“L’Autostima di prima mattina” to discover your own talent

Chiara Cavenago

Chiara Cavenago

Today, I’m pleased to host on Move@bility Chiara Cavenago, a professional with a solid background in career consulting and professional orientation, as well as owner of the website “Le Faremo Sapere”, a real compass in the world of work. I asked Chiara to talk about a totally free initiative  that, in my opinion, can prove to be useful to who’s looking for a job or already spurs and motivation: “L’Autostima di prima mattina“. Now I turn the floor to Chiara, for more details!

Even before starting to look for a job, it would be good to have the right tools to offer yourself on the market. But before writing down an effective resume and a cover letter, you’d need to understand what to write on them. To do that, there are two fundamental tasks to carry out: a skills assessment and a reflection to define your own professional goal. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t make sense to write down a bare anti-chronological list of our professional experiences, if you don’t know what you want to tell about yourself to who will handle this resume.


You need a little bit of effort to start extracting from your own story your skills and knowledge and, starting from them, analyzing what you like, what you need, what you expect from a job, you’ll be able to identify a goal. But the difficulty lies in the time when I hear my clients say: “But I can’t do anything”. Sure, so far you’ve just been sitting there watching a monitor, closed into a a storage closet without contacts with anyone…

Sure you can do something!!! Everyone can do something, and you don’t need to be able to save the world to find a suitable job.  Indee, everyone noted the Avengers when they defeated the flying monster in New York and saved the Earth, but then other indispensable little men with no name have been working hard to fix the disaster.  Have you ever thought about it? As you can see, the world needs everyone of us, and each one can do things that, ok, maybe everybody can do, but not everyone does. Then, without any value judgement about the exceptionality of what you can do, the first step is to realize what you can do.

The second step is to understand that many of the things you take for granted, aren’t so for everyone and,  just because they’re so natural to you, they become your strong points. Being aware of that can help your self-esteem and that’s why, in front of the nth “But I cannot do anything!”, I thought to create something that could help raise the self-esteem of who doesn’t feel that confident about his own skills.

"L'Autostima di prima mattina"


I called it “L’Autostima di prima mattina”: I named it after the single by ICS/Morgan performed at  X-Factor a few years ago and it’s a 4 email messages journey, one for week starting from June 21st,  delivered to your mailbox at the coffee time. In each message, I introduce one or two exercises to think about yourself, your successes, your traits and understand how to use this new self-awareness to prepare an effective introduction of yourself towards your speaker. A “speaker” can be your prospective employer or a customer: in fact, I don’t only target who’s looking for a job as an employee, but also those who want to work as entrepreneurs or freelancers.  For this, I’ve been supported by Silvia Gazzotti – CambiaMentor, a specialist in  empowerment for those who have (or want to start) their own business.

I didn’t omit the importance of doing something as a group to support enthusiasm and motivation, then I wait for your contribution through stories or pictures with the hashtag #autostimacolcaffè, to meet and support each other.

how to sign up

In order to sign up for the “L’Autostima di prima mattina” journey, you only need to leave your name and email address here: https://www.subscribepage.com/y1m8j5. Should you want to know more, have a look at the  post on my blog!




Goover, the app to move freely in your city

Goover Francesca Moscardo

Francesca Moscardo

Since one of the reasons why I decided to create Move@bility is to raise awareness towards the need to remove architectonical barriers, not only to the advantage of people with any disability, but of the community as a whole, I’m very happy to have the chance to share with you initiatives with this goal. I’m even happier in this case, because I have the chance to chat with a woman who’s a friend of mine in the real life as well:  Francesca Moscardo, who I meet today as a representative of the team that created Goover, a new app created to signal architectonical barriers and accessible places, to make it easier for everyone to move around our cities.

Hi Francesca, would you like to introduce yourself to  Move@bility readers? 

Yes, indeed! I’m 31 and live in Verona, a city that I love. I was born with diastrophic dysplasia, a type of dwarfism that, in addition to several bone malformations, donated to me a very short height: indeed, I use to say that I’m pocket-sized! In daily life, my disability is very particular, since I suffer both the inconvenience of who moves using a wheelchair (I can walk, but on long distances I use it) and those of very very short people, as children who are unable to reach the wc, the sink, the lift buttons or to open a door… I graduated in Art, but life led me to begin writing and I currently cooperate with a communications agency as a copywriter. Summing up my passion for storytelling – with a very ironic style, people say- and my a little bit borderline disability, in 2017 I created “Nanabianca Blog. Il mondo a un metro d’altezza” (“Whitedwarf Blog. The world from 1 meter height“): a blog where I talk about Verona and my journeys, always with a particular focus on accessibility information, but I also share the solutions I’ve found in my daily life that could be useful to someone else facing similar problems (about clothes, personal care, cooking, planning a trip, etc.). I try to share ideas,  sparks that other people can adapt to their own lives. This year, my blog gave me the chance to meet the Goover team: they asked me to become an effective member of this project, taking the responsibility of  its blog (that’s starting in these days). To me, mobility is a fundamental part of a disabled person’s life: getting a driver licence in 2015 and being able to move freely on my adapted car, donated me a bunch of opportunities and experiences that I couldn’t have imagined before. The Goover app, under a different perspective, aims to give freedom of movement to people with motoric issues, pointing out and avoiding architectonical barriers in a given path: this goal is totally aligned with my vision, then I couldn’t help to accept their offer!

