Campaigns and activities
The Austrian Disability Equality Act (BGBl. I Nr. 82/2005) and the National Action Plan (NAP 2012-2020, July 24th, 2012) contain measures which are also referring to mobility/accessibility. Unfortunately, every region has its own regulations in the field of construction, which makes it very heterogeneous. An Austrian initiative is at the moment trying to harmonise these laws.
There are no specific measures regulated by law but a lot of measures, e.g. tactile systems, speaking beacons, are very common. Also there are several other measures for example in the field of transport, e.g. price reductions for the blind.
Blind Unions and related organisations are very active in Austria. They are in vivid contact with the state and private stakeholders. However, they are not involved consequently enough.
Yes, in a number of projects.
It is possible to sue the company/organisation and the plaintiff can receive financial compensation, but no measures have to be taken to improve the situation in question, which is very unsatisfying.
Long cane, optical aids, electronic aids, GPS.
In addition to a variety of private companies, technical aids are available in a specialised store run by the Viennese regional association of the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted.
There are subsidies from the state and the regions, but they vary by region.
Maintenance is also subsidised.
Yes. However, it is not compulsory for blind people to use the cane or to use another form of labelling. People using the long cane on the streets are excluded from the "principle of trust" according to the Austrian road traffic act.
In Austria, there are several service providers who are in charge of the Orientation and Mobility training for people of every age. The Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted together with its Regional Associations is helping to connect blind and partially sighted people with O&M trainers.
Only people with a job in the social sector can apply to become a M&O trainer. This training is either taking place in Germany or Switzerland but not in Austria, therefore there is no official certificate in Austria.
Individual courses are offered by a variety of organisations, including the Regional Associations of the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted.
Professionals are not trained in Austria.
Blind unions and their partner organisations are trying to raise awareness in the public by various projects and through a number of channels, but many specific problems regarding the mobility of blind and partially sighted people are simply not commonly known. These are for example problems regarding the “shared space” concept or electronic cars.
It depends on the field they are working in.