Uplifting documentary offers touching insight into struggle for inclusion of people with disabilities in Croatia

People with disabilities still have to fight for their right to be an active part of society. The story of their struggle is empathetically portrayed in the documentary New Day.

Uplifting documentary offers touching insight into struggle for inclusion of people with disabilities in Croatia
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People with disabilities have the right
to live their lives included in the community.

New Days is a documentary about that.

It was filmed in Croatia.

It is about four people with disabilities
who used to live in institutions.

They now share an apartment.

Living life within the community is fundamental for all human beings. Sadly, people with disabilities still have to fight for their right to be an active  part of society. The story of their struggle is empathetically portrayed in New Day, a documentary depicting the journey of three people with disabilities from institutionalised care to independent living, in Croatia.

Ramiza, Jasmin, SnjeŇĺana are three Croatians with disabilities who have spent most of their lives in institutions. They have recently started sharing an apartment, as part of a new project aimed at promoting good practices and paving the way towards full deintitualisation. The three¬† also share the flat with Dordina, who had first been put under state care at the age of four. After 50 years of institutionalisation, she was offered the opportunity to live within the community, and has been doing so for the past ten years. But a life time spent in the system has left serious marks on her understanding of certain concepts which come naturally to most of us. In a touching testimony, NataŇ°a Kosanovińá, Project Coordinator, reveals that it is hard for Dordina,¬†for example,¬†to understand the idea of private property. She was not allowed her own things in the institutions, and even after a decade of having her own possessions she is still not completely used to it ‚Äď Dordina is still afraid that one day all could be taken away, without notice and without a specific reason.

The apartment the four live in is universally designed, which means it can accommodate people with any kind of disabilities or limitations. The documentary shows the three celebrating birthdays, attending workshops and learning to build close relationships.¬† It is a successful example of how people with disabilities can live included in society, and, as¬†Open Society Mental Health Initiative¬†Director,¬†Judith Klein¬†explains in the video, living proof that ‚Äúthe community is for all people.‚ÄĚ

The documentary is available here. It will also be screened at the New York City Online Film Festival between 25-27 August, 2014.

Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.

This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.

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