Vaggelis Avgoulas and Sara Minkara enjoying their morning coffee with the Acropolis on the background. Vaggelis is wearing a blue suit and Sara a black blazer and a hijab.


Translation of original article in Greek: Panagiotis Seitanidis

During her visit to Athens, Ms. Sara Minkara, President Biden’s Special Advisor on the International Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the U.S. Department of State, had a working meeting with the blind lawyer and President of Me Alla Matia NPO, Mr. Vaggelis Avgoulas.

Sara and Vaggelis shared their personal stories in the field of blindness, promoting, at the same time, action for the rights of disabled people and their empowerment. After all, she often mentions how empowerment has shaped her life and made her who she is today, with the critical point being that empowerment is not charity. He acknowledges that in Greece, we have a long way to go but insists that disabled people have lots to offer to the system, paraphrasing and promoting the well-known international disability motto “Nothing about us without us”.

Vaggelis and Sara discussing under the blue Athenian sky with the Acropolis in the background

Ms. Minkara lost her sight at the age of 7. She went to public school and later studied at Harvard. In addition to advising the President of the United States, she has founded the NGO “Empowerment Through Integration”(ETI) to develop an inclusive society both through the empowerment of young people with disability and the transformation of social and cultural stigmas against disability worldwide.

You can enjoy her earlier talk at her TEDxTysons talk titled “Why We Should Be Blind to the Labels of Society”.

It is a great honor that our social enterprise was chosen by the U.S. Embassy in Greece, to engage in a fruitful dialogue with the USA State Department on issues of disability, access, and inclusion.

The resulting exchange of good practices is a valuable guide for us to strategically plan our actions, which are always oriented to the “Nothing about us, without us” motto, making inclusion an immediate reality.

See a clip from the meeting here: 👉


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