Goover - the team

The Goover team

 How did the idea of Goover arise?  

The idea arose during an hackathon the team – that would have created Goover – participated in October 2017 in Turin, about mobility in the city. Paolo Bottiglieri, the CEO, had a professional background in disability and, together with Marco Coluccio and Matteo Sipione, was willing to find a way to improve urban movements. Quite by chance, they saw a guy on a wheelchair who had to change his route due to a step: that was the starting point.


What’s this app distinctive point, compared with the others? 

Before starting with its development, the team conducted a competitive study to understand what the market already offered, what competitors were doing and how. Then, they found that all the others offer just a few features and, sometimes, the apps haven’t been updated for 6 or 7 years. Goover aims to be an app that sums all the features on a single platform (avoiding the kangaroo-effect from an app to another) and guides the user on barrier-free itineraries.

Goover The apps aiming to point out architectonical barriers usually only take into account just one kind of disability: the motoric one and, specifically, the disabilities implying the usage of a wheelchair to move. But, as we well know, there are many disabilities, even when we only look at motoric limitations. Just to give an example, who walks using crutches has different needs from who uses a wheelchair and, then, also architectonical barriers ar seen in a different way. Will Goover help who has different needs too?  

The goal is being able to diffentiate itineraries based on the specific disability or experience of the user on a wheelchair. Thanks to our first mapping, we noticed that there are obstacles that, for some people, aren’t so and that’s why we’ll add also the difficulty level on itineraries.

Great! Based on your personale experience, what is still lacking to be really able to “think accessible”, when designing urban spaces, public buildings, etc.? 

First of all, I think that there’s a lack of capability to step in the shoes of people whose needs are different from ours, whoever they are; second, there’s a lack of open-mindedness and will to go beyond norms as regards design, to create an environment that is really suitable for as many people as possible (not only those on a wheelchair, who, in the collective imagination, represent the standard disability) and doesn’t just comply with laws, even when they are outdated. Finally, there’s no awareness towards the fact that, if a place is accessible to someone with a disability, it will be suitable for everyone too. Maybe this is the most common concept, but also the hardest for designers to internalize.

I couldn’t agree more!  Can you share some heads up about the future of Goover with us? What do we have to expect for 2019? 

We can say that, nowe, we’re working hard to start having stable versions of the app both on Android and iOS: the app is currently in the beta testing phase. In 2019, we’ll focus on strengthening the link among accessible venues, most of all cafés and restaurants. In the future, we’d like to give the chance to book hotels and rooms certified as accessible directly from the Goover website, minimizing the risk of nasty surprises, as it often happens nowadays. The case that got stuck in my mind is that of Giulia, who booked a room from a well-known platform and, once she got there, even though the venue was certified as fully accessible, discovered that there were three steps in front of the lift that was supposed to allow her to reach her room. The Goover site aims to eliminate situations like this one.

Thanks, Francesca, and good luck to you and the whole Goover team!  🙂

“Vorrei ma non posso”: among dreams and barriers

Verona: the city of Romeo and Juliet, fascinating, rich in art, history and magic.  How wonderful is walking around its streets, tasting its beauty, giving yourself a rest in a café or going shopping in its city centre… But is Verona accessible for who has mobility issues? Alessia Bottone and Valentina Bazzani tried to answer this question. They are, respectively, author/director and “sitting” main character of the short film “Vorrei ma non posso: quando le barriere architettoniche limitano i sogni” (“I’d like, but I can’t: when architectonical barriers limit dreams”), which describes a day in the life of Valentina, a disabled journalist, going around her city, Verona precisely, among architectonical (and cultural) barriers.

Vorrei ma non posso” was presented in September and, since then, thousands of people have been watching it, including myself. Since I found it decisively interesting, I decided to get in touch with Alessia and Valentina to let them directly tell me how this interesting (and very useful!) project arose.

-How did the idea of “Vorrei ma non posso” arise? 

Alessia Bottone - "Vorrei ma non posso"

Alessia Bottone

ALESSIA – I’ve been dealing since a long time, also for my job, with human rights and the direct experience of my family has led me to be particularly sensitive to topics such as autonomy and accessibility referred to people with a disability. Two years ago, I presented a draft of the film at the Massimiliano Goattin award for Young Journalists, getting a financing that allowed me to take action. Meanwhile, I had gotten in touch, through Facebook, with Valentina, reading a post where she told about the umpteenth work discrimination she had been subjected to. From virtual, we passed to real life (we both live in Verona and this made things easier) and started to film the documentary, together with Elettra Bertucco, who took care of shots.

-Which was the biggest issue you had to face while filming “Vorrei ma non posso”? 

