september-october 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.

EU update

WIPO negotiations update

Since the twice-yearly WIPO Copyright negotiating committee in July, EBU has continued busily working on this campaign. As promised by Commissioner Barnier back in February at the European Parliament, the Commission has asked the EU Member States for the formal mandate to allow it to negotiate our WIPO treaty. Such a mandate is looking ever more likely, though at the time of writing, it has still not been given.


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 2012 Ministerial Conference in Ageing

‘Ensuring a Society for all Ages'
A report by Alan J Suttie, Co-ordinator, Elderly Network
The UNECE geographic area covers most of the northern hemisphere, that is Europe and North America. The focus was on reviewing governmental responses to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) and its Regional Implementation Strategy (RIS). The context of this plan is the fact that within UNECE countries, people over 65 years old will account for more than fifth of total population by 2030 while those of 80 years old and above will make up more than 5 per cent.

2012 Onkyo World Braille Essay Contest

The Onkyo World Braille Essay Contest is a worldwide initiative planned and sponsored by Onkyo Corporation and The Braille Mainichi, two Japanese firms actively engaged in the promotion of braille. Its European strand is run by the European Blind Union.
This sixth edition of the essay contest received a total of 48 essays from 14 countries. The quality of the submitted essays was exceptional and this is reflected in the fact that the jury decided to grant a shared first prize to two essays which were coincidentally both from Spain.

The Vision in Enterprise European conference.

The Vision in Enterprise European conference ‘Support visually impaired people in business to beat the recession' took place in Paris on 15th and 16th September 2012.

The conference was organised by EBU and funded under the Leonardo Da Vinci Transfer of Innovation programme (EFTLV) of the European Commission. 

National news

Moldova – Fund-Raising Experience

On 9 – 11 of September in Vienna, Austria the second module of the NGO Academy training session “Efficient fundraising” organized by ERSTE foundation for non-governmental organizations, specialized in the area of social integration took place.
Among more than 20 participants who came from different countries to share their fundraising experience was the Visually Impaired Business Support Centre and Blind Union of Moldova, who presented their activities and plans for future campaigning.

Austria – Certification of IT trainers teaching visually impaired and blind people

The project IT4Blind offers high-quality education and training for IT teachers of partially sighted and blind people. Until now, IT trainers in Austria could not officially demonstrate their aptitude for teaching this particular target group. To ensure a standardized qualification the initiative IT4Blind was launched in 2011.

Estonia - FRAGILE dance symposium

FRAGILE is an international project on the inclusion of the visually impaired in the performing arts (2011 - 2013) based on the experience of the Norwegian choreographer Kjersti Kramm Engebrigtsen in dance with blind persons and similar experiences of the Estonian choreographer Ajjar Ausma and the Portuguese choreographer Ana Rita Barata.


Launch of the iBUG Today website

We are pleased to announce the launch of the iBUG Today website, the official site of the iOS Blind Users Group or more affectionately known as iBUG. iBUG's mission is to assist the blind and visually impaired community become more proficient at using the accessibility features of Apple's iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch).

Recordings of childrens stories for blind children.

A project involving reading and recording stories for blind children using mobile phones as recording devices. The project is young, but already has over 80 stories on the site in 7 languages (over 50 stories in English).


The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted's Demands for Accessible Buildings

The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted has produced a series of demands and recommendations for making buildings accessible. We are reproducing these as they can be used internationally.