Questions and Answers

Frequently asked questions regarding this year’s call for nominations on Employment

Technical instructions for completing the nomination form

Who can nominate?
Everyone can nominate, including self-nominations. We welcome nominations from across the business, civil, technology, academic and public sectors. If you are not nominating your own organization, we will also need the details of a contact person at the nominated organization.

Which form should you use?

  • An Innovative Practice is a product, program, project, or service that improves the lives of persons with disabilities. We have two separate Innovative Practice nomination forms this year – one for civil society organisations, such as NGOs, foundations, and universities, and one for businesses. Please choose the one that fits you best.
  • If you are nominating any ICT-related project, it does not matter which sector you are from - please use the Innovative Technology nomination form.
  • An Innovative Public Policy is normally from a public sector organisation, like a national or regional government body, or from organisations whose work interacts significantly with public policy, such as trade unions. Policy nominations could include laws, action plans, regulations, frameworks, or standards.

Do you have to fill in all questions?
Yes, each question has to be filled in.

Can you jump back and forward while filling in the questionnaire?

Can you leave the nomination form and come back later to complete it?
Yes, you can, using your User-ID and Password that you have received. All your entries can be saved when you move to the next question or log out.

How can you upload pictures or any other additional information?
In the final part of the form, you are asked to upload additional information. You can upload all common file-types like pdf or jpg. There is maximum of 8 MB per uploaded document. We encourage you not to upload videos but give us their links on YouTube or on your website.

Is the nomination form available in different formats?
Yes, you can request a barrier-free Word version of the nomination form in any of the six languages available from 


About the topic – Employment and ICT

How do we define Employment?
In the document Themes of Employment and Themes of ICT, we define some themes we are covering this year. If you nominate one of those, they will be automatically considered. Here is a brief summary:

The main topics of employment are:

  • Supported employment: Personal or technical support enabling persons with disability to participate in the labour market
  • Vocational training: Technical and vocational educational training providing skills for employment
  • Entrepreneurship and micro-finance: Creation of small businesses and the provision of financial means to run it
  • Matchmaking: Bringing employers and employees together and aligning capabilities and requirements
  • Higher education to prepare for the labour market: University and/or college education to enter the labour market
  • Transition: Period between the end of secondary education and the start of employment
  • Transition models from sheltered workshops: Methods and programmes to move on from sheltered employment

The main topics of ICT are:

  • Workplace adaptations
  • Assistive technologies
  • Mobile Services and Smartphone Apps
  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine learning / Big Data Solutions
  • Social Media: Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information via virtual networks
  • Internet of Things: IoT is a system to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-computer interaction
  • 3D printing: Building a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design (CAD) by additive manufacturing
  • Robotics and automated machinery

Nominations that concern other themes may be considered as well. Because of the Zero Project methodology, we will however not consider nominations that work primarily in the fields of education, independent living & political participation or general accessibility (which are the focus of other Zero Project research years).

We understand that in the current circumstances, many organizations will have to adapt their services and programs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, please share with us the impact the crisis has had on your project as part of your nomination.

For example:

  • How did you react to shortened working hours? How could you ensure that a sufficient number of support personnel is available?

Also, if your organisation has taken specific measures and key actions to ensure a Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19 please let us know about them as well.

For example:

  • How did you deal with interrupted revenues?
  • What consequences did the COVID 19 pandemic have on your organization overall and what is the outlook for the next year? What strategic decision do you need to prepare?


About your nomination

What are the minimum requirements for being considered in the shortlisting?

  • Actual work on the ground has to have happened. We cannot consider purely academic research, publications, declarations, or ideas about how to solve issues. Projects that are purely advertisement or advocacy campaigns are also not considered.
  • Projects have to be currently operative. If they have a planned end date (like in some grant-funded projects), there has to be a clear continuation plan.
  • Nominations that do not respect the Articles of the UN CRPD or general human rights principles (e.g. discriminating against ethnic or other minorities because of religion, language etc.) will be discarded.
  • A minimum number of facts about the size, growth and outcome/impact have to be given.


