Our team, Eszter Salamon, our Director, two members of the Supervisory Board, Brigitte Haider and Christian Hellevang and our Project Manager, Luca László represented the ELPIDA Consortium at the ZERO Conference 2020 held at the United Nations Centre in Vienna on 19-21 February 2020. The event brought together over 500 people passionate about accessibility and inclusion from all over the world. This year’s conference focused on education and showcased innovative, inspiring practices and policies. Unfortunately all policies introduced focused on schooling only, but we have had the opportunity to meet like-minded people representing practice with a holistic approach to education. There were some interesting examples of engaging with parents. It was a great honour to receive the ZERO Award, and we believe that it will give leverage to our plans for further developing ELPIDA and work on the inclusion of parents with disabled children as well as disabled parents, but it is partly because we have made some new friends in Vienna in these 3 day.
ELPIDA, our online platform supporting parents of people with intellectual disabilities was nominated and shortlisted for the ZERO Award 2020 as an Innovative Practice. This year they were looking for innovations that allow young persons with disabilities to access education opportunities. The theme covers a variety of education levels and types and includes such themes as early childhood intervention, primary and secondary schools, university education, vocational training, as well as education in emergency and disaster situation. ELPIDA was awarded due to the following: Most approaches to supporting persons with intellectual disabilities are focused either on the people themselves or on the professionals who work with them, while overlooking the importance of training parents and guardians. The ELPIDA project meets the training and support needs of parents and guardians of persons with intellectual disabilities by offering an evidence-based online course about their children’s rights and needs. By educating parents, the project aims to create a positive secondary effect on the quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities
By attending the conference, we have learnt about a number of innovative, holistic, inclusive education practices, started collaboration with some programmes targeting parents in India, Singapore and Ireland. We also got invited to the Access Israel 2020 conference and to Zanzibar, to support their work with parents in education.
The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008 and focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It is a platform where the most innovative and effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face, are shared. Its mission is to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and to work for a world without barriers.
It takes a solutions-based approach. Together with a continuously growing network of over 4,000 experts, with and without disabilities, in over 150 countries, the project seeks to identify the most innovative and effective Policies and Practices that improve the lives of persons with disabilities and to tell the world about those Policies & Practices.
Throughout the year, these solution-oriented approaches are disseminated to decision makers and opinion leaders worldwide and present the results of our research at various national and international conferences, for example, at Side Events at the annual Conference of State Parties to UN CRPD in New York.
The annual Zero Project Report presents the Policies & Practices that have been selected as the most innovative in their approach to that year’s theme. It also evaluated just how the UN CRPD is being implemented around the world.
Learn more about the contestant for Innovative Practice 2020 here: https://zeroproject.org/practice-type/innovative-practices-2020-on-inclusive-education-and-ict/