Publications and resources
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.
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.
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
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.
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;
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.
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.
A series of studies (word) of economic inactivity among blind and partially sighted people in
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.
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
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).
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.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) mandates all countries in Europe to “guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others”. This includes the act of casting a vote, which is one of the most recognisable features of political life. Yet the standard model of elections practiced today – marking a favourite candidate or party on a paper ballot – excludes most of the 30 million European citizens with visual impairments from this core political right.
In 2018 EBU produced the AVA – Accessible Voting Awareness-Raising report on the Accessibility of Elections for Blind and Partially Sighted Voters in Europe.
This report looks at a specific section of political participation – the act of casting a vote – only from the perspective of blind and partially sighted (BPS) voters in 45 countries of Europe. The report is based on a review of the legal provisions for regular elections and referenda in 45 countries, on an Expert Survey within the European Blind Union (EBU), which yielded 24 responses, and on qualitative desk research to cover the remaining countries. This report concludes with the observation that the act of voting is not fully accessible in any country in Europe. Nonetheless, it showcases 26 good practices that can build a more equal, independent, and secret voting experience for BPS voters.