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.
Attentive readers of this newsletter will know that in the past few years, EBU has worked hard to urge the EU to support a treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, to help blind and partially sighted people get greater access to books. We succeeded in this matter when at the end of June 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco; the treaty was finally agreed, with support from the EU negotiators. Indeed, in Marrakech, 51 countries from all parts of the world signed the treaty; an indication that they intend in due course to ratify it.
Dialogue in the Dark is a platform and medium where blind and sighted people meet and encounter each other under reversed conditions. In the complete darkness of the exhibition, the blind person is the "sighted" one, while those who normally can see are blind and deprived of their vision for the duration of the visit. A feeling of empathy is created, because the feeling of being in somebody else's shoes leads to understanding. Sympathy turnes into respect, distance to interest.
This October, EBU was invited by ENIL, the European Network for Intergenerational Learning (http://www.enilnet.eu/), to give a presentation about the model of intergenerational knowledge exchanges among persons with visual disabilities worked out in the framework of the INTERGEN project (http://www.intergenerations.eu/), implemented by EBU and partner associations in Germany, Italy and Turkey in the years 2008 – 2010.
On Saturday, October 5, 2013, the Cyprus Department of Antiquities launched a pilot tour program for persons with visual disabilities with the aim of increasing the relationship between all Citizens and the archaeological sites and monuments of Cyprus. The program entitled “Tours for persons with visual disabilities at the House of Dionysos” aims to provide access to all citizens to the archaeological heritage of Cyprus.
On Wednesday 25th September all the ministries with a portfolio concerning disabilities were invited to a meeting with the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in order to define government priorities in this domain.
Some specific books about individual persons and their experiences, achievements and struggles have emerged occasionally, but very few books have been published where a number of persons with a visual impairment tell their stories and paint a picture of their lives. Shared Visions contains 16 interviews with persons who are blind or have low vision from all continents of the world including Australia, Fiji, Iceland, Japan and Rwanda.
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. EBU is proud to present below the full list of prize winners, and also the first prize-winning essay.