Article 20 – Personal mobility - Article 20

The 2015 EBU analytical report on article 20 'Personal Mobility Rights of Blind and Partially Sighted People in Europe: An Analysis of 15 Countries' available in .doc and .pdf formats.

1.Convention Text

 States Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including by:

  1. Facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost; R1
  2. Facilitating access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost; R2
  3. Providing training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to specialist staff working with persons with disabilities; R3
  4. Encouraging entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities. R4

2.Declaration of Needs and Characteristics

  1. Most blind and many partially-sighted people do not have sufficient residual sight to be able to travel safely and independently by relying on their eyesight. They consequently need to learn alternative techniques that utilise kinaesthetic, tactile and auditory senses, as well as the utilisation of any residual vision. This is likely to involve the use of a 'long cane', a guide dog, low vision aids and/or electronic mobility aids and global positioning systems.
  2. Most blind and partially-sighted people are not in a financial position to afford the full cost of mobility aids, such as a white cane manufactured from high technology materials, an electronic mobility aid or a guide dog. Support, including where necessary financial support, for the provision, maintenance, repair and servicing of mobility aids, as well as training in their use, therefore needs to be available. Guide dog services also need to provide support services to guide dog users throughout the working life of guide dogs, including assistance with the cost of vetinary fees.
  3. The white cane is recognised as a symbol of blindness in most, though not all European countries. It is important for blind and partially-sighted people that the white cane has this recognition, as this helps to ensure the safety of blind and partially-sighted travellers, and indicates that in some circumstances, the individual may need assistance from a person with normal sight.

3.Important Aspects of Convention Text

  1. Convention text - R1 (a) Facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost.
  2. Requirement - Governments should promote recognition of the white cane as a symbol of visual impairment and publicise the mobility needs of blind and partially-sighted people.
  3. Convention text - R2 (b) Facilitating access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost.
  4. Convention text - R3 (c) Providing training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to specialist staff working with persons with disabilities.
  5. Requirement - Governments must ensure that blind and partially-sighted people who require mobility training should receive this from professionally qualified specialist staff. Training should include the use of any visual capability, other senses, use of canes and/or guide dogs and/or electronic or optical mobility aids.
  6. Requirement - Governments should ensure that sufficient people are trained to a competent standard, deployed to provide quality mobility and guide dog training for blind and partially-sighted people and make provision for their continuing professional development.
  7. Convention text - R4 (d) Encouraging entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities.
  8. Requirement - Governments should ensure that mobility aids, e.g. canes, guide dogs, electronic and/or optical mobility aids, including global positioning systems should be supplied to blind and partially-sighted people at an affordable cost.
  9. Requirement - Support for the repair and servicing of mobility aids should be available. Guide dog services should also provide support services to guide dog users throughout the working life of guide dogs.