may-june 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

One step closer to a new EU web accessibility directive!

After a long campaign we were pleased to see Rapporteur Dita Charanzova MEP and the Dutch Presidency finally reach a political agreement on the directive at the beginning of May, a major milestone in our campaign to ensure accessibility of public websites and apps!

European accessibility act

The Council discussions on the European Accessibility Act proposal
(henceforth EAA), have continued. These deliberations take place behind closed
doors. However, we do get the impression that the EU's governments are not
comfortable with the EAA. More work will be needed from EBU and our friends in
the European Disability Forum (EDF) among others to ensure that the Council
properly understands the importance of -and need for- the EAA.


Update on the PRO4VIP project

EBU is a full partner in PRO4VIP (Innovative PROcurement for Visual Impaired People), a research project funded under the EC program HORIZON 2020. EBU was responsible for collecting the needs of persons with low vision for assistive technologies. With the great support and collaboration of EBU member organisations, and the strong participation of partially sighted individuals, a significant contribution to the project was made.

The Wayfindr navigation open system is launched.

A joint venture between The Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB) and ustwo (a global digital product studio), Wayfindr is setting the first open standard for digital, audio-based navigation.

National news

Belgium - Running for visually impaired people

Creating awareness about sight loss... while running!

Every year in Belgium, the competition “20 kilometers through Brussels” brings together at least 40.000 runners. Among them 717 people wore the colours of the Brailleliga/Ligue Braille.

Poland - Marrakesh Treaty ratification Campaigning.

The Polish Association of the Blind (PZN) together with the Collections for the Blind Department run by the Central Library for Labor and Social Security (GBPiZS) joined the international campaign of the World Blind Union advocating ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Austria - 70th Anniversary of the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BSVÖ)

The Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year. Founded in the midst of the after-war reconstruction period, on March 9th 1946, the federation focused mainly on self-help and capacity building activities. Over the years BSVÖ has constantly broadened its offers, providing a variety of services, activities, forums and projects in the fields of education, employment, social and legal services but also sports and culture.


9th ICEVI European Conference

Once every four years a European Conference in the field of people with visual impairments is organised by the International Council for Education and Rehabilitation of People with Visual Impairment, European Region (ICEVI-Europe), in cooperation with a host committee and local partners. Within this context, BLL (Blindenzorg licht en liefde), Spermalie and Centrum Ganspoel, three organizations situated in Flanders, have decided to join forces for the organization of the 9th ICEVI European Conference in Bruges, which will be held July 2-7 2017 at the facilities of the Sint-Lodewijkscollege in Bruges, Belgium.


ONCE Foundation is set to host the 3rd International Congress on Universities and Disability under the theme “An inclusive university for an inclusive society”. The congress will take place in Madrid, Spain, on November 10 and 11.


Spotlight on our members – the Lithuanian Association of the Blind and Visually Handicapped (LASS)

On the road to employment
This was the name of the EU funded project which came into action in 2012 and finished in 2015 run by the Lithuanian Association of the Blind and Visually Handicapped (LASS).