Join us in celebrating the #ILDay2021

[ingress]Did you know that the 5 of May marks the European Independent Living Day? Join us and disabled people from all over Europe.[/ingress]

The 5th of May aims to bring together disabled people and our supporters throughout Europe, and to raise awareness of Independent Living. In essence, Independent Living means that disabled people shall have equal rights and opportunities to live free, independent lives, just like everyone else. Join us in our pride, strength and visibility!

One day left

Tomorrow at 2 pm UTC (14.00), Uloba – Independent Living Norway together with the Independent Living Institute in Sweden and the European Network on Independent Living, will host a celebratory webinar. As this year also marks Ulobas 30 years as an Independent Living organization we are hoping you will join us in a united celebration and a reminder that we are all a part of something bigger.

Together and through conversation we will get to know the history behind our very own network of Independent Living organizations and centres, ENIL, and learn more about the work to influence disability and equality politics in Europe today, both within and beyond the European Union. And we will get close and personal with the people who started it all.

Adolf Ratzka som sit framfor ein kvit vegg med hendene i fanget og ser nøgd ut.
Adolf Ratzka is one of the ENIL-founders. He was a close friend to our late founder Bente Skansgård and has been crucial in getting personal assistance and the Independent Living igeology to Sweden and Norway.

Hear from our biggest profiles

To tell the story of our European Network which has it’s Secretariat located in Brussels, Belgium, we will hear from the founders of our Network and some of our biggest profiles. Independent Living Titan Adolf Ratzka and our own secretary general Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm will guide us through the beginning of ENIL. They will reflect on the importance our organizations play to each other. Founders Jamie Bolling from ILI and Kapka Panayotova from the Independent Living Centre in Sofia, Bulgaria will talk about the solidarity between organisations and people. And they will update us on the work that ENIL does today.

We will also hear from Current ENIL Co Chair Nadia Hadad and ENIL Youth Co Vice Chair Miroslava-Mima Ivanovic. And David Lega, ex paralympian and MEP at the European Parliament will join us. He will talk about the importance of disabled people filling several roles in society, both in activism and in regular life, jobs and politics. And we might even hear from a true Independent Living celebrity.

Link to The European Independent Living Day Facebook event.

Click here to watch the webinar on Youtube live stream.

Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm and Jamie Bolling smiling and talking to each other during the Freedom Drive event in 2019.
Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm and Jamie Bolling, two of the ENIL-founders smiling and talking to each other during the Freedom Drive event in 2019.

Celebrating movement

We wish to take you on a virtual journey to examine the situation for disabled people throughout Europe today. Disabled people from several European countries has graciously sent us their video greetings offering us a valuable look. Through our hour and a half we also want to find out which issues are particularly important to us all right now and in the years to come.

ENIL has dedicated this year’s edition, the 8th, of The Independent Living Day to the idea of movement or mobility in a broader way. Among other issues we will discuss along with ENIL and ILI is the impact that the Covid-19-pandemic has had on the day to day lives of disabled people. For many of us the isolation that the world has had to tackle in the past year is not a new occurrence. This includes disabled people living in institutions. And as this year’s celebration will have to be digital, together we want to create a sense of commitment. We want to continue raising awareness of our human rights and our freedom of movement even after the pandemic.

ENIL will be looking out for these hashtags throughout the day: #ThisIsHowWeMove and #ILDay2021

Please follow this link to find out how ENIL will commemorate this special day and how you can contribute.


How to sign up

The webinar will be accessible as a live stream. To join us, please follow this link.  Our celebration will be accessible to screen reader-users and subtitled in English. There will also be sign language interpretation.

ENIL, ILI and Uloba invites you to join us in celebrating the European Independent Living Day!