Guidelines

Clear Print

The EBU clear print guidelines are available in docx and pdf format (January 2017) currently only in English. The document offers basic principles with good practice examples for printed documents that you can easily apply. For fuller information on the accessiblity of information, see our Making Information Accessible For All page.

Children

Blind and partially sighted children should be heard in the organisations representing them and in society at large as future active citizens that contribute to an inclusive society. EBU also wishes to strengthen the position of youth with visual impairments both as a part of the community of the visually impaired, and as a part of the general public.

Documentation;

Deafblindness

As deafblindness is a specific disability, the European Deafblind Union (EDBU) is the qualified organization representing their unique needs. EBU is supportive of endeavours by deafblind persons and their representative organisations at the national and European level to ensure  that

  1. deafblindness is recognized as a unique disability (and not the mere addition of visual and hearing impairments);
  2. their specific needs are addressed adequately.

Documentation

Education

As for all children, it is vital for young blind and partially sighted youngsters to have access to and enjoy a good education. Inclusive education helps to build an inclusive society. Inclusive education teaches visually impaired and sighted children to learn and play together, making the concept of diversity and equality a practical and natural way of thinking for them.

EBU supports Inclusive education, provided that adequate support is guaranteed for blind and partially sighted students.

Documentation;

'Erasmus+ Mobility of Students with Disability'

In order to obtain a clear picture of the possibilities and barriers of exchange programs for university students with visual impairments (VI), the European Blind Union (EBU) and the International Council for Education and Rehabilitation of People with Visual Impairment, Europe (ICEVI-Europe) has set up a research group. The research group consists of a researcher from ELTE University Bárczi Faculty of Special Education, Budapest (Hungary), a specialist in visual impairment from ICEVI-Europe, a university disability coordinator from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia) and a member of EBU.  The research group has gathered information about the experience of students with VI and Erasmus+ coordinators, resulting in the following documents;

  • Recommendations for students with visual impairment participating in international exchange programmes
    The aim of this brochure is to motivate blind and partially sighted students to participate in international mobility with the Erasmus+ program and to help them prepare for a successful academic experience and stay abroad. Information, recommendations, questions and messages are mainly drawn from the above-mentioned surveys and project materials. But other resources, recommendations and initiatives pursuing the same goal - promoting engagement, equal opportunities and implementing measures that will ensure the conditions for active participation are also used. Also available as a pdf document.
  • A report 'Erasmus+ Mobility of Students with Disability'
    A State-of-the-art report on the accessibility of exchange programs for students with visual impairments jointly produced with ICEVI Europe which intends to obtain a clear picture of the possibilities and barriers of exchange programs for university students with visual impairments. Available in doc and pdf formats.
  • Pilot Survey report among Erasmus+ and Disability Coordinators,
    The main objective of this report is to describe the situation in and access to mobility of students with visual impairment in different higher education institutions which accept Erasmus students with disabilities, in pdf and docx format.
  • Accessible Universities for Erasmus+ Students with Visual Impairment
    This document reports on the outcomes of the activities of the common project in its 2nd phase. The activities were aimed at investigating the opinions, experiences and suggestions of Erasmus+ mobility participants, and employees of universities involved in arranging international mobility programmes for students with visual impairment, in pdf and docx format.
  • The 'Pedagogy and Language Learning for Blind and Partially Sighted Adults in Europe' project ran from 2008 to 2010 and aimed at Improving the accessibility of language learning for visually impaired (VI) persons. The final document 'Good practice for improving language learning for visually impaired adults' is now available in pdf format in Czech, English, French, Greek and Slovak.

Elderly

Nearly 90% of all blind and partially sighted Europeans are over the age of 60, and two thirds are over the age of 65. Elderly people with sight loss may have additional health problems such as loss of hearing and reduced physical mobility.

They find it more difficult to learn new ways to adapt to their new condition and to cope with daily tasks. They are less likely to have access to adequate rehabilitation programmes or have the opportunity to register as disabled, because they feel it is ‘just part of growing old.' Agencies providing services to older people may have low awareness of sight problems. Consequently older people may be less aware of the support services available to them, and are at increased risk of isolation.

