment and the Zero Project 2013/14 to accessibility, this year the Zero Project 2014/15 is looking for policies and practices specifically related to the other areas that are also essential for an individual’s self‑determination.

Therefore the Zero Project is looking especially for practices and policies on:

  1. Choices and decision-making
  • Equal recognition before the law,
  • Choice of living arrangements,
  • De-institutionalization, etc.
  1. Community-based services
  • Focus on personal assistance services for self-care, household care, mobility, leisure and community participation, assistance animals;
  • Independent housing, community living arrangements and housing adaptation;
  • Communication support;
  • Information and advice services, including professional, peer support, advocacy and supported decision-making;
  • Quality, coordination and innovation of service delivery, etc.
  1. Assistive devices
  • Technical aids, information platforms, innovative devices, ambient assistive living, etc.

What does the Zero Project mean by POLITICAL PARTICIPATION?

Participation in political and public life is a human right as well as an important step in the process of enjoying other human rights. It encompasses the right to vote and the right to be elected. However, it goes beyond formal democratic processes and includes broader participation, such as participation in decision-making on law and policy as well as participation in development and humanitarian assistance. (Definition: Thematic study by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on participation in political and public life by persons with disabilities.)

In addition, Article 29 of the UN CRPD states: States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others. States Parties shall undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected. States Parties shall promote actively an environment in which persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs, without discrimination and on an equal basis with others, and encourage their participation in public affairs.

Therefore the Zero Project is looking for Practices and Policies on:

  1. Lifting legal and administrative barriers to political participation
  • Procedures to request support and assistance in general;
  • Procedures in long-term institutions;
  • Complaint systems,
  • Provision of accessible information,
  • De-linking the right to vote from legal capacity etc.
  1. Accessibility of voting procedures, facilities and election materials
  • Data collection on accessibility of voting stations and buildings;
  • Accessibility of information via TV, Internet, Radio, Print etc.;
  • Available choice of assistance etc.
  1. Opportunities for participation in political and public life
  • Involvement of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in policy development and law making;
  • Opportunities for persons with disabilities to be elected in public office etc.
  1. Awareness raising about the right to political participation
  • Education and training projects;
  • Promotion of self-advocacy-groups;
  • Capacity-building among stakeholders etc.
  1. Data collection
  • Innovative ways to collect data on political participation, including ways of measuring accessibility for all etc.

What can be nominated?

  • Innovative Practices: an operational project or an organization with legal entity.
  • Innovative Policies: a law, regulation, standard, action plan, programme, etc., issued by governments, parliaments or public administration at all governance levels.

All nominated practices or policies have to be already implemented (at least 18 months) and their impact should by proven by facts and figures. They can be local, national, regional or international in nature.

Nominations will not be taken into consideration that are

  • based only on ideas;
  • without a comprehensible strategy;
  • pure scientific research projects without work “on the ground”;
  • pure publicity or advertising campaigns;
  • focus mainly on accessibility or employment (see explanation above).

Who can nominate a practice or policy?

Everyone can nominate a practice or a policy, including experts from the academic, public, private and non-profit sector.  Self-nominations are possible as well. Please note, however, that laws, regulations or public policies cannot be nominated by the responsible government, parliament or administration.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • Innovation: by inventing, securing support for and implementing more effective solutions (processes, services, products, ways of doing things), the practice or policy is a real improvement for the life of persons with disabilities targeted (e.g. by contributing to the exercise of human rights by persons with disabilities; by directly involving persons with disabilities; by focusing on the specific needs of vulnerable groups such as people with intellectual disabilities, people with mental health conditions, women, children, elderly, those living in poverty; by establishing new partnerships or collaborations, etc.).
  • Outcome, Impact and effectiveness: the benefit that the practice or policy contributes to society (proven by facts and figures, testimonials, media coverage, awards and others).
  • Transferability, Scalability and Cost-efficiency: the possibility to multiply, enlarge, copy or transfer the practice or policy (e.g. productive or effective in relation to its cost, low spending, cheaper than existing solutions).


Why should you nominate a practice or policy?

  • If selected, the nomination will be included as “Innovative Policy 2015” or “Innovative Practice 2015” in the Zero Project Report and Website. Their nominators will be invited to be part of the Zero Project expert network.
  • Representatives of the most outstanding Innovative Policies and Practices will be invited to present at the Zero Project Conference in February 2015, at which more than 350 decision makers from around the world, representatives from the United Nations and other international organizations, the European Union, academics, parliamentarians, leading NGOs and foundations will participate.

What happens after the nomination?

  • All nominators will be informed whether their nominated practice or policy has been shortlisted and also whether it has been finally selected.
  • All shortlisted projects will be contacted by the Zero Project Team for further research.

What is the Zero Project?

The Zero Project – For a World without Barriers http://www.zeroproject.org, officially launched in 2011 by the Essl Foundation http://www.esslfoundation.org, advocates the rights of persons with disabilities internationally. With its global outreach, the Zero Project monitors the national implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and highlights innovative practices and policies. The project is organised in partnership with the World Future Council http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org and the European Foundation Centre (www.efc.be).

Partners of the Zero Project

In 2015, the Zero Project is partnering with (in alphabetic order, and more partners are expected to join in soon):

  • Disabled People´s International (DPI),
  • European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL),
  • European Network for Independent Living (ENIL),
  • Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES),
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW),
  • Independent Living Institute (ILI),
  • International Disability Alliance (IDA),
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES),
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
  • Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS),
  • Lebenshilfe Österreich,
  • Light for the World Austria,
  • Unicredit-Bank Austria is a sponsoring partner of the Zero Project.


For any further questions, please contact:

Dr. Michael Fembek, m.fembek@zeroproject.org, +43 2243 410 ext 9149

Ingrid Heindorf, i.heindorf@zeroproject.org