Sprung zum Inhalt

Who are we?

The ZSL Zurich was founded in 1996 by people with disabilities, supported by a generous initial grant from the Swiss Association of the Paralyzed (SVG/ASPr).
The Swiss IL Movement is proud to be an active part of the international Independent Living Movement. We disabled people are experts in our own affairs. We regard disability first of all as a political problem: the discrimination of people who function differently. Thus we need to address this problem on the political level by articulating our needs and fighting for our rights. It is necessary to influence political decision-making and legislation in our favor.

What we want?

Our goal is to improve the quality of life for disabled people, to enable them to reach autonomy and independence. With this aim in mind, we offer individual counseling (called Peer Counseling) and different services for people with disabilities, tailored to individual needs. We encourage people with disabilities to communicate their needs and respond accordingly.

Discrimination of minorities groups has always been a political problem. Our goal is that people with disabilities treated as equal members of the community. We fight against discrimination in all fieldsand against discriminating structures wherever they are to be found. We take part - whether invited or not - in the process of decision making, which up to now has reinforced these discriminations. We see the disability politics of the future as being determined by those who have disabilities and not by their caretakers.

We, people with disabilities in Switzerland, will always remain in the situation of dependent supplicants as long as the institutions that provide services for us are subsidized on all levels while we receive no direct funds. Our "caretakers" decide on our needs - and often they don't know much about them.

We fight for:

  • 1. Human rights: Particularly the right to make our own life decisions as responsible citizens.
  • 2. Social responsibility: The necessary means to lead a dignified life as disabled human beings in the sense of the human rights must be guaranteed.
  • 3. Anti discrimination: Court action must be taken against discriminatory treatment of people on the basis of their disability.
  • 4. Direct payments: Funds earmarked to provide for the disabled should be paid directly to us, people with disabilities. When we, the intended beneficiaries of this money, are given the direct access to it and can spend it according to our needs, we can exert influence on the market and do away with the expensive monopoly rights of the provider organizations. As it now stands, the money spent by the state for assistance to people with disability goes directly into the pocket of the organizations offering benefits. These organizations determine the price of the assistance and even the needs of those requiring assistance.
  • Therefore the organizations that have charge of these funds have no real interest in economical dealings. People with disabilities don't have any possibility of influencing the flow of this money, nor do they ever set eyes on it. Many providers of benefits for people with disabilities ask astronomical flat rates. What is more, nobody can ever find out what has been done with the money. If anyone dares to ask where the money has actually gone, he receives the answer that the money is being used to keep up the quality of life in the institutions. However, since - as mentioned above - «quality of life» is defined by the organizations that receive the money, the definition hardly corresponds to what a disabled person himself understands by this term.

    People with disabilities are never asked if they really want these expensive measures or whether would rather prefer to do without. The money flows into an endless sea of waste.

    People with disabilities must and should control this flow of money! Only if those who need assistance manage their money on their own, call it their own, and can use it where they think it is necessary will a cost saving situation arise in accordance with the laws of a market economy. Only then will there be a situation where someone has a real interest in keeping the expenses low!!!

  • 5. Subsidies (money and organizations): people with disabilities should control the distribution and management of subsidies. People with disabilities should fill executive positions in gremiums where such decisions are made.
  • 6. Equality of values: Different kinds of disability must not be played off against one another.

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