As we start a New Year, I would like to convey my very best wishes to all of you for a healthy, enjoyable and successful 2021!
For many of us, both individually and for our organisations, 2020 was a challenging year during which we faced many unforeseen obstacles along the way. And while the switch from one year to another obviously does not take away some of the challenges, we can certainly be optimistic about the future!
The last EBU Access cast of 2020 is now available, this edition includes a new participant, Hlynur Þór Agnarsson from Iceland. The team looks at lots of new goodies, very useful for those thinking of late Christmas presents!
This year’s EBU conference focused on acoustic systems for information an orientation and was hosted by the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BSVÖ). Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the conference could not take place in Vienna but was instead – for the first time – held in the form of 3 webinars. This allowed participants from outside EBU to join as well and a high number of participants was reached. Also, an interpretation system was used which allowed for interpretation in 4 languages (German, French, Spanish, English).
January 4th 2021 is world braille day. In 2018, the UN General Assembly officially designated the world braille day as a day to raise awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for persons who are blind or partially sighted.
A French organisation, the GIAA apiDV, supported by our French member, the CFPSAA, published a statement, in English, ‘Making sure that the digital environment and innovative practices benefit the visually impaired’, with 12 key measures aimed at ensuring that the visually impaired can gain better access to employment and culture.
Our Spanish member ONCE is launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) focused on the rights of persons with disabilities, in the framework of the Just4All Project. We encourage all EBU members to disseminate this information at national level and through their own networks.