JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2012

Welcome to the EBU Newsletter.

The EBU Newsletter is published every two months in English, French, German and Spanish. It is produced and translated thanks to the financial support of the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. We hope you enjoy reading it, and we welcome your comments and feedback. A .doc version of this newsletter in English is available here.

EU update

EBU campaigns concerning public procurement and EU consultation on a European Accessibility Act

Carine Marzin provides latest news on EBU campaigns concerning public procurement and EU consultation on a European Accessibility Act.

Snapshot

The projects ‘Pré-lecture' and Eveil

The ‘Pré-lecture/langage/représentations’ project is a research action begun by the French Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (FAF) in 2007 with the aim of raising awareness of the written word, language development and representations amongst young blind and visually impaired people, while the Eveil project is focused on exchanging and comparing methods and collective learning techniques for professionals on the theme of the awareness of the written word, language and representations.

National news

Portugal - A conference on Inclusive Design

ACAPO, the Portuguese Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, is organizing a conference on Inclusive Design which will take place over two days in Lisbon at the end of June. It is expected to attract around 200 participants from various professions who shape the world we live in.

United Kingdom - RNIB serves legal proceedings on bmibaby

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is taking legal action over low cost airline bmibaby's failure to ensure web access for blind and partially sighted customers. Despite receiving expert advice the bmibaby website remains inaccessible to those using screen readers or those who cannot use a mouse.

Norway - NABP excited about development of magazine

Our friends in Norway would like to share information about their colourful and popular quarterly magazine, which is offered free of charge and has received good reviews. It is published in cooperation with media giant Aller, which takes care of layout and assists in editorial work.

Slovenia - Adults with special needs in lifelong learning

In Slovenia, different rehabilitation, educational and occupational programmes are carried out by the regional branches of the Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted of Slovenia. They aim both to improve autonomy, self confidence and levels of reinsertion, particularly among the elderly, whom, as we know, constitute a significant proportion of the blind and partially sighted community.

Poland - New Opportunities for the Blind

An important project in Poland examines the position of blind and partially sighted people in the labour market, and offers support and practical solutions to the problems exposed. This project is a useful addition to the Hidden Majority report for Poland, produced in 2011 by Fred Reid and Philippa Simkiss.

Austria

From Austria, news of important legislation to oblige taxi drivers to transport guide dogs. The law came into force on the first of January 2012. Also, in another subject close to EBU’s heart, the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted used the handing over of the first Austrian-produced electric car to call for mandatory minimum noise levels for electric and electric-hybrid vehicles.

Announcements

Innovative products from RNIB

Over the years RNIB has developed and made available a wide range of accessible products for blind and partially sighted people throughout the world. In this article John Godber presents two new products; iGlasses, designed by RNIB and Ambutech, a low cost option to help wearers avoid injury to their upper body and head from hazardous obstacles and the RNIB PenFriend which is an audio labeller available again at low cost. Two innovations which may help to make your lives easier.

Feature

Copyright and book sharing.

Our feature this month looks at the complex issue of copyright and the sharing of books and literature amongst the blind and partially sighted community. This topic is one of the key issues in EBU’s campaigning and lobbying policies. Dan Pescod, who is at the forefront of our campaign, provides a comprehensive overview of the situation. Following this is an article on an accessible book project from Italy, designed to make more digital publications available on the Italian market in a format accessible to blind and visually impaired people, in full respect of the rights of both authors and publishers.