The „Living independently - in a community” research team was the cooperation between ten physically disabled people and four allies who worked together from September, 2016 to December, 2017 as part of a participatory action research team. We believe that everyone has a right to independent living and the aim of our research was to explore the opportunities that physically disabled people in Hungary have and the obstacles they face when they want to live independently. We used interviews, questionnaires as well as our own experiences and the experiences of professionals to answer our questions.
In our final report, we offered an overview of our situation as well as possible solutuions to the problems in the fields of public transportation, employment, housing and support services, which are all crucial for the independent life of disabled people.
Since the completion of our research project, our group has continued working together as a grassroots advocacy group for the rights of disabled people. We have played a crucial role in convincing the local government of Budapest to make all the stations of Metro Line 3 accessible, participated in many important conferences and roundtable discussions to represent the perspectives of people with disabilities, participated in making the Auróra and Gólya community centers in Budapest as well as the building of the Civil College Foundation in the village of Kunbábony physically accessible, and have been the main partners in a traveling exhibition about equality and accessibility organized by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.
Photo: Istvan Várady