Independent Living Institute (ILI) Annual Report 2002

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Independent Living Institute (ILI),
Annual Report 2002



New projects
Continuing projects
Website statistics
Closed projects
EU Grant applications in partnership
Invitations to serve as resource person at events
Invitations we could not follow
Other professional contacts and activities
ILI's board
ILI's staff

New projects


Mobility For All builds an interactive database for
- youth with or without disabilities looking for opportunities for study and internships abroad
- universities that want to open their opportunities to all groups
- corporations wishing to benefit from diversity

Currently, people with disabilities - despite many policy statements to the contrary - are hardly represented in international exchange programs for study and internships abroad, since needs such as reasonable accommodations, accessible housing, transportation or personal assistance are not taken into account. Mobility For All is a three year project funded by the Swedish General Inheritance Fund (administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs). Project coordinator Sebastian Ferrer

Radio Independent Living is to produce a number of audio programs on important historic and current developments in Swedish and international disability politics. Among the themes will be de-institutionalization, self-determination, civil rights, law and legal action as instruments for social change, cultural identity. The internet´s cost effectiveness allows wide dissemination of the 30-minute programs by downloading and listening to the sound files with an ordinary home computer. Radio Independent Living is a two-year project funded the Swedish General Inheritance Fund (administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs). Project coordinator Susanne Berg.

On August 25-29 Mainstream Association (part of the Japanese IL movement) organized its 10th International Convention of Disabled Highschool Students in Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo-ken, sponsored by the largest Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun and Hyogo Prefacture. ILI, one of Mainstream’s partners selected in an essay competition Yasmin Jungstedt, member of the Stockholm Cooperative for Independent Living, as Swedish participant. See internet publication

Continuing projects


Taxi for all,, a pilot project in Stockholm County, is to test whether a taxi-based system - at the same costs to taxpayers - can offer better mobility, flexibility and self-determination than the County’s present special transportation system for mobility impaired people. 50 persons entitled to use the County’s special transportation busses participate in the project. Instead of ordering their rides one to two days in advance with the special transportation central switchboard, they now call ordinary taxi operators who have adapted mainstream taxi cabs that can take all patrons including those who remain seated in their wheelchairs during the ride. Costs are covered by the County, participants pay the same fee as for special transportation. Taxi for all is an outgrowth of ILI’s work in the Slovak Republic, The project is funded by the Stockholm County Special Transportation Board (Färdtjänst) and the Transportation Research Committee (Kommunikationsforsknings-beredningen). ILI’s representative during this project phase Adolf Ratzka.

KARMA, Knowledge and Augmented Reality Management Assistance,, project number IST-32320, is a European Union funded project under the Fifth Framework program. The project is to develop a marketable product including hardware, software and interface with the healthcare system that assists families with brain-injured children to avoid hospitalization. Partners are Air Liquide Sanità, Italy, a major international medical supplier, QUBIsoft, an Italian software developer, Tosinvest, a brain injuries clinic in Rome, Italy, Brain Injured Children, a parents' organization near Rome, Italy, France Télècom's department of Télèmedecine in Grenoble, France, the University Hospital Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France and the Independent Living Institute, Sweden. ILI’s representative Adolf Ratzka.

CEIL,, Contributing to Equality through Independent Living, is funded by the European Union under budget line B5-803. The project is to spread the Independent Living approach among organizations for and of older persons and persons with disabilities in Southern Europe through the dissemination of examples of good practice. Partners are Instituto Estudios Sociales, Spain, Independent Living Institute, Sweden, Disability Now, Greece, Disabled Peoples´ International Italy, AUSER, Italy, Logroño Sin Barreras, Spain, Confederación Española de Organizaciones de Mayores, Spain. The kick-off meeting took place in Stockholm September 26-29. ILI’s representative Adolf Ratzka.

HO Reporting Service is a searchable database on ILI’s website where people who feel discriminated because of their disability can file a report to the Swedish Disability Ombudsman. Its purpose is to make visible the extent of the discrimination which disabled people are exposed to in Sweden. Project coordinator Adolf Ratzka.

Thanks to our sponsors the personal assistance cooperatives STIL, the Stockholm Cooperative for Independent Living and GIL, the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living Institute has been able to continue maintaining and enlarging its website with library documents and useful interactive services. Equally important, our sponsors’ support is used to co-finance EU projects – an indispensable requirement in the competition for EU funding.

Website statistics


During 2002 our website has continued to be the number one search result for ”Independent Living” in (of 171,000 total results), (545,000), (278,000), (690,000). According to, a total of 1,913 websites link to us. During the year we have had an average of 8,000 ”user sessions” per week. Almost 700 documents make our site one of the world’s largest virtual full-text libraries on Independent Living and disability rights issues.

Closed projects


On August 27, ILI left the national development partnership Mobility under the EU EQUAL Program in order to follow its original project plan (see Mobility For All above) with the support of the Swedish General Inheritance Fund (Allmänna Arvsfonden).