Documentation;

  • View the EBU Age Related video (The video is also available with a voice-over in Croatian) or read the text transcription
  • EBU closely follows all issues affecting the elderly and produced a concept paper (pdf 88 ko) on how to engage with them.
  • The new EBU information paper 'Rehabilitation and Older People with Acquired Sight Loss' (word).
    Also available in French, German and Spanish.
  • A Tale of Three Cities, a partnership project between the European Blind Union and the European Guide Dog Federation with additional collaborative support and assistance from Age Platform Europe. This looks at the experiences of a cross section of blind and partially sighted elderly people in three European cities, Tullamore in Ireland, Salzburg in Austria and Marseille in France. The resulting report, available in report.docx (1.35Mo) and report.pdf (595 ko) formats, uses specific criteria to examine the experiences of older people in adapting to poor vision whilst endeavouring to continue accessing the communities in which they live.
  • BIOVI report (pdf file) on two big projects took on in order to secure access to information for visually impaired people in Iceland, with special attention to the needs of senior citizens with visual impairments.
  • The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 2012 Ministerial Conference in Ageing ‘Ensuring a Society for all Ages'. Alan Suttie (Co-ordinator, Elderly Network, since deceased) attended this meeting as an invited representative on behalf of European Blind Union (EBU) and with support from World Blind Union (WBU) who have United Nations (UN) consultative status. Download Ensuring a Society for all Ages report (.doc 25ko), and the Ministerial Declaration (pdf 381 ko)

Employment, rehabilitation and vocational training

Blind and partially sighted Europeans are undoubtedly among the most vulnerable and least visible members of society. For the most part they are at the bottom end of the earnings league.

Poverty and social exclusion are inextricably linked and are caused by a complex combination of factors. Poor education and housing, unemployment and inadequate social protection, inaccessible information, transport and the built environment, negative attitudes and prejudices in society are all factors that lead to exclusion.

Rehabilitation and vocational training are closely related to employment and a decent income. All blind and partially sighted people should have access to these services and EBU advocates minimum quality standards. EBU is currently working on a study, 'The situation of blind and partially sighted people regarding  employment in Europe after 10 years of the UN CRPD : Challenges and opportunities' led by our Spanish member, ONCE.

Documentation;

The Hidden Majority (HM)

The Reports

A series of studies (word) of economic inactivity among blind and partially sighted people in

The Summary Reports

A summary report (word) written in 2013 of the Hidden Majority studies in Sweden, Germany, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, France and Austria is now available. This report is now available in the languages of the countries covered (word): Swedish, German, Romanian, Dutch, Polish, French and also Spanish.

The HM 'How To' Manual

A "how to" manual (word)l was also developed to help the EBU members produce their own HM report. In order to further assist countries wishing to produce a HM report of their own, this document is now available in (word) Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovenian, and Spanish.

See also useful links for more employment resourses

Transport and the built environment

Outdoor mobility presents difficulties for blind and partially sighted people. The design of vehicles as well as infrastructure such as stations and stops, many of the standards for which are set at European level, affect how easy or not it is for blind and partially sighted women, men and children to travel. The growing number of electric vehicle (EV) and electric-hybrid vehicles (EHV) is a fundamental concern to blind and partially sighted people. Due to the strong intervention of the European Blind Union, the European Union and the UNECE (United Nations economic Commission for Europe) have addressed the necessity for additional artificial sound generation for electric and electric hybrid vehicles, more on this in our campaigns section (link to 3.1.3 silent cars).

Documentation;

See also useful links for more transport resourses

Women

New! The Roads That Lead To The Top: a video on blind and partially sighted women’s leadership, a short video portraying the stories of ten women who are blind or partially sighted and traces the paths they followed towards pursuing their dreams.
There is also a transcript of the video content, this is also available in French, German and Spanish (word files).

EBU fosters equal opportunities for both genders to full participation and aims at increasing the representation of women in decision making positions. This means raising awareness on the added value of diversity and on the right to equal opportunities, and also the empowerment of women to take their rightful place in society.

Leadership training and women´s forums organised by EBU gave women the opportunity to learn skills and to strengthen their network.

Documentation;