Valentina Bazzani - "Vorrei ma non posso"

Valentina Bazzani

VALENTINA – Lots of architectonical barriers: from steps, that, for people moving on a wheelchair  and having a limited autonomy like me, represent an often impassable limit, to the lack of ramps on sidewalks or platforms (even removable) to access shops and public places. Not to mention the lack of dressing rooms equipped with sliding doors in clothing stores: it, de facto, forces who is on a wheelchair to try the clothes in front of the other clients, regardless of our privacy… But, above all, cultural barriers: stereotypes and clichés about disabled people are still too entrenched in our country. I dream an equal opportunity life, so everyone must be granted with the same rights and opportunities, so that everyone can demonstrate his own resources, peculiarities and potential. Unfortunately, now, it isn’t so.

-What was people reaction while you were filming “Vorrei ma non posso”?

A. – While filming, not to influence them, we didn’t refer to the documentary, talking with involved people. Of course, we covered their faces with pixels, to ensure their privacy. The way the documentary has been welcomed has, frankly, surprised me: usually, when you deal with such topics, unfortunately, you find just a few people willing to listen to you. On the contrary, both during its presentation and in these months, we noticed a big interest towards the topic we chose: is it a sign that something is moving towards the right direction?  

-What is still missing to reach full accessibility, that is urban spaces designed to be suitable for the needs of all citizens (including those with a motoric – both on wheelchair and not- or sensory disability)?

V. – As of now, to get the full accessibility we lack, on one hand, wisdom even during the designing phase, the effort to think spaces also like disabled people would do, or, when possible, directly involve them. But, on the other hand, we also lack the will, from the institutions, to create truly accessible environments for all, at least in public spaces. A lot has been done, but there’s still a lot to do. We disabled people can keep on creating awareness and become “active protagonists”, showing that, thanks to our commitment and our resources, we can live a normal life. It isn’t easy, mostly when, due to your own condition, you depend on someone else’s help. But we must do it.

-What has changed, after the documentary came out, in Verona?

A. – Verona was among the first Italian cities to adopt the PEBA, the Plan to Remove Architectonical Barriers. Sure, passing from intent to practice is slower than we’d like to, and the law vagueness doesn’t help: for instance, the paradox that, to equip your business with a removable platform, you must pay a tax to occupy a public area is, at least, a nonsense, isn’t it?

-How much do issues linked to accessibility weigh on the full (both social and work) inclusion of disabled people?

V. – After the middle school, even though I was keener on scientific subjects, I chose a technical school because it was the only accessible one. Over the years, things have improved: our community is more inclusive and there’s an increasing attention to spaces, to ensure they are accessible and comfortable. The biggest issue is, still, mostly cultural: we cannot accept, in 2017, that a disabled individual, a professional with an impressive resume, has a large amount of job interviews and is rejected just due to his disability! I fought so many battles to live a normal life, studying, getting graduated with top marks, collect working experience (for free), and then I’m rejected? No, I disagree! But we need institutions, associations establish a network and boost awareness, to create a really inclusive community.

Alessia and Valentina at "Vorrei ma non posso" launch event

Alessia and Valentina at “Vorrei ma non posso” launch event

Thanks a lot to these two wonderful women for having spotlighted again on a topic where we don’t do enough to translate intent into practice. Let’s hope to see soon the sequel of “Vorrei ma non posso”. Maybe, this time, the title could be: “I’d like… and I can!

Cristiana and her desire to go beyond MS

Today’s “Move@bility’s friend” is someone very special, to me, since I’ve been knowing her for her whole life, being her my “little cousin”. Cristiana is 23i, has many dreams and a strong desire to find a balance, even though it’s tricky, between the obstacle represented and her desire to go beyond it and confidently look ahead. I’ll let Cristiana directly share her own story with you.


Two years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease which prevents you from having a clear vision of your life and threatens your self-confidence. However, it didn’t represent, to me, the perfect alibi to passively escape from a 20 years old girl’s life: on the contrary, it enabled me, thanks to yoga (that, now, has become my job), to adopt an healthier life style and train myself to have a positive mindset, being able to find a balance in the tricky coexistence between my will to go on with my path and reach my goals and the limit imposed by the disease. Furthermore, positive mental attitude, over time, enabled me to look at my disease not as an obstacle, but, rather, as a tool which goes with me throughout my evolution path.

Through my short testimony, I want to show that, if you find the strength to reach the balance- that can also be present in a disease condition- a self-healing mechanism will be set in motion as well. To do that, a strong willpower is needed, fed its turn by a continuous energy flow. Inside human beings, there’s an unlimited and enormous potential, not just physical, but also, and above all, mental. But we often experience a state of disheartenment and frustration which leads us to hit bottom. It’s only when we experience it that we become able to tap into that potential, to succeed resurfacing, since mankind evolution is always two-stage. Not just human beings, but nature has in itself the power to regenerate: as a matter of fact, what animates the whole world is the self-healing power, strictly connected to willpower, that implies a way to face events, both positive and negative.

