Remembering Kapka Panayotova - Independent living leader

Remembering Kapka Panayotova - Independent living leader

It is with great sorrow that we learned of the death of Kapka Panayotova. As a Board member of the European Network of Independent Living (ENIL), and its former President, she was a dynamic and committed leader within the European Disability Movement. She was also the founder and the Director of the Centre for Independent Living Sofia. She will be sorely missed, and our condolences go to her colleagues and family, all everyone who will miss her in their daily lives.

Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President said:

I was shocked to hear about the passing of Kapka Panayotova. She will be a huge loss to the disability movement in her country and in Europe. She was a fighter for independent living, in her country and in our region campaigning tirelessly for the closure of institutions, establishment of persons centred services, and also for the EU to never use its funds to institutionalise persons with disabilities. We will continue her fight.

Mher Hakobyan, EDF Accessibility Officer said:

I met Kapka when I first started getting involved in disability rights work as a volunteer at ENIL. I remember her great spirit, and great passion for advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities. She had strong values and spoke her mind, never mincing words when speaking to policy-makers. As a powerful woman with disability, she’s an inspiration to all persons with disabilities. She has inspired me and many other young people with disabilities to continue her work for human rights for all. Her legacy will remain alive and will continue to empower future generations of persons with disabilities.

ENIL have published a very fitting tribute to her memory.

Photo credit: Enrica Laneri