EASPD among winners of Zero Project’s 2024 Awards

EASPD announced as one of the winners of the 2024 Zero Project Awards.

On 3 December, the Zero Project announced the winners of its 2024 Awards for Innovative Solutions centred around Inclusive Education and ICT. Among the 77 winners from across 43 countries were the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and our members Cooperative for Inclusion (CECD) and Fundación ONCE.

As a global initiative of the Essl Foundation, the Zero Projectsupports the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by researching, identifying, communicating, and supporting innovative solutions internationally and across all sectors of society. The Zero Project 2024 annual research cycle was dedicated to the theme of Inclusive Education, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

This year, EASPD was among the 77 awardees for our work, alongside the United Nations Children's Fund’s (UNICEF) Regional Office in Geneva and six national partners, in delivering emergency early childhood development support to Ukrainian families. These national partners include Keystone Moldova (Moldova), Imago Foundation (Poland), National Network for Children (Bulgaria), The Social Teahouse (Bulgaria), TENENET (Slovakia), FONSS (Romania).

The practice was recognised for delivering essential support in an emergency context to young children with disabilities and developmental delays who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine, while simultaneously boosting the capacity of the Ukrainian population to support members of their community and integrate into their host country. The project also targeted the development of national Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) systems to create a bridge between emergency support and long-term ECI provision for all children and families who require additional support.

Speaking on the awards Ivana Davidovska, EASPD Head of Projects, said, “We are honoured to have received recognition for our work from the Zero Project. This project has been an important one for EASPD, not just for its work to deliver immediate support to Ukrainian families at a time of need, but also for its contribution to promote systemic change to national ECI systems to ensure that all children can access quality ECI services that enable them to reach their full potential.I would like to thank our national partners and EASPD team members for their hard work to make a real difference on the ground in difficult circumstances and the UNICEF Regional office in Geneva for the cooperation.”

Alongside EASPD, our members Cooperative for Inclusion (CECD)(Portugal) and Fundación ONCE (Spain) were recognised for their work. Fundación ONCE were recognised for their programme to improve the employability of people with disabilities in the digital sector while CECD were recognised for their work to promote the delivery of integrated ECI services between three different government ministries.

Following the announcement of the Awardees of 2024, the Zero Project will present and promote these during the invitation-only Zero Project Conference 2024 – #ZeroCon24 – at the United Nations Office in Vienna. This global gathering will be broadcast live and for free from Vienna from 21 February to 23 February 2024.

Supporting Documents

For more information, please contact:

Ivana Davidovska
EASPD Head of Projects
+32 2 233 77 23

Note to editors:

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organisation, established in 1996, and currently representing over 20,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.