SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 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

High Speed Blind Dates in European Parliament!

On 11 and 12 November 2014 we will be in Brussels for high speed "blind dates" with Members of the European Parliament.

Snapshot

The 22nd meeting of the Balkan Consultative Committee

Present were the members of the BCC from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as representatives of the Union of blind of Kosovo who had an observing role.

USING TALKING COMMUNITIES WITH IPHONE OR IPAD APP

For those who wish to participate in a Talking
Communities call but for whatever reason are not able to connect from a
computer, there is a Talking Communities iphone/ipad app that works very
well.  It does not contain all of the
features of the computer version and so might not be appropriate for a call
moderator who might wish to sue some of the TC options such as recording, but
for call participants who just need to participate in the call, then this is a
very good option.

The end of the VISAL project.

After two years of hard work and very effective European cooperation, the VISAL project is now finished. Started in November 2012, with support from the EC Lifelong Learning Programme, the project aimed at empowering elderly VI persons through the creation of an informal course led by trained facilitators.

National news

Belgium - Campaigning with Ligue Braille: details of a success story

"A good pair of eyes are not always necessary to do good work" has been the motto of Ligue Braille (Belgian association for the visually impaired) recently. From 12 to 30 September, the association took on the task of informing the largest possible number of people about the employment of blind and partially sighted people.

Denmark - Summer Camp for Blind and Visually Impaired Children

Every year since 1968 the Danish national school for visually impaired children has hosted a summer camp attended by around 100 participants. The children do most of their cooking over an open fire; they sleep in tents and in general enjoy outdoor life for a week. The Danish Association of the Blind has in a limited way supported the camp for many years, but we have decided to increase our support in the last years as a result of further marginalization of blind and visually impaired people in Denmark.

Italy - A summer of work

The beginning of the summer season is a period in the year where our local branches work with particular energy committing themselves in planning and running summer camps for blind and partially sighted children and youngsters, with a particular focus on multiple disabilities. In 2014 we organised activities costing about one million euro, over all Italy, from North to South.

Albania - "Partnership for Change" project.

The Albanian Blind Association with the support of the European Commission is implementing the project “Partnership for change – Institutionalizing access to justice for persons with disabilities in Albania”

Netherlands - Four new projects have recently been awarded a grant within the Dutch In Sight programme.

The In Sight Society and ZonMw, the Dutch Organisation for Health Research and Development, fund research that aims to enhance the self-reliance, independence and social participation of people with a visual impairment and eventually associated disabilities.

Announcements

RIP Alan Suttie

As some of you may already know, our friend and colleague Alan Suttie passed away on the 7th of September. We were all aware that Alan had been seriously ill with motor neuron disease for some time, but this news came as a great shock.

Feature

The “Noise File” reconsidered: lessons from the EBU Quiet Car Campaign

Modern vehicles offer a multitude of environmental and social benefits, for people with sight loss, however, there are clear downsides. On 3 April 2014, the European Parliament rubberstamped the second reading of the final text of the Regulation on the Sound Level of Motor Vehicles (COM (2011)856) which had been negotiated between the European institutions by a trialogue procedure in November 2013. While the new legislation is heralded by European politicians, environmental activists and car makers as a major breakthrough in reconciling the clashing demands of environmental concerns and safety needs of “vulnerable road users”, some questions still remain open from the point of people with sight loss.