march-april 2016

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 Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. We hope you enjoy reading it, and we welcome your comments and feedback.

EU update

European Accessibility Act- the latest

Some newsletter readers may have had the courage to read the long article in the January-February 2016 edition introducing the European Accessibility Act, or “EAA” for short. For their sake I will not rehearse the information provided in that edition. However, those new to the EAA may want to read that article to gain some background information. Below is a short update on more recent developments. The proposed directive- which despite the Anglo-Saxon-sounding term “act” is indeed a proposal for an EU directive- will go through the usual, lengthy EU legislative process.


RNIB Scotland: The number of blind and partially sighted people who have managed to secure employment has fallen.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, has heard that the number of blind and partially sighted people who have managed to secure employment has fallen.
Visiting a training centre run by sight loss charity RNIB Scotland in Partick on Thursday [March 10th], Ms Cunningham will hear that only 23 percent of visually impaired people of working age in the UK are in paid employment, compared to 28 percent in 2005.

National news

Estonia – employment survey and benefits

In Estonia, a new social security system of benefits and services for working aged disabled people based on their employability will be implemented in July 2016. According to the system, disabled people will be assessed and estimated as to whether they are able to work (no employability benefits), partially able to work (50% benefits) or not able to work (100% benefits).


This year, Czech Blind United welcomed five competitors. They were challenged to check their reading, writing, editing and sharing skills – all depending on their Braille literacy.


The Danish association of the Blind held one of its three annual board meetings mid-March where two out of the three members of the Executive Committee were elected.

Belgium - Visual impairment: live the experience to understand it

Being visually impaired still remains difficult to imagine or fully
understand. Therefore, the “BrailleLiga – Ligue Braille” launched an awareness
campaign allowing the general public to get a grasp of what it means to be
visually impaired.


RNIB Guide for employers

We understand employers may have concerns about taking on someone with sight loss, or about an existing employee who is losing their sight. RNIB have recently published a new Guide for employers.


Spotlight on our members – the Croatian Blind Union

This year, the Croatian Blind Union marks its 70th anniversary. On June 16 1946, a group of blind intellectuals, dreaming of a better world where the dignity and rights of every person are respected, founded the organisation of the blind in Zagreb. Today, CBU is the leading civil society organization for articulating the specific needs of blind persons in Croatia, gathering more than 6000 persons with visual impairments and 250 volunteers through its 27 regional and municipal organizations.