In my case, this willpower- that, at the beginning, I wasn’t aware to have- has always been present in my daily relationship with the disease: sometimes, it has been my anchor, sometimes a real drive to react, some other times it has risen up against me to attract on itself more attention. We must always keep in our mind that we don’t have to fight against our disease, or to suppress it, but rather guide and support it. Sickness makes our relationship with ourselves sincere, showing the dark sides we often want to ignore. Health, meanwhile, isn’t a goal to reach, but a process, which can be influenced by a positive state of mind.

I thank Cristiana from the bottom of my heart for having shared her testimony about the way she has succeeded finding inside herself the resources to face with courage and positivity multiple sclerosis. Of course, willpower isn’t always enough to heal (after all, who would like to stay sick, if he could choose?). Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that getting used to adopt a positive attitude “despite it” helps living better and, meanwhile, facing with more energy also the additional challenges which, daily, mark the path of those who, beyond the “standard luggage”, have to face life with an “extra” one: disability, whatever its kind or cause is.

If you, like Cristiana, want to share your own story with Move@bility’s friends, send it via e-mail (you can find the e-mail address on  “Contact me“ page) or, if you prefer social media, through a private message on Move@bility Facebook page.

Barbara Garlaschelli: “Sensuality arises from our mind”

Barbara Garlaschelli

Picture by ©Giampaolo Poli

A few days ago, I talked to you about “Non volevo morire vergine“, the latest book by the Milanese writer Barbara Garlaschelli. In the surge of emotions raised by the book, I got in touch with her and she was immediately available to have a remote conversation with me for Move@bility. Here you have it!

  • First of all, I’d like to thank you for writing “Non volevo morire vergine”: a book that really tugs your heartstrings, and more. Why did you decide to put on paper in a book such an intimate part of your life?  Because I wanted to talk about the sex/disability taboo and, to do it, I chose autobiography to avoid stereotypes and to be able to personally account for what I wrote. Writing is also a matter of accountability and, when you deal with such a delicate subject, you can’t generalize: disabled people aren’t a “category”, but individuals, each one with his own story.  
  • Which part was the hardest to talk about? My father’s death, for sure.

"Non volevo morire vergine"

  • Reading your books, listening to your interviews and readings, an enormous energy and positivity emerge: where can we buy them? I’ve been a lucky woman: I’ve had two great parents, who taught me to live, struggling for my happiness, never backing down. Moreover, my attitude helped me: I’m determined and stubborn. I’m a curious woman and curiosity is a motivation which pushes you to see what’s going on tomorrow…
  • Let’s get into the subject of your book. Even reading some comments to your interviews in these days on social media, it’s clear that there’s an enduring “resistance” to seeing us, disabled people, also as subjects (and objects) of sexual pleasure. Why, based on your own experience, is it so hard to eradicate the taboo around sexuality (and affectivity) of disabled people and, particularly, of disabled women?  First of all, because we live in a Catholic country where sex is, tout court, still seen as a “sin”, something not to mention, if not in a low voice. We’re culturally underdeveloped, scared straight. Being a woman is the logical consequence of what I’ve said: women have to work twice as hard to show their value. Not just in Italy, unfortunately.
  • In your book, you also talk about some men’s embarrassment while confronting with you “from that point of view”: their absurd questions (“But you… there…?”), their awkwardness in the “physical” management of the situation, etc. Such experiences often end up discouraging from trying new approaches: how did you pass that block?  Joining the fray! Fighting against my fear of being rejected. Risking, that’s the only way to live: fear is the worst enemy, I was my worst enemy.
  • Some time ago, I read, on the Internet, the comment by a (theoretically, “able-bodied”) man who stated that “having sex with a disabled woman is always a crime, because there can’t be any consent”. Apart from the nonsense (except for people who are unfit to plead, of course), I had the opportunity to experience personally that some people, even without saying it, agree with it: how can we help them understand that it isn’t so (without bringing up a lawyer, maybe)? I wouldn’t go out of my own way to make such people understand anything. I’d prefer not to spend time with them, and I actually don’t.
  • What would you suggest to a disabled woman without any “willing” friend at her disposal to test her femininity or overtake a “block”?  No, I can’t give advices: everyone has her own road. If I really have to give an advice, it’s to take the risk and walk that road, which, for sure, is in front of every one of us. A “no” won’t kill you. If you give yourself a chance, “yes” will come as well.
  • You tell you’ve also used the online chats, to meet men. Nowadays, there are dating apps “for disabled people” and dating sites addressed to disabled people (and who “loves” them). To me, I have to admit it, they seem to be a little bit sad “ghettos” (even though I love the web, for “that” purpose I still prefer the good old, face to face approach, maybe arisen by chance). What’s your opinion? I think that they’re just another way to meet people. Clearly, there should be (if you want it, but it isn’t a “must”) a “live” meet and there you’ll understand whether you’re really interested in that person or not. But I’m not closed to virtual approaches: it’s just another way to meet, I repeat. It can be funny and even a good way to talk about yourself. You know, idiot people are everywhere, inside and outside the Internet.
  • In your opinion, does a woman who gets disabled during her life (for instance, during her adolescence, as it happened to you, or after) have more chances to keep the perception of her femininity (and the ability to show it to others), compared with another woman who was born disabled (or got it in her earlier years)? I don’t know, I can’t answer this question, since I can only answer based on my personal experience. I, without being aware of it, have always kept it.
  • The main “Move@bility” topic is accessibility, particularly with a physical meaning. How much do architectonical barriers weigh on the possibility to live and express your own sexuality and affectivity? A lot: the ability to move without issues is one of the fundamental things to fight for.  Italy is a total barrier. For who has movement issues, it’s like hell. And that forces a lot of people to stay close at home: it’s like living under house arrest despite being innocent.
  • Let’s end our chat with something more “frivolous”: how can you remain sexy even using a wheelchair or a walking stick, when high heels aren’t even an option, I mean? Personally, I learned to show what I think is beautiful, in my body. Then, you know, sensuality arises from your mind: you must feel sexy there.

