Right to work for people with disabilities – A step towards equality

Andreas Vassiliou, CEO of Ablebook, and Andreas Apostolou, Member of the EDEK party, present a significant initiative for improving the working conditions of people with disabilities. Through this proposed initiative, which will be discussed in the House of Representatives, we express our commitment to a society that respects the rights of all citizens, promotes equality, and addresses economic disparities.

According to existing legislation, if a person with disabilities is employed and receives a salary above €512, the difference is deducted from their disability allowance. This measure negatively affects the prospects of professional advancement for people with disabilities, as it hinders them from achieving full autonomy and economic independence. We strongly support the increase of the minimum threshold for the salary of people with disabilities from €512 to €1000, aligning it with the minimum wage of an employed person. This will promote their employment without restrictions and contribute to strengthening the economy with increased contributions to Social Insurance and the General Healthcare System (GeSY). We also propose the separation of the disability allowance from the European Union Support Framework (EESF), thus creating conditions for a fair distribution of resources and enhancing the employment of people with disabilities.

In this context, we invite our colleagues to support this initiative for the promotion of equality and opportunities for all citizens. Our society must be a place that treats all citizens with respect and equality, offering them the opportunity to fully contribute to society. With this initiative, we aim to promote a vibrant society where everyone has the possibility to succeed and pursue their dreams.

Thank you for your support in this critical initiative for the creation of a more equal and just society.

Ablebook was awarded the Innovation Award in the “Social Innovation” category by the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB).

In the context of this year’s Innovation Awards of the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB), held at the Strovolos Municipal Theater in Nicosia, Ablebook won the award in the “Social Innovation” category for its outstanding contribution to the field of social contribution.

The event was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, and highlighted and awarded the most innovative businesses in Cyprus for the year 2023 in four categories: Manufacturing Sector, Primary Sector, Service Sector, and Social Innovation.

Ablebook was recognized as the top performer in the Social Innovation category, responding to the social need for creating an innovative application focused on the accessibility of people with disabilities. It provides the necessary information, enabling them to overcome obstacles in their daily lives. This award represents the culmination of the hard work carried out by the Ablebook team and its partners with a vision for an inclusive society.

During the award ceremony, the founders of Ablebook stated the following:

Symeon Stylianou – CBO: “In an era where our society faces continuous challenges, we created an effective tool to facilitate the lives of people with disabilities, giving them the means for optimal organization of their daily lives. With Ablebook, our long-term goal is the real integration of people with disabilities into society and its urban environment. This award reflects our commitment to evolve this tool and serves as motivation to continue our work.”

Andreas Vasileiou – CEO: “I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB) and the President of the Republic for the honor of receiving the Social Innovation Award, as well as to all those who supported us in this journey called Ablebook. I promise you that we still have a long way to go. Special thanks to our families and all our collaborators. We dedicate this award to all individuals with disabilities, closing with the phrase ‘Disability does not make you less human but stronger in life.'”

AbleTalks Episode 1: Maria Markou

Maria Markou, an international athlete and educator, is the first guest on the AbleTalks podcast, a platform amplifying the voices of people with disabilities by sharing stories of inspiration and resilience. Markou excels in the field of bench press and is one of the two international athletes representing Cyprus in the Paralympic Games. In the podcast, she shares her experience after the car accident that led her to a wheelchair and how she decided to re-enter the world of sports.

Maria confesses that from a young age, she channeled her energy into sports, starting with rhythmic gymnastics and continuing with track and field. After her accident, she decided to re-enter as a Paralympic athlete, realizing that sports require sacrifices, dedication, and determination. Choosing bench press posed a significant challenge, considering the sport’s male-dominated nature. The nickname “Pikkuá” was given to Maria due to her tenacity, symbolizing her defiance against stereotypes and life’s challenges.

The first episode of AbleTalks by Ablebook, featuring Maria Markou, is now available on our YouTube channel. This episode offers the audience the opportunity to learn more about her courageous story and transformative journey. This episode is sponsored by Renaissance Cryo Preservation & Health Care.

doValue Cyprus, an ally of Ablebook for a more accessible Cyprus

doValue Cyprus joins forces with Ablebook, aiming for an inclusive and accessible Cyprus that offers equal treatment and opportunities for all. With a vision of an inclusive and accessible society, doValue Cyprus supports the multifaceted work of Ablebook, an innovative application dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with reduced mobility or disabilities in Cyprus.

The Ablebook is the first online platform on the island with the aim of providing accurate information regarding accessibility specifications for infrastructure and services in public and private spaces in Cyprus. The application is an initiative by Andreas Vassiliou and Symeon Stylianou, who decided to map the entire island in order to improve the quality of life for people, encouraging them to live freely and equally. At the same time, the Ablebook team, through its parallel actions, is doing significant work in raising public awareness about the issues faced by individuals with reduced mobility or disabilities in Cyprus.

In a meeting held on Thursday, October 19th, at the doValue Cyprus offices, representatives from the two companies signed a collaboration agreement, envisioning joint efforts to build a more modern and accessible Cyprus, free from discrimination and exclusion. Within the framework of this partnership, doValue Cyprus, along with the Altamira Real Estate team, which manages the real estate portfolio of the doValue Group, will serve as two of the main sponsors of the Ablebook platform, providing practical support and expertise for the further development of the application.

Rafaela Miltiadou, Marketing Manager at Altamira Real Estate, highlighted, “We are particularly thrilled to be part of the Ablebook team because we share a common vision and values with the individuals behind it. The Ablebook application will not only contribute concretely to improving the daily lives of people with any disability or mobility difficulties, but also enhance public awareness efforts. As doValue Cyprus, we aspire to support every initiative that adds to the building of a fair society that guarantees equality and accessibility.”

