january-february 2015

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

European Accessibility Act: European Commission breaks promises

Back in 2011, the European Commission promised that it would propose a European Accessibility Act in 2012. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for this proposal to be published. Month after month, year after year, we heard repeated promises that the publication of this Act was ‘imminent’. At the beginning of December 2014, during the European Days of Persons with Disabilities’ event, which the European Commission hosted in Brussels, a Commission official promised, again, that the Act would ‘soon’ be published. And yet, two weeks later the European Commission published its 2015 work programme, where there is no mention of the European Accessibility Act. We would like to know why.

Snapshot

Slovenian Woman Of The Year 2014

On Tuesday 20th January our friend Sonja PUNGERTNIK was offered the title of Slovenian Woman of the year 2014. This award, for the 27th consecutive year, takes place under the auspices of the popular Slovenian family magazine JANA. This year there were ten nominees from all ages and all kinds of professions and artists.

Do you need Vision to be a visionary?

We all start as "dreamers", but
experience, the bigger the dream, the stronger the warnings of our friends,
parents and advisors. Unfortunately, most give up and follow secure paths.
However, for those visionaries who have a dream to create ethical social change
we started a "dream factory". A centre where visionaries from all
over the world will be encouraged to dream big and empowered to use the right
methods to realize their dream.

National news

Albania - The Albanian Blind Association (ABA) fourth Congress

The Albanian Blind Association (ABA) organized its fourth Congress, on 30 of October 2014, with around 100 delegates from all 36 local branches of ABA throughout Albania.

Italy - “ART SENSES” exhibition in Florence

Even those who cannot see may express themselves through art, and the results are truly amazing. Many people had the opportunity to become aware of this by visiting the 'Art Senses' international exhibition of contemporary art that took place in the prestigious Gallery of Carriages of Medici-Riccardi Palace in Florence on 3-14 December 2014.

Announcements

Be My Eyes live audio/video connection app for iPhone and iPad

Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind people with volunteer helpers from around the world with live video chat.

Sacred Art 4 Senses First course of sculpture for non-sighted artists

A sculpture course for the blind might sound
like an oxymoron: in fact the tactile capacities that non-sighted artists
develop can also open new perspectives even to sighted sculptors. Non-sighted
artists correctly state that in the sculptures they can see more than their
sighted colleagues because they can understand angles hidden to the eyes.

Feature

A review of the BASIC project

Benefitting from financial support by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013), the BASIC project (Blind and partially-sighted Acting for Social Inclusion and Citizenship) that EBU implemented in 2014 aimed to voice and mainstream the needs and expectations of the 30 million blind and partially sighted European citizens to obtain their full social inclusion and citizenship.