Accessibility of live music events: Alice’s thesis

Alice Cerafogli

Months ago, casually, while I was navigating on the Internet, I bumped into the questionnaire of a girl who was about to graduate and was collecting info about a topic that’s close to my heart: accessibility of live music events for people with any disability. Of course, I filled the questionnaire and invited also Move@bility followers on social media to do so, since I think that full inclusion of people with disability into the social context also passes through leisure. That girl is Alice Cerafogli, 25 years old, who in a few days will discuss her thesis to get the specialized degree in Performing Arts Management and Entertainment at Bocconi University in Milan. From my answers to that questionnaire arose a mail exchange, based on the interested we shared. Now that she has completed her research, here we are to share it with Move@bility readers.

Hi Alice, how did you choose to talk about the accessibility of live music events for disabled people as a subject for your thesis?

Hi! I’ve always wished to work in music industry and concerts organization, so I chose this course of studies. During university, I became interested in accessibility and, particularly, I began studying accessible tourism thanks to a course I attended during my exchange period in Australia, at the University of Technology of Sydney (UTS). I was very impressed by the amount of initiatives promoted for disabled tourists there, so, once I got back to Italy, I wondered what the picture was like in our country and if there was a change to be inspired by the Australian example. Since I’m very keen on live music, I chose to study the topic of concerts accessibility.

How did you structure the analysis for your thesis about accessibility of live music events?

In addition to sharing the online questionnaire, which collected answers from many websites and associations working with disabled people, I interviewed some representatives of these associations and of important companies which organize musical events all over Italy. My goal was to get a picture that was as more complete and stick to the actual situation as possible.

accessibility of live music events

In your opinion, in view of the results of your analysis, what is the biggest obstacle disabled people have to face if they want to attend a concert, in Italy?

Based on the results I got through my research, I think that one of the main issues to face for disabled people willing to attend a concert is to find the info they need to access the tickets and be “prepared” to what’s waiting for them during the night of the show. Events’ promoters often adopt similar, but note identical, procedures, to ensure accessibility of live music events and each venue has different features that can affect the procedures to reserve, pick up the tickets, have your seat assigned and so on.  I think that fixing standard rules, valid all over the national territory, and make official communications clear and complete could help not only disabled people and their companions, but also the promoters themselves to better manage and more effectively all the spectators and the event overall.

In your analysis, you say that, besides promoters, also venues hosting live music events “set the rules”. As a woman with a motoric disability (even though I can walk autonomously) who loves attending both live music and sport events (usually, in Milan and around, then, ultimately, in a privileged situation, compared with other areas in Italy), many times, even though I had followed all the steps indicated by promoters of the event I was interested in, I had unpleasant surprises in loco: seats reassigned to other (not disabled) people (in the reserved area…), seats assigned in areas not reached by elevators or, however, far from the stage or from playground (for sport events), parking permit next the event venue not guaranteed (a quite big issue for who, just like me, can’t walk kilometres)… and the list could go ahead. Sometimes, reaching directly out to the promoter company, in the end, I succeeded solving the issue. But it didn’t happen all times. That had negative effects not just under a physical perspective, but also under a psychological one, often resulting in mined nights for me and for my companion… What would you suggest to do to boost the awareness of venues hosting the events as well?  

The main issue, for many venues, it that they often host different events. For instance, stadiums and arenas designed to host sport events, must “swap their face to host music concerts, reconsidering their spaces. It can easily generate issues, but it isn’t fair that disabled spectators’ needs aren’t always respected. Sure, it could help if the venue staff (both permanent or temporary hired just to manage big events) was made more aware about it. For instance, associations and volunteers could join the staff or some venues and provide it with a basic training about managing disabled attendees. Even small expedients can often make a difference, together with a more aware staff, who pays more attention to anticipating the audience needs, resulting in a right way to deal with specific situations.

In your opinion, would it be possible, soon, to ensure an adequate experience (including, maybe, the chance to live the concert together with a group of friends or with the rest of the audience, instead of reserved areas) to those who have any disability (motoric, sensory, psychic) and want to attend a live music event?

