This was the title of our annual conference which we organised together with our Serbian friends from the Union of the Blind in Serbia. The conference took place in Belgrade and brought together 150 participants from all over Europe to discuss challenges and opportunities in the field of employment. As also underlined in the Belgrade Declaration which resulted from that gathering, employment means so much more than just an income generating activity, it is really about inclusion in society! But what does the employment situation of blind and partially sighted people really look like today in different countries?
On the occasion of the annual employment conference organized by the European Blind Union (EBU), which was this year held in Belgrade, the Union of the Blind of Serbia conducted research on the employment status of visually impaired persons in the Republic of Serbia. This document analyses the results of the research.
As an owner of a small business, creating and sending invoices is usually a task filled with joyful thoughts. My job is done, it’s time for the client to pay. That all goes as a breeze, until one morning, when logging in to my cloudbased bookkeeping software, I’m met by a happy popup. “We’ve totally renewed the user interface to bring you the best possible experience!,” it announces. Fear growing inside, I attempt to dismiss the popup. Unsuccessfully. Once, twice, three times. Until I suddenly am offered a demo video. Which to me, is just 4 minutes of boring corporate music. After asking a sighted colleague to click the dismiss button, I find that the fancy new interface is now completely inaccessible with a screen reader. I try a couple of different browsers, load up a virtual machine to test a different operating system, every-thing fails. A software update has broken my workflow again. Third time this month. Now effectively leaving me without my income.
One of the principal sources of information in society is found in statistical data. Providing regular and reliable statistics is a key element for developing effective evidence-based policies in any domain as well as for monitoring implementation and any progress made. The European Union and its Member States are strongly committed to promote policies and actions with the objective of improving the social and economic situation of persons with disabilities.
In this respect, key initiatives that would contribute to a full participation of persons with disabilities in society, on an equal basis with others, were set out in the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 adopted in March 2021 by the European Commission. Improving availability and comparability of disability data is one of these initiatives.