Andreas Vassiliou, Director and Founder of Ablebook, stated, “First and foremost, we would like to express our gratitude to doValue Cyprus for their esteemed collaboration and support, which provides us with the opportunity to further enhance our contribution to people with disabilities through the Ablebook application. Through this collaboration, we take an additional and significant step towards achieving our goal of promoting equal opportunities and accessibility in all areas.”

They kicked out a child with a disability from the beach

The expulsion of a 13-year-old person with a disability from Agia Triada beach in Paralimni is being reported by their parents.

According to a complaint they sent to Commissioners and relevant authorities, which is also held by “F,” a few days ago, they visited the beach, and there, for an insignificant and unreasonable reason as they describe it, the person responsible for their sunbeds and umbrellas verbally and physically attacked them, threatened them, and forced them to leave.

“We are a family of five, and our eldest son, aged 13, has disabilities. On 23/08/23, we visited Agia Triada beach around 12:00, which was crowded. There was only one available beach chair for disabled individuals, which we moved slightly to the left to be able to get our 13-year-old into the water. While the father was swimming with his three children, he noticed that there was a disturbance on the shore.”

The municipal official shouted, stating that the sunbeds could not be moved. Ignoring the explanations from the mother, he demanded that they move their belongings since they couldn’t use the sunbed anymore. He grabbed the sunbed and hit it on the ground.

The father, thinking it was a misunderstanding, tried to talk to the municipal worker, who continued to shout. ‘I presented the reasons why we needed the sunbed, but he remained stubborn and kept diverting. Due to his behavior and considering my family, I decided to leave. This man started to follow me. He yelled and continuously threatened that he would hit me if I dared to touch any sunbed. When I approached my family, he grabbed my left arm and attempted to push me twice. I pushed my hand away, stating that he had no right to touch me. He replied that he didn’t care if he lost his job or faced consequences because he would hit me.’

The other two children, aged 11 and 5, began to cry and asked to leave. The family called the police, who arrived at the scene and took statements.

On the other hand, the Mayor of Paralimni, Theodoros Pyrillis, informed ‘F’ that he would personally investigate the complaint. If any wrongdoing has occurred, he stated that the appropriate measures would be taken.”

Source: Φilenews

Event for Accessible Tourism in Cyprus

Ablebook announces the organization of an important conference on the accessibility of PWDs (Persons with Disabilities) in tourism services, especially in the hotel units of Cyprus. The conference will take place on October 25, 2023, at the Radisson Blu Larnaka, with a rich program that will present practical solutions, products and mechanisms aimed at improving the accessibility of hotel services for the disabled. You are also under the auspices of PASYXE.

The aim of this conference is to promote tourism for People with Disabilities and to improve accessibility in general in the field of tourism and culture. Cyprus already offers significant advantages, such as short distances, good climate and safe beaches, making this country ideal for such initiatives.

In the framework of this conference, will be presented:

  1. Ablebook App Special Partnerships and Benefits: Introducing the Ablebook app and the products it offers to improve accessibility.
  2. Challenges of the Hotel Sector and Needs of the Disabled: Analysis of the challenges facing the hotel sector in terms of accessibility and the needs of the disabled.
  3. New Trends in Products for the Disabled in the Sanitary Ware Sector: Presentation of specialized equipment for people with disabilities in the sanitary ware sector by Mr. Marco Ragno Export Manager of Ponte Gulio, exclusive agent Studio Bagno.
  4. Experiential Experiences: Presentation of experiential experience as a disabled tourist by Rafaela Miltiadou, Marketing Manager of Altamira Real Estate.

Ablebook Ltd is one of the innovative companies in Cyprus active in the field of accessibility and social awareness. Through the Ablebook app, it aims to improve the quality of life of People with Disabilities and other vulnerable groups, enabling them to fully participate in society and access social goods.

If you are interested in participating in the event, please fill out the registration form below at Microsoft Forms.

We invite you to participate in our day and contribute to the promotion of accessibility and integration of the disabled in the tourism sector in Cyprus. Together we can create a more open and friendly society for everyone.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their support to make this event happen, our Major sponsor doValue Cyprus, the Radisson Blu Hotel where the event will take place, and the sponsors Polyclinic Health, Choose Your Cyprus and Bautech Systems.

KEBE YOUNG ENTERPRISING – Awarding of Andreas Vasileiou, CEO & Founder of Ablebook

With great joy and pride, we announce the awarding of Andreas Vasileiou, CEO & Founder of Ablebook, by KEBE (Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry) as part of the New Entrepreneurs Awards “YOUNG ENTERPRISING” in the category of “Social Contribution” for the year 2023

The New Entrepreneurs Awards are presented by KEBE in collaboration with the magazine “Thessaloniki Events,” with the aim of promoting and showcasing youth entrepreneurship and integrating young entrepreneurs into a global network, with a focus on merit-based evaluation.

The award ceremony took place under the auspices of the Presidency of Parliament, Mrs. Annita Demetriou, at the administration building of the Hellenic Bank, in the P. Paschalis Hall. This award recognizes the dedicated contribution of Ablebook to the field of social contribution and the creation of a more accessible and inclusive community.

Ablebook started with a vision, the vision of a community where everyone, regardless of difficulties and disabilities, can fully participate in life and enjoy its riches. Through our platform, we provide access to information and services that facilitate the daily lives of people with disabilities.

This award strengthens our determination to continue our work towards realizing our vision. We would like to express our gratitude to our team at Ablebook, our partners, all those who supported us on this journey, and the KEBE committee for selecting us for this award.

Our work continues, and this recognition gives us even more energy and commitment to move forward in the direction of realizing our vision. We sincerely thank you for this honor and look forward to continuing to work for a world that is accessible to all.