The topic of areas reserved to disabled people particularly impressed me, since, based on the data I collected, it represents one of the main reasons of crash among disabled audience and promoters. On one hand, I think that all the attendees could have the opportunity to choose where attending the concert and together with as many friends as they like. However, on the other hand, I understand that promoters must ensure safety of all the audience in case of emergency and, therefore, they need to ask the disabled people to attend the show from a reserved and controlled area. I think safety must be priority #1, but I’d like there were more reserved seats for disabled people and their companions, maybe not just in one area, but in different ones (at least, in biggest venues, where reserved seats are really too few compared with the demand for tickets).

I can only agree with you! What would be needed, also under a cultural perspective, to reach this outcome?

A huge organizational glitch to the accessibility of live music events is the commercial interest. However, during my searches, I discovered that many disabled people would be ready to pay a fair price for accessible experiences and would have the free ticket granted just for their companion. I think that starting to look at disabled people as a market segment could take to develop interesting initiatives and, generally speaking, to improve accessibility standards of spaces and services. Obviously, we could figure out a lot of initiatives funded by the Government to boost awareness towards accessibility, but I always tend to think from “my” point of view, and, then, that of businesses and service providers.

As a professional communicator, I like your idea of an institutional campaign to boost awareness towards accessibility of live music events: how do you imagine it?

It would be great if some artists would become testimonials of a campaign aiming to boost the awareness of industry operators, but also of the rest of the audience, towards the issues that disabled spectators and their companions must face. Various studies, which I reviewed for my thesis, also show that leisure opportunities, devoting time to their own passions without too many concerns, have a positive impact on wellness, facilitating the inclusion of disabled people into the community.  After all, fun is part of life to!

Thanks a lot, Alice, for your thesis about accessibility of live music events and for this chat. Good luck with all your future projects!

Thank you and cheers to Move@bility friends!

B&B Like Your Home: accessibility and inclusion

Big projects often arise from a casual intuition or a fortuitous meeting. This is, exactly, the case for B&B Like Your Home, a wonderful project focusing on accessibility, inclusion and empowerment of people with a disability strongly wanted by Cetty Ummarino, a woman that, in front of issues, doesn’t give up, but looks for a solution and doesn’t stop ‘til she has found it. I had the pleasure to meet Cetty and talk with her about this project thanks to shared professional contacts, so I want you to know her as well.

What’s B&B Like Your Home?

It’s a network of bed & breakfasts   that have been made suitable for all tourists’ needs, including those with a disability or with specific needs (for instance, celiac people), directly managed by disabled people, supported by their families and caregivers. The goal isn’t just to create accomodation facilities suitable for disabled tourists’ specific needs, but also to give value to abilities and skills of people with motoric, sensory or cognitive disabilities working in tourism and food services, promoting their inclusion in the world of work, usually quite tricky for them. As of today, this network, which is unique of this kind in Italy, counts 15 facilities distributed in the areas of Naples and Salerno.

B&B Like Your Home

How did the idea of B&B Like Your Home arise?

At it often occurs, it arose casually. I work in training for the tourism industry, mainly delivering “on the job” training in the internal areas of Campania, which are often less prepared, compared with the coast, to effectively manage food service and tourism in general. During a business trip, I met a girl with a severe motoric disability and I realized that, for people like her, it’s often difficult “to go towards the world”, due to so many architectural and cultural barriers. Then, I realized that I had to do something concrete to help them, going beyond mere welfarism, to give value to their abilities and skills.

Cetty Ummarino presents B&B Like Your Home at Startup Italian Open 2016

Cetty Ummarino presents B&B Like Your Home at Startup Italian Open 2016

Which is the peculiarity of facilities which join the B&B Like Your Home network?

These facilities already host people with a particular disability, therefore are equipped to satisfy the needs of who lives a similar condition (for instance, in the b&b managed by a blind person you’ll easily find alarm clocks for blind people,  in one managed by someone with a motoric disability there will be suitable aids and expedients), without excluding all the other tourists (including the “able-bodied” ones).  This way, we can give dignity to work, to disabled guys and to what they do, since, besides managing the facility and preparing meals (following the home restaurant model), they handcraft and sell objects. So, somewhat, they also become ambassadors of their territory.

B&B Like Your Home

What are B&B Like Your Home plans for 2017?

We want to expand our network to cover also Benevento, Avellino and Caserta areas, opening to over 60 and adapting our business model to tourist flats, in addition to bed & breakfasts. We’ve also planned collateral initiatives, to promote the work inclusion of disabled people and the matching among them and the businesses operating on their territory.

Indeed, it’s an ambitious project, but – I’m sure! – it will go on growing. Also because Cetty’s strength and energy are really contagious!

My “accessible” wishlist for 2016

August 10th, St. Lawrence’s night. A night of falling stars and wishes made enjoying them.

According to the popular belief, to make your wishes come true, I must not disclose them. So, I’m not going to share with you my most private wishes (also because I’m not that cocky to think others can be interested in them!).

However, I want to share with you my “public” wishlist, linked to the main Move@bility’s topic: accessibility in all of its meanings.

