Fundación Konecta and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) have joined forces to promote and encourage the inclusion and educational participation of people with disabilities.

The project started in 2018, thanks to the collaboration of the Colegio Mayor Juan Luis Vives in Madrid, which hosts students with disabilities in fully accessible rooms and facilities. This residence, which belongs to the Autonomous University of Madrid, has also implemented a volunteer and cofinancing programme for personal assistants. The Vida Independiente project makes it easier for these students with severe disabilities to cover the costs of living and studying in Madrid.

The project collects and analyses the needs of university students with disabilities, especially those who are dependent on third parties. In this way, living together in a completely normalised way is made possible and the necessary infrastructures are ensured.

The Vida Independiente project is a pioneer in educational inclusion focused on people with severe disabilities, as there is currently no other centre with a similar programme in Spain. In addition, it allows people whose only alternative was to live in a family home to study at university in a normalised way.

Since that year, around 130 people with disabilities have been residents. The independent living project has also had international significance, with students from the United States, Puerto Rico, France, Germany and Tunisia.

Objectives: this project allows people whose only alternative was to live at home due to their high level of personal dependence to study at university in a completely normalised way. It aims to be a reference for others and to replicate the model in other universities and halls of residence.