The European Day of independent living was celebrated in Podgorica

5th May, European Independent Living Day, was celebrated in Podgorica through the event on the Independence Square. Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav anf Exeutive Director of AYDM opened the event.  Sponsor of the event was Voda Suza (Water “Suza”).

It is common task and need of all of us to work more and better in the future in order to develop European standards and that all of us have equal rights, said Minister of European Affairs, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović. Minister highlighted that negotiation process with EU itself offers the biggest chance in approaching European values. „It is one of the biggest reformation processes our country is going through. Almost one half of the negotiation chapters is related to persons with disabilities, which means that in last 60 years Union has created such mechanisms that joining EU can not be negotiated without discussing rights of persons with disabilities“, Minister Pejović said.

He highlighted that Government is dedicated to work on improvement of rights of the PWDs and he especially mentioned obligations and standards from the Chapter 23. Judiciary and fundamental rights and 19. Social policy and employment. In that way, Minister announced intensification of dialogue and collaboration of Ministry of European Affairs with NGOs which deal with rights of persons with disabilities and realization of activities which will, through concrete examples show that European process brings changes.

Executive director of AYDM Marina Vujačić highlighted that European Independent Living Day is a chance to remind the importance of self-acceptance and self-determination of the PWDs. „Independent living has to be equally accessible and achievable to everyone. If it is, as founders of this philosophy say, this right is given “for granted” to persons without disabilities and simply intended for them from their birth, than it has to be equally achievable for all PWDs, without denial or setting up rigid support structures”, said Vujačić.

„We decided on EU in which rights of persons with disabilities are protected through effective legislation and through fight against all kinds of discrimination and guarantee of full inclusion to more than 50 millions of citizens across Europe“, said Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav. He added that EU encourages Montenegro to speed up efforts in order to provide citizens with disabilities right on freedom of movement, right on access to public transport and public buildings, right on equal education and equal treatment in employment and highlighted importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities and their organizations in decision making processes in all phases.

After introductory presentations, AYDM’s movie “Moving Boundaries”, available on was shown, and after that excerpts from the book “No Pity” by Jo Shapiro were read.

At the end participants were given a chance to gain a experience of persons with disabilities through social game “Limitation Game”.

AYDM published fourth edition of magazine DisabilityINFO to celebrate this day, in which you will have a chance to read interview with Adolf Ratzka, one of ENIL’s founders and founder of Independent Living Institute and Nikola Janović, Minister of Sport in the Government of Montenegro.

Medicine students MoMSIC Montenegro, activists of Center for Civic Education and Queer Montenegro were volunteers on the event and gave us technical support in organization.

AYDM team

Associates and donors