August 10th - wishlist

  1. No more architectonical barriers, at least on public transport (just to begin!)
  2. Full recognition of the disabled people dignity, regardless of the individual specific disease
  3. Demolition of cultural barriers, which still create walls where bridges would be needed
  4. Really equal opportunities in all fields for everyone: women or men, able-bodied or disabled, old or young, tall or short, fat or thin, handsome or “one of a kind” … Everyone!
  5. Easier access to facilitations and services that promote accessibility and ease the daily life
  6. More respect, availability and sensitivity towards your neighbor, his needs and his SOS
  7. Support by institutions and private businesses to ideas and projects promoting accessibility and inclusion of everyone
  8. Support to scientific research so that it can make progresses studying diseases and find effective therapies
  9. More hugs, more books, more music and less weapons (even better, if they’d entirely disappear!)
  10. A free, open and really “suitable for all” world

What? Are those wishes a little bit “demanding”, aren’t they? Yes, as John Lennon used to sing: “You may say I’m a dreamer”… But let’s try to be positive and see how many of them will have come true (even partially) in next years, ok?

PS. Help me extend the “accessible” wishlist for 2016: add yours in comments below!

Sexuality and disabled people: an enduring taboo

Do disabled people have sex or are, simply, interested in sexuality and in coupledom like the “normal” ones? If we only give a superficial look at the situation, in Italy and abroad, the answer to this question could seem negative. But, actually, things are “quite different”.

Lorella Ronconi

Lorella Ronconi (© Maria Vittoria Peccatori)

We’ll talk about it with Lorella Ronconi, Knight of the Italian Republic for spending her life to establish and protect the disabled people rights, including that to affectivity and sexuality. Lorella,  who is affected by a heavily disabling physical disability, has a solid working background in associations, non-profit organizations, local institutions, where she has put her typically Tuscan stubbornness at the service of the rights of who has no voice, fighting to remove architectonical and cultural barriers that still weigh on the life of millions of disabled people, not just in Italy.

– Hi, Lorella, and thanks for your willingness to have this chat. Would you like to introduce yourself to Move@bility’s friends? 

I’m a Tuscan 54 woman and, even though, since when I was 2, I’ve been living with a chronic genetic disease, I’m still in love with life. Thanks to my parents and to knowledgeable teachers, I was among the first disabled people in Italy who attended “normal” schools. My attitude and openness towards others have always led me to be personally committed to social work. I’m very keen on arts, poetry and web, particularly on social media, that I see as essential tools to overtake cultural barriers which still ghettoize us, disabled people.

– Let’s immediately get to the main subject of this meeting: disabled people and sexuality. Why is this topic still a taboo, in 2016?

At the bottom of the taboo there’s a view of the disabled individual as “sick”, while disability is, above all, a permanent condition (both physical or psychic). Generally, when I deal with this topic in public contexts, I use the following example: when someone is in bed with flu, it’s hard to see him as sexually desirable, so you only take care of him to help him getting over. Well, who sees the combination among disabled people and sexuality as a taboo looks at us, disabled people, as if we’d be permanently in bed with flu: then, woe betide seeing us as sexually desirable or, even less so, active! In the best case, they consider us as eternal children, by nature lacking sexual impulses and desires.

– For disabled women (and we’re well aware of this, since we’re both part of this category), this topic is even more “sensitive”, since it feels the effect of the same cultural legacy that, for centuries, has seen (and, in some cultures, still sees) woman as an “object” and not a “subject”, when it comes to sexual impulses. But is it so, actually?

The different way to look at the two genders is a fact among “able-bodied” people, as you said. Even when we talk about sexuality, we almost automatically think to the disabled man, as if we, the disabled women, didn’t have that need. Media also contribute to empower this opinion: there are still too fee movies, just to give an example, where disability, in all its facets, is described “from a female perspective”. But sexual impulse isn’t linked to the way we walk, see, hear: it’s naturally inside us as human beings, without any difference, apart from the “mechanical” part, among the two sexes, regardless of any disability.

-In your opinion, the advent of the sexual assistant is an effective solution and, if so, is it effective for both sexes? Does it satisfy the natural need for affectivity, besides satisfying instincts (that are natural as well, of course)?

Both for male or female disabled people, sexual assistant, alone, isn’t enough to answer, with a magic wand, all the individuals’ specific needs, even more so in such a delicate field as affectivity and sex. I think we lack a clear project, at a national level, to “design” this professional profile, that, as it is commonly considered, for sure answer more effectively the male “mechanical” needs. For women, it’s a little bit more complex – even at a “mechanical” level- in addition to our greater need for an emotional involvement. We’d need to establish a well-designed professional profile, able to fully answer the “physiological” and emotional needs (these are, for instance, satisfied by the “cuddle-therapy”) of disabled people, both men and women. Prior to the sexual assistant, we must train professional profiles such as care workers, consultants, psychologists and psychiatrists, so that they actually know that disabled people have also sexual and emotional needs to satisfy and can be ready to effectively answer these licit needs. On the contrary, nowadays, too often, the “problem is solved” prescribing bromide pills (which only inhibit libido) or transferring everything, once again, to families, with heavy psychological effects, for parents who have to satisfy their sons “physiological” needs also in such an intimate field and, when ask for help or advice, hardly find people ready to effectively answer their doubts.

