40th Anniversary of ÖZIV (Austrian Association of Civilian Handicapped)

In one of the world biggest Art areas - in the meantime adapted and in a broader sense accessible - the MQ in Vienna was the festivity place of the 40th Anniversary of ÖZIV, same time summarizing the ÖZIV Action Days, the Awareness raising events during the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003, being organized some days ahead.Dr. Klaus Voget, the re-elected ÖZIV President, on the occasion presented in his welcome speech and introduction the most important moments of the ÖZIV history. ÖZIV Awards, the ÖZIV platinum decoration, was given to several recipients, honoured for the support and cooperation during many years.

Representatives of the Town Mayor, Mr. Kurt Wagner, of the Minister for Social Affairs, Dr. Heinz Trompisch, and Dr.Margot Klestil - Löffler on behalf of the Federal President, did underling the importance of the all-around work done, achievements reached and the role played by ÖZIV in the socio-political field, also being the guarantee in future as the advocating voice of disabled people on national level.

The FIMITIC President, Marija Stiglic, in her speech was recalling the active, past and present valuable cooperation of ÖZIV and its expertise delegates on international level during so many common convictions since affiliation of its Austrian member association in 1965.

Honoured by the ÖZIV award as well, Marija Stiglic evaluated the decoration as a challenge for the follow-up strategy of improvements in daily life of disabled people on the wave of the European Enlargement. ÖZIV geographically seen therein always played a central role as a mediator to many member associations in countries of Central and East Europe.

The ÖZIV Action Days 2003 - attended by more than 1.500 visitors - entitled "People with Disabilities in our Society", were an contribution to a mutual understanding of disabled people, their abilities, difficulties, of being equal and different. Workshops were dealing with Equality law and Discrimination, Life of People with Physical Disability, Coaching, sign language Crash courses, New Technologies for Deaf People etc.

The mass media did react very positive to the ÖZIV Action Days 2003.

Vienna, October 18, 2003