Bente Skansgård, Oslo, my long-time close personal friend and associate in the Independent Living and Disability Rights Movement, passed away on November 14, 2013 after a long illness. Bente, known as “ULOBA’s (the Norwegian personal assistance user cooperative) mother”, had a decisive role in Norway’s disability politics by introducing Independent Living and personal assistance to the country and by starting the foundation "Stopp diskrimineringen" to promote and defend the civil rights of persons with disabilities. Bente served as chairperson for ENIL, the European Network on Independent Living and was widely known throughout Norway and Europe. Bente was a tough but fair fighter with strong convictions and great diplomatic skills, a person who cared deeply about other people and somebody who knew how to enjoy life. She was a true friend. Bente served on ILI’s Board since ILI’s beginning in 1993.
Adolf Ratzka, November 2013