REC18

In 2018, EBU continued to contribute to the EU policy-making process, in particular since the recruitment of our new Head of Campaigning. Our campaigning work mainly focused on the European Accessbility Act, Audiovisual Media Services, the Marrakesh Treaty (access to books), the accessibility of lifts, and silent cars. Twitter was extensively used as a complementary tool to have blind and partially-sighted citizens’ concerns fully taken on board by European decision makers. Good practices on the employment of blind and partially-sighted persons were also compiled into a report. Finally, data was collected on UNCRPD article 33 “National implementation and monitoring” and a report on the implementation of article 26 “Habilitation and rehabilitation” was delivered.

EBU also actively worked towards building bridges between the EU and our national members. We developed the first of many future how-to memos, focusing this year on drafting position papers, and we held a complementary e-workshop. We reported on the status of gender equality in our member organisations, held a face-to-face training course aimed at our national members’ board members and raised awareness in the EBU Nominations Committee to better consider this issue in its work. We also trained pilot members organisations to implement our ADVISE job-seeking and coaching approach, through purposely developed or updated manuals.

Raising awareness on blind and partially-sighted persons’ rights, obstacles and opportunities was another core set of activities. New UNCRPD info sessions were held in Portugal and Lithuania and our AVA comprehensive report on the accessibility of elections for blind and partially-sighted voters in 45 European countries was delivered. To complement our usual tools (website, monthly newsletter, 2017 annual report, social media), we launched two new ones: Focus, a quarterly topical publication available in 4 languages, and the EBU Access Cast, a monthly podcast on accessible technologies. We also coordinated a European web-accessibility tips sharing campaign on Twitter.

Finally, EBU improved its network organisation and management. We put together a “Glossary of terms and acronyms in common use by the European Blind Union”, complemented by a “Getting to know EBU” e-workshop aimed at its national members’ board members, staff and volunteers. Future EBU and national leaders were also identified and will receive leadership training in the coming years. Youth benefitting from the elderlies’ wisdom, EBU collected visually impaired seniors’ needs in 3 countries with a view to better addressing them in future projects. Finally, the first EBU yearly conference was held in 2018. Focusing on low vision, it was attended by 70 participants from 25 countries.

For more information on the REC18 work programme, please contact Romain Ferretti, EBU Project Officer, at ebuprojects@euroblind.org.

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This work programme is co-funded by the "Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme" Programme of the European Union.