Vision of independent living comes alive on the 3rd European Independent Living Day

More than 30 organizations of disabled people across Europe and many individuals were joining the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) in marking the 3rd European Independent Living Day.


Photo: Two women in a wheelchair during a demonstration in Germany; Copyright: Andi Weiland |

In Berlin, Germany, there was a big demonstration to raise awareness for the much critizised so called "Bundesteilhabegesetz" (Federal Participation Law); © Andi Weiland |

The European Independent Living Day, celebrated on 5 May, is an annual event to raise awareness about the right to Independent Living and its importance for disabled people. Launched by ENIL in 2014, it is attracting more supporters each year. John Evans, one of the pioneers of Independent Living in the United Kingdom best highlighted the importance of the European Independent Living Day by stating: "Independent Living has transformed the lives of disabled people for the better. We need to be steadfast in the years of austerity to keep our vision alive."

To celebrate this vision of Independent Living for All, and to draw attention to the threats to Independent Living, activists from across Europe are organising conferences and meetings (Portugal, UK, Serbia, Turkey), staging protests and street actions (Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro), launching comic strips and reports (Greece, Italy, France, Belarus), working with the media and organising online campaigns (Hungary, Armenia, Albania, Norway, Cyprus, Sweden).

To mark the day, ENIL has asked its members and friends to say what Independent Living means to them. "Living like everyone else", "Getting married", "Managing my own life like all other people", "Travelling all over the world", "Being a dad to my kids" were some of the answers posted on ENIL’s Facebook campaign.; Source: European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)

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