EU grant applications in partnership


An application for an interactive online Access Guide for Self-determination was submitted together with a number of European partners. In the proposal, a building’s accessibility is described in terms of potential problem areas. With the planned database’s information prospective users can decide for themselves whether they will manage the obstacles or are willing to put up with the inconvenience.

ILI participated in a Polish application regarding a project for personal Assistance for intellectually disabled persons, including assistants’ training, an international conference, published materials on personal Assistance to raise Polish lawmakers’ interest in the issue.

Invitations to serve as resource person at events

January 15 Adolf Ratzka gives plenary paper at human rights conference in Lindsbrunn, Sweden.

April 3 presentation about ILI at STIL, the Stockholm Cooperative for Independent Living

May 16 Susanne Berg and Adolf Ratzka participate in panel discussion on disability rights legislation organized by FÖR, Förbund Röreslehindrade.

Oct 30 Adolf Ratzka gives plenary paper (
at EU Presidency Expert Seminar “Quality of Services – Quality of Life” in Copenhagen.

Nov 20 Adolf Ratzka delivers key note address at conference about personal assistance in Würzburg, Germany organized by CIL Würzburg

Invitations we could not follow


February 6 Adolf Ratzka invited to EU Presidency Expert Seminar “IT and Persons with Disabilities” Madrid, Spain to deliver a plenary paper (

February 8 CEIL meeting Madrid, Spain

March 11-13 Adolf Ratzka invited to give paper at international conference organized by Through the Looking Glass, Oakland, CA, USA

April 11-13 Adolf Ratzka invited to present at seminar on Personal Assistance in Erlangen, Germany

September 26-29 invited plenary lecture at Moscow Film Festival

October 15-16 invited lecture at IL meeting at the 6. DPI World Congress, Sapporo, Japan

Other professional contacts and activities

February 22 researchers Hans Bengtsson and Kerstin Gynnerstedt, University of Halmstad and Jönköping, respectively intervjew Adolf Ratzka about the Swedish Personal Assistance Act.

March 7 Prof. Tom Burke, Boalt School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, USA interviews Adolf Ratzka for study of development of anti-discrimination legislation in Europe.

March 14 Sid Wolinski, Director of Litigation, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, USA deliberates with DRA International Council member Adolf Ratzka regarding DRA’s project with disabled people and the Holocaust.

March 25 South African delegation meets with Susanne Berg and Adolf Ratzka about personal assistance and access issues.

May 2 meeting with Phil Gordon, expert on class action suits, Idaho, USA and Paul Lappalainen, jur kand, Stockholm meet with Adolf Ratzka about class action suits in the area of disability.

July 8 Adolf Ratzka meets with ILI Board member Bente Skansgård, ULOBA, Norway.

August 8 Yona Castel, Head, Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Center, Beer Sheva, Israel consults with Adolf Ratzka.

August 21 Adolf Ratzka meets with Phil Gordon, expert on class action suits, Idaho, USA, re training possibilities for Swedish trial lawyers on class action.

August 30 Dr Aiha Zemp, Zürich interviews Adolf Ratza for Swiss daily newspaper.

October 14 Fundación Luis Vives, Madrid, Spain commissions Adolf Ratzka for contributing a chapter to a planed book about the international development of Independent Living.

Nov 19 German TV Channel ZDF and kobinet, the German Independent Living news agency, interview Adolf Ratzka in Würzburg, Germany.

Dec 3 French-Norwegian film team consults with Adolf Ratzka regarding the production of a TV program about Independent Living to be broadcast by Channel ARTE in France and Germany in fall 2003.

Dec 6 German TV team Channel ZDF films Adolf Ratzka to illustrate personal assistance in practice.


We thank Cable & Wireless for web hotel and associated services for our website during 2002.

We thank STIL, the Stockholm Cooperative for Independent Living, and GIL, the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living, which support the Institute’s activities for a three year period. The funds are being used for maintaining and improving the Institute’s website, for financing minor projects which otherwise could not have been funded and for co-financing European Union projects.

ILI's board


The Institute’s board was unchanged during 2002 consisting of Bente Skansgård, Norway; Phil Mason, UK; Rolf Bergfors, Sweden and Adolf Ratzka, Sweden. The board had its annual meeting on May 10 by email.

ILI's staff


Adolf Ratzka continued to serve as director on a half-time basis.

Miles Goldstick was responsible for the technical aspects of the website also during 2002.

Sebastian Ferrer, economist and organizational consultant with many years experience in international development in Nicaragua, moved with his family to the Stockholm area and started to work full-time in May 2002 with project Mobilit for ally and a range of administrative tasks.

Susan Svinghammar helped us out with administrative work during several months. When she left for a full-time position elsewhere Sebastian Ferrer took over.

Susanne Berg joined the staff in her capacity as part-time project coordinator of Radio Independent Living in August. She has held several important positions in Sweden, both as an activist and a professional. Among other functions she has been the chair of the Stockholm chapter of DHR (National Organization of Physically Disabled People). She worked as access expert at the Office of the Swedish Disability Ombudsman. She is enrolled in the Master’s Degree Program in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

February 28, 2003

Bente Skansgård
Philip Mason
Rolf Bergfors
Adolf Ratzka


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