november-december 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 Parliament progresses on positive Marrakesh Legislation

On Monday November 28th MEP Max Andersson presented his Report for EU implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty on the Directive and Regulation in the European Parliament´s Legal Affairs Committee. This legislation will harmonize rules among EU states that will implement into EU and member states´ laws the Marrakesh Treaty for Visually-Impaired and other Print-Disabled Persons.


In Nordic countries women with visual impairments work together

In the Nordic countries, meaning Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, women with visual impairments have been cooperating for over twenty years. The Nordic Women's Committee (Nordisk kvinnokommitté) of the Nordic vision impairment organizations is a subcommittee of the Nordic Cooperation Committee (Nordisk samarbetskommitté).

Brain training for the blind and partially sighted

Among the social activities ONCE runs to achieve full inclusion for people who are blind and severely partially sighted in Spain, several focus on boosting accessibility in different areas of life such as new technologies and free-time activities. Today, thanks to the ONCE-VODAFONE Brain Training project, we have managed to bring both together, making it possible for our younger and older members alike to enjoy equal access to the biggest brain training games platform in Spanish.

News from ICEVI Europe - Report from the 36th VBS Congress

There were many representatives of universities, politics and regional administration, and none other than Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, was the patron of the conference.

National news

Poland - We've been Together for sixty-five Years Serving for Generations

Founded in 1951, the Polish Association of the Blind is celebrating its sixty-fifth anniversary. The motto of this great jubilee is “In service for Generations.”

Spain - ONCE wins European Parliament European Citizens' Prize 2016

The Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) has won the European Citizens' Prize 2016, awarded by the European Parliament.

Switzerland - White Cane Day 2016

Together with their companions, over 400 blind and visually impaired people from all over Switzerland gathered on Parliament Square in Bern on 15 October to mark International White Cane Day. Their message aimed at raising public awareness was: “Keep the guidelines clear!”


Sport and disability: an ERASMUS+ youth exchange to draft the Manifesto for accessible and inclusive sports

In September 2016, the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted ran an ERASMUS+ exchange for sighted and visually impaired youths with participants from Cyprus, Finland and Italy.

Slovenian painters

Within the Slovenian national blind and partially sighted organisation there are some 15 active painters. Most of them have very low residual sight and some of them are blind. But all of them are gifted for painting and enthusiastic.


The way to pay – Pay-Able and accessible payment terminals.

Technology plays an ever-increasing role in our modern society and often offers many advantages. However, there are also downsides. Payment terminals, such as the machines used in shops and restaurants when paying by card, or vending machines in stations and cinemas, are often inaccessible to millions of disabled and elderly consumers in Europe.