march-april 2014

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 Justice. We hope you enjoy reading it, and we welcome your comments and feedback.

EU update

EBU wins overwhelming support for accessible labelling in European Parliament

EBU responded to the EU consultation on the Single Market Act, which outlines the European Commission's plans to improve the free circulation of people, goods, services and capital.

Snapshot

BASIC - Blind and partially-sighted Acting for Social Inclusion and Citizenship

The BASIC project started in January and will end on 31 December 2014, and will contribute to promoting the needs and expectations of the 30 million blind and partially sighted European citizens and their desire to obtain full social inclusion and citizenship.

EBU active in fight for the prevention of violence against women with disabilities

As part of the celebrations of International Women's Day which took place in March 2014, I would like to draw your attention to the celebrations that took place at the European Parliament. The theme chosen for this year was "Preventing violence against women – a challenge for all". This is of particular interest to women with disabilities as it is widely acknowledged that violence against women with disabilities remains a key factor that is both difficult to monitor and to address.

New technology to overcome accessibility barriers to public digital terminals, such as ATMs

Technosite and “la Caixa” design a solution to
personalise ATMs, within the context of the APSIS4all Project, funded by the
European Commission.

National news

Portugal - ACAPO develops a cooperation project in Guinea-Bissau

As part of a cooperation project that aims to develop
and strengthen the organizational capacity of AGRICE - Guinean Association for
the Rehabilitation and Integration of the Blind , ACAPO held between 11 and 14
March, in Bissau, a capacity building in the areas of self-representation and
organizational management, targeting leaders and other disability persons.

United Kingdom - Audio description required on television in the EU

Ofcom, independent regulator for the UK communications industries, published a list of non-UK television channels that will be required to provide access services such as subtitling, signing and audio description in Member States of the European Union other than the UK.

Israel - Important changes to allowances.

THE CENTER FOR THE BLIND IN ISRAEL is delighted to report that after a struggle of over three decades, a drastic change is to be made in the ADL (Activities of Daily Living) Test which visually handicapped undergo in order to receive a Special Services Allowance from the National Insurance Institute.

Belgium - meet EBU's new member!

Following the dissolution of our previous Belgian partner BCBS recently, EBU is happy to receive a new member representing the blind and partially sighted in Belgium. We welcome Brailleliga/Ligue Braille (*) to the EBU family, and are pleased to publish this introductory text so that you can all get to know them!

Hungary - Used iPhones Donated to Improve Accessibility for the Blind

MVGYOSZ
(the Hungarian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted) has joined a
civil initiative aiming to offer the advantages of used iPhones for the Blind.
The idea of distributing used iPhones donated by individuals to VI persons came
from a blogger publishing articles and comments on the latest – among others
accessibility - features of iPhones.

Announcements

European Internet Inclusion Initiative website, new initiatives to tackle digital accessibility divide

Online interactions have rapidly become the main channel of communication and greater inclusiveness creates efficiencies for both the private and public sectors. Yet, only one-third of Europe's government websites are fully accessible today, according to the European Commission (EC).

Feature

Launch of the European Coalition for Vision and The European Elections Manifesto 2014

In an event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on February 4th 2014, the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) was officially launched. It aims to raise the profile of eye health and vision, help prevent avoidable visual impairment and secure an equal and inclusive society for those with irreversible blindness or low vision in Europe.