About nominating Innovative Practices

We are looking for Innovative Practices from Civil Society and the Business Sector, regarding employment for persons with disabilities. Under Civil Society we understand National NGO and/or Service Provider, International NGO, Disabled persons' organization (DPO), Social enterprise, Foundations, and Academia.

The Business Sector consists of startup companies, social business, small or medium sized companies, large national companies, and multinational companies. We are looking for products and services, as well as internal company programs (e.g. an inclusive employment strategy).

Moreover, we are looking for Innovative Practices relating to ICT from all sectors, including public (Federal and Local Governments, international and national bodies), social, business or private. ICT nominations can cover all Zero Project topics, employment, accessibility, Independent Living and Political Participation as well as education.

Are there limits with regards to size or duration of the organization/the project?
No, not directly. But in the practice of our shortlisting, very recently started nominations will be discarded, because most of them cannot yet give indications about their outcome or impact over the last three years.

On the other hand, nominations are often discarded by experts if they have existed for more than 10 years but have failed to grow or be replicated at all.

About the selection criteria for Innovative Practices

What are our selection criteria for selecting Innovative Practices?
We, and all experts involved, use three selection criteria for evaluating all nominations: Innovation, impact, and scalability.

What is innovation?
The nomination should be new to the target group/beneficiaries, but also to comparable target groups/beneficiaries. Thus, it will be considered innovative if a new solution is introduced to a low income country, even if it already exists in high income countries (especially when it involves new skills to transfer it or make it work there).

What is impact?
The nomination should have measurable success in creating employment for persons with disabilities, and your nomination should be as clear as possible about its outcome/impact/results. We will also check on the impact development over the last three years.

In the past years, this has turned out to be the most important element of the selection process for the experts.

What is scalability?
Nominations should have the potential to be replicated. Our experts will discard nominations that present solutions that cannot be scaled or expanded.

Thus, what is most important here are the following points:

  • A comprehensible description of the practice (so that experts can judge if it is easy to scale),
  • Facts about the framework that are needed for the practice in its current environment in order to be replicated,
  • Facts about prices and affordability of the product/service/program when replicated or grown outside the current area.


About nominating Innovative Policies

Why do we differentiate between Innovative Practices and Policies?
Change and improvements can be achieved by two fundamentally different means: “Change from the bottom” by initiating Innovative Practices, or “change from the top” with Innovative Policies that improve regulations, laws, standards etc.

We ask for different information in order to evaluate Innovative Policies, and you must decide if your nomination fits better into our definition of Practice or Policy.

What do we consider a Policy?
New laws, acts, government orders or regulations, government services and programs, action plans/strategies/campaigns, the introduction of new standards or cross-sector collaboration to implement policies. There may be other innovations driven by the public sector as well. This year we are also interested in inclusive employment strategies targeted at the public sector as an employer.

We consider Policies on an international/supranational level, on country level or also regional level, and normally only initiated by a public sector body – for example a national or regional government, ministry, public sector agency.

Under Innovative Policies this year, we are also looking for nominations from trade unions working on inclusive employment, as their work often intersects with, upholds, or seeks to improve existing policy and legislative frameworks.'

If you are a public sector agency looking to nominate an innovative technology practice, please use the ICT nomination form. 

What about the evaluation criteria for Innovative Policies?
Our main criteria are again innovation, impact and scalability. In terms of impact, it is most important that the nomination has created real improvements for persons with disabilities.

It is therefore important to know that the nominated policies:

  • Are well designed and implemented
  • have sufficient funding available to implement them,
  • are accessible for all people with disabilities they are targeted at, including those living in rural areas, those living in institutions, those with severe disabilities etc.

We prefer rights-based policies, where people with disabilities have been involved in all phases of policymaking.

Good luck with your nomination!

Zero Project 
For a world without barriers