Disability NOW is a supportive Non-Profit, Non-Governmental organisation in Greece, with an established European profile, and is mostly managed by people with severe mobility disabilities. The aim of Disability NOW is to produce and distribute all available disability related information, in respect of fundamental rights to independence and social participation. It constitutes a major source of peer support and counselling, empowering people with disabilities with the appropriate knowledge and skills to self-advocate and exercise their civil rights, to manage their needs and to establish their own terms and choices in their lives. Peer support, information and advice are provided continuously through the telephone, email, online disability community and forum, newsletters and the print magazine, on a professional and voluntary basis.
Since 1997, through its own dedicated portal at www.disabled.gr the organisation has established an informational gateway: it gathers, enters, classifies, publishes and distributes information on a daily basis which relates to, benefits and concerns people with disabilities, and people with special educational and consumer needs; it offers a complete directory of information and an intelligent instrument of research and survival for every person with disabilities.
The supportive role of DISABILITY NOW in gathering, creating, and disseminating information within a self-help/ peer support setting, which is directly responsive to the real needs of disabled people, forms the core of its objectives.
Within 15 years in operation, the expertise of DISABILITY NOW is well recognised within national initiatives that aim to promote dialogue with civil society so as to augment fundamental rights of people with disabilities. At the same time, its active participation in European partnerships and networks has contributed to successful projects aiming at promoting disability rights on a European level.
Despite the voluntary character of Disability NOW, all its initiatives are of professional level and extremely innovatory.
Indicatively we mention some of them:
- The publication of the printed magazine “Autonomia”: Since 1993, DISABILITY NOW has been publishing a bi-monthly magazine of 132 pages (in Greek) that supports an emancipatory, achieving and elegant view of disability. The magazine publishes all disability related law, social policy and entitlements in Greece, as well as national and international disability news, articles, research and personal stories, altogether pertaining to themes such as education, employment and entrepreneurship, social security, accessibility, health and rehabilitation, assistive technology, independent living, internet, consumerism, sexuality, leisure, culture and arts. The magazine is distributed free of charge to people with disabilities and civil groups/ associations of people with disabilities. It has also attracted the interest of other stakeholders in the field of disability, such as doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, special education teachers, and assistive technology providers, while it also reaches a great number of mainstream waiting spaces, like cafes, hotels, etc. The number of subscribers has now reached 15,000 in Greece, while it is steadily increasing.
- The operation of www.DISABLED.GR which is the largest disability related portal that concerns people with disabilities and it has more than 150,000 visits per month. It is totally accessible for the blind and for the people with severe and multiple disabilities. Within the www.DISABLED.GR portal, there is the Archive for Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation, which is the largest free of charge Digital Library in Greece (it equally features English content) and includes thousands of titles of books and articles on all disabilities, individuals with disabilities, special education, independent living and rehabilitation (e.g. The Legislation Guide for the Citizen with Disability: the most complete selection of Greek laws and case-laws for people with disabilities). We have to mention that most of these articles are first publications in the Greek language.
The different categories of the Library are listed on the left side of this page.
- The organization of Autonomia EXPO in Athens: Since 2006, DISABILITY NOW organises Autonomia EXPO taking place every May in Greece, and lasting 3 days, from 10am to 9am. Covering about 4,500 square metres, Autonomia Expo constitutes the largest exhibition of products and services as well as seminars and cultural events centred on disability, health, rehabilitation, education, technology and independent living in Greece, also attracting participation from European providers. In essence, it is a celebration of disability as difference in living terms, of accessible ways of living, of aesthetics and culture. Its first opening last year had an unprecedented attendance of people with disabilities as well as other stakeholders in the field of disability. The success of Autonomia EXPO lies in remaining closest and responding to consumer needs and demands which exceed stereotypes of disability, and in bringing together people with a common view of an active and achieving disability. An electronic diary of the event is updated throughout the year at www.autonomiaexpo.org.
- The electronic Disability NOW newsletter which is being distributed through email, once, twice or more times per week, to 6,500 electronic subscribers.
- The Disability Community and its Forum operation, through which people with disabilities, their relatives or professionals in the field of disability exchange opinions for their common problems, share information and enjoy their online conversations!
- The Disability News Portal which republishes every day all the latest news concerning the disabilities, and collects and distributes in a totally accessible format for the blind and for the readers with severe disabilities all the disability related news and stories in Greek language; it equally features English news content.
- Peer counseling services for all cases which concern disabilities. The counselors (social workers, job coaches, doctors, nurses, computer science executives, engineers, architects, lawyers, businessmen, psychologists etc.) offer their professional knowledge voluntarily. In their majority they live under disability conditions.
- Specialized Peer Counseling Services for
• Employment, entrepreneurship and job placement.
• Advocation and self-advocation.
• The creative usage of the internet and of the adaptive technologies.
- Web hosting, design and development services for the disability organisations and for the self-help groups.
- Finally, Disability Now has been involved in partnerships in numerous and wide ranging National and European projects critical for the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Such projects have mainly addressed issues of accessibility, employability, education and lifelong learning, e-government and e-inclusion, violence and discrimination, independent living, personal care assistance, peer support adaptive technologies, etc.
Accountability, Reliability and Validity
Disability NOW is a member of the largest international academic organizations and informational networks:
- European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)
- European Design for all eAccessibility Network (EDeAN)
- European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
- Social Employers Network (SEN)
- Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED)
- European Thematic Network on Assistive Information and Communication Technologies (ETNA)
Credibility and Authenticity
Disability NOW is a legal entity of private law which has gained the confidence of people who live under disability conditions as well as that of eminent scientists e.g. rehabilitation doctors, special therapists, specialist technocrats, universities, organizations, associations etc.
According to ALEXA.COM, at this moment, www.disabled.gr is the most popular disability site in the world and the 2nd between the health sites in Greece.
See our site’s info and Traffic Details presented by Alexa: Alexa Certified Site Stats for disabled.gr
Actually, Disability NOW is the only Greek organization, which has managed to break down the barriers, which divide patients and specialists.
To Disability NOW these two things are being organic embedded.
Value of Usage
Disability NOW re-establishes and re-educates with its own paradigm:
- Disability NOW recruits technocrats because its core consists of technocrats who live under disability conditions.
- Disability NOW is the richest informational center (informational resources), which produces and distributes classified and systemized information.
- Disability NOW is the only one Greek organisation which produces innovate instruments which prove to be of great usage and value, and distributes them free of charge in printed form as well as electronic.
- Disability NOW has developed the largest database within which everything that has to do with disabilities in Greece and abroad is written.
Disability NOW is the only Greek organisation, which objectively has a “massive base”. The large number of users of Disability NOW is due to the accessible way in which everything is organized, the provision of services, and to the advanced methods of communication and information, which do not divide users and producers according to their geographic position or their special conditions of life.
The printed magazine “Autonomia” in combination with Disabled.GR complies with the prescriptions of the Universal Design: meaning that they are absolutely accessible to all readers or authors regardless of the severity and the extension of their disability.
Disability NOW was created in order to be read and written without barriers, wherever people with disabilities live.
PO Box: 13669, 10310 Athens, Greece