– How important is the emotional and sentimental part, in the sexual life of a disabled individual (regardless of the specific gender)? 

It’s fundamental, since love is life, for everyone, including disabled people.

– Let’s try to figure out a scene: two individuals, a disabled and an “able-bodied”, together, in a “very lovely” attitude. In most of cases, people looking at them think they are friends, relatives or, at most, a patient and his/her caregiver/assistant. How can we make those that you effectively defined “dull people” understand that this is absolutely normal?  

We’re in the age of communication, so let’s use it! We need a lot of awareness campaigns also about sexuality, an essential part of the disabled people life, as it is for everyone else. We must “shock”, letting them see first-hand that disability isn’t the opposite of sex and laws of attraction, even towards the “able-bodied”.

– In your opinion, what can we do, under an institutional and cultural perspective, to promote a culture of real acceptance of disability as a condition not to pity, but to see as absolutely normal, overthrowing not only architectonical barriers, but also (and above all) the cultural ones?

Standing up for it, let other people see that we are human beings, not sick pets to take care of. Plus, commit ourselves to see the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (signed by Italy in 2009) and the existing laws about architectonical barriers removal  followed, also allocating an adequate budget. But, above all, we, disabled people, must “act as a network” and go into politics, commit personally, together, to get an outcome. Only in Italy, according to ISTAT data, there are more than 4 million of disabled people, plus their relatives: we must “make noise”. We’re not invisible and we mustn’t be so, even when it comes to advertising and marketing: how long will we have to wait until a disabled testimonial appears in a “cool” brand commercial?

We’re looking forward to that! And maybe… Stay tuned! 

Liebster Award 2016

The adventure of Move@bility has started less than two months ago, so I was definitely surprised to get nominated for the Liebster Award 2016, an initiative aiming to promote the small blogs with less than 200 followers. Thanks a lot to È casa o mondo? and congratulations on your interesting blog! e complimenti per il suo interessantissimo blog!

Liebster Award 2016

Here you have the guidelines to follow once you’ve been nominated.



  1. thank for the nomination
  2. explain the rules
  3. write down 11 things about you
  4. answer 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you
  5. nominate for the Liebster Award 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
  6. write 11 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated
  7. notify them about the nomination



  1. Take everything away from me, but not my dignity!
  2. Communicating is my passion, besides being my job
  3. I can only stay 24 hours without the Internet (less would be better)!
  4. I think dogs are the most wonderful creatures in the world
  5. Basketball is a very serious thing… almost as much as my family!
  6. There’s no life without music
  7. Reading and travelling enable you to live thousands of lives, in addition to yours
  8. I can’t stand injustice, I can’t help it
  9. I only trust in a few, selected people
  10. In my next life, I’d like to be able to swim
  11. In a previous life, I’d been a tango dancer



  1. What’s your blog goal? Sharing a project that promotes accessibility
  2. How is your blogging experience going? It has just started, but it’s giving me some satisfaction
  3. A sentence or a motto that represents you? Life is tough, but I’m tougher!
  4. What’s your best quality? And what makes you different from anyone else? I’ve got a lot of glitches, but I’m empathetic, mainly towards who is subjected to injustice. What makes me different? Maybe you got it reading my posts on this website!
  5. What do you see yourself like within 1 year? With a website… and something more, for myself and the others.
  6. And within 10 years? I don’t like making long time plans. Let’s say alive…
  7. Which languages can you speak? Did they help you while travelling? Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and a few sentences in some others. Sure, they helped me!
  8. Is there a place where you’ve been and felt at home? Where? Barcelona, but not just there.
  9. What do you bring home from a journey? Metaphorically speaking, I mean. Good question! Emotions, sensations, memories of the people I met (even though we didn’t talk).
  10. What are the places you must absolutely visit? I’d like to visit Argentina and Brazil… I’m working on it!
  11. The funniest thing that happened to you travelling? Due to a landslide, I found myself on a Swiss local train, wandering on the Alpes, among people who only spoke German… But I managed to get to my destination safe and sound (but a lot of hours later!)



  1. Lorella Ronconi
  2. Chiarina around the world
  3. Opinionista per caso2
  4. Dream Out Loud
  5. Lemurinviaggio
  6. Lepasspartout2
  7. Destinazione mondo 20
  8. I’ll B right back
  9. Kamila Kara
  10. Mamme con stile
  11. My Serendipity



  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What would you suggest to who wants to do the same?
  3. What’s the most important thing to you?
  4. What does travelling mean, to you?
  5. If I say “freedom”, what does come up to your mind?
  6. Is there a book that marked or changed your life?
  7. Have you ever written a “to do before I die” list?
  8. What do you see yourself like within 5 years?
  9. In what historic period would you have enjoyed living?
  10. If you had the chance, here and now, to make just one wish come true, what would it be?
  11. Should someone offer you a space journey, but without being sure to get back to earth, would you leave?


Thanks to who will answer these questions and good luck with your own blogs!