Curriculum Vitae

Born 1943, since 1961 user of personal assistance, ventilator, and power chair, 1988 married to Dorothee Riedel-Ratzka, 1994 daughter Katharina Ratzka

I spent five years – 1961 through 1966 – in a hospital ward for lack of personal assistance services and accessible housing in the community. I consider these years as my foremost credentials in my life-long work for deinstitutionalization and personal assistance.

Academic Degrees

University of California, Los Angeles
          Bachelor of Arts in Sociology  1969
          Master of Science in Business Administration  1971
          Ph.D. in Urban Land Economics    1981
University of Stockholm
          fil kand in Psychology  1981

Professional Appointments

1993 – 17   Founder and Director, Institute on Independent Living, Sweden
1995 – 96   Representative of Sweden, HELIOS Program, European Union
1994 / 95   Professor ad honoremDisability Studies, University of Costa Rica
1986 – 94   Associate Coordinator, CIB  W 84 Building Non-Handicapping Environments
1978 – 94   Research Economist,  Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Research Interests

Policy development and practice of de-institutionalization through personal assistance
Cost-benefit analysis of accessibility in housing and public buildings
Land Economics (up to 1982)

Community Service

2018         Founding chair Disability Rights Defenders
2008 Board member Stiftelse till Rolf Bergfors minne

1994 – 03  Member of Advisory Council, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, California
1994 – 02  Council Member, Swedish Ombudsman on Disability Issues
1989 – 92  Founding chair of ENIL, the European Network on Independent Living
1985         Fellow, World Institute on Disability, Oakland, California
1984 – 95  Founder and chair STIL, Stockholm Cooperative for Independent Living

Lectured on disability and self-determination issues in over 30 countries.

Participated in United Nations Expert Seminars on disability as invited expert/resource person on Independent Living in Vienna, Stockholm, Estonia, Finland, Beijing, Costa Rica, Geneva

Service to the Field

Distinguished Fellow, Review of Disability Studies, University of Hawaii
Overseas Editor, Disability & Society
Scientific Advisory Board, Hungarian Quarterly on Disability Studies
International Advisory Council, Ecoplan

Publications and Citations in Google Scholar


ULOBA Pride Award 2017
European Citizen Award 2008
Recognized by TIME magazine as “European Visionary” in edition “Visions of Europe” Winter 98/99

Personal interests

Family, chamber music, psychology, etymology, hydroponics, learning Spanish, traveling, and loads of other things