The local organization working on the deafblindness field APSOCECAT hosted the exchange program concerning good practice in the world of disability
May 8, 2015
Representatives of Finnish disability agencies visited Catalonia with the objective of getting to know the work method of different centres known for their high quality and excellence. The visitors represented the Municipal Federation of Vaalijala and the Foundation for Intellectually Disabled People in the region of Savo (SAVAS). Around 25 people formed the group.
The visit organized by APSOCECAT had programmed three specific centres to see known for their high level of practice, the first being the Association Sant Tomàs an organization dedicated to the assistance of intellectually disabled people, and their families. This covers the whole region of Osona, at 70 Km to the north from Barcelona city. The visitors could see, first hand, how the work service “Eina” and the work centre Tac Osona functioned, and check the labour integration of disabled people, in the gardening and cooking field.
The second organization was Ampans Foundation in Manresa, at 52 Km to the northwest from Barcelona city, where the visitors saw the installations of the occupational therapy centre called La Llum. Also seen was the school Jeroni de Moragas, one of the most important resources for special education in Catalonia, different residential centres, and The Garden centre.
On the second day the group visited the Ave Maria Foundation in Sitges, at 24 Km from Barcelona in the Mediterranean coast, which is as well dedicated to the assistance and help of disabled people. They have an interesting network of assistance that includes a centre of legal issues named Entitat d’incapacitació Garraf Legal and a robotic centre called Institut de Robòtica.
APSOCECAT undertook the final session of the presentation regarding the differences between Finland and Catalonia in dealing with disability. On behalf of the Finnish, Jouko Hamalain, director of Savas, and Ilkka Jokinen, general manager of the Federation Municipal Vaalijala participated. On behalf of the Catalonians were representatives of the Welfare Minister, the Province of Barcelona and of the Institute of People with Disability of Barcelona. There were also presentations of the organizations visited and of the APSOCECAT as an association working on the disability field.
The visitors commented on the high quality of the centres they visited. The difficulties they confront were highlighted and exposed how the good practices they recently knew could help to find alternative solutions. The sessions gave way to possible opportunities for network collaboration.
Finnish and Catalonian representatives at the final session at the APSOCECAT premises::/introtext::
Challenges of the deaf-blind: experience, objectives, perspectives”, the International Conference held a meeting of the most, distinctive, important representatives of the deafblind.
The aim of the conference was to bring together the best practices of work with the deafblind, to identify the ways for future studies and develop specific policy recommendations.
April 17, 2015
The most recent international event concerning the deafblindness situation occurred on the 15th and 16th of April in Moscow. The international conference «Challenges of the deaf-blind: experience, objectives, perspectives”, was organized by the Deaf-blind Support Found. There were representatives of the most relevant entities of deafblindness. Ricard López, president of EDbN participated as an invited speaker.
The inaugural session was undertaken by Dimitry Polikanov, President, Deaf-blind Support Found. Also present were Mikhail Terentyev (Russia), Vice-chairman, the State Duma for labour, social policy and veteran affairs (Russia), Frank Kat, Director, The Royal Dutch Kentalis, (Netherlands), James Thornberry, Director, Sense International (Great Britain) and Andrey Nikitin, General Director, Agency of Strategic initiatives (Russia).
A number of round tables were established. The round table «Adaptive Physical Education (APE)» was dedicated to show assistive practices that distinct Russian organizations regarding disability practice carry out.
The round table «Definition the Deaf-blindness Criteria: The Deaf-blind Census» involved international speakers. Of special interest was the speech made by Elena Geleskul conducting «Russia-wide deaf-blind census by Deaf-blind Support Fund». Ricard López conducted the conference, «Census of the Deafblind: EU and EEUU status» where the results of the recent project, «European Deafblind Indicators» were presented, as well as the differences with the EEUU census methodologies. The European census found an estimated 3 million deafblind people in Europe.
The program also included the round tables: «Rehabilitation through the Arts», «Training specialists for working with the deaf-blind» and «The medicine of the future», among others. All the interventions were carried out by prominent, international organizations, which were given the opportunity to put together the priorities of the deafblind and establish the basis for an international network. EDbN will look for ways of capitalizing on the potential of recent contacts.
The Deaf-blind Support Found is an NGO established by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) to assess the deaf-blind population in Russia, take into account their needs and provide for improving their quality of life, including their integration in social and professional activities.
Amid Amedi, neurobiologist, Ricard López, President of the European Deafblind Network, Albin Adam, Deputy Reagional Lead Hephata Fund, Pavel Osipov, Head Enabling Technologies Program of the Deaf-blind Support Found, James Thornberry, Director, Sense International, Frank Kat, Director of The Royal Dutch Kentalis::/introtext::
Communication is essential for staying healthy, holding a job, managing a household and participating in the community
March 3, 2015
Modern technology has vastly expanded the way most people communicate through voice, data and video services. But for people who have combined vision and hearing loss, special equipment may be necessary to make a phone call, send an email or access the Internet.
The European Deafblind Equipment Distribution Program will ensure that low-income individuals who have combined hearing and vision loss can access telephone, advanced communications, emergency plans and information services.
‘We Can Be Connected’ is a project whose initial objective is to apply for funding to the European Commission in order to acquire and distribute the necessary equipment which will provide and guarantee accessibility to communication and information amongst deafblind people with a low level of income across Europe.
To make contact click here::/introtext::
This Thursday 2 April, the disability movement will be at Geneva to meet the UN Committee and discuss its concerns on how the EU implements the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
The EU has ratified the UN Convention in 2010 making it the 1st international human rights treaty that has ever been ratified by a regional organisation. By ratifying the UN Convention, the EU has agreed to take important steps for equal rights and full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas of life. Find more about what the UN Convention foresees at the UN website.
Last year, the EU had to submit a report to the UN Committee to explain what actions it has taken in favor of its 80 million citizens with disabilities. On 2 April 2015, the UN Committee in Geneva will examine for the first time the report by the EU. Find more about the EU review process on EDbN website .
To give the view of citizens with disabilities and cover gaps that the EU report has, EDF prepared the EDF Alternative Report on the implementation of the UN Convention by the EU, based on the expertise of its members all around Europe, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Commissioner Mimica commits to support disability-inclusive development within the EU
March 9, 2015
Representatives of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) met in Brussels with European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Mimica to discuss European development cooperation and the rights of persons with disabilities.
IDDC and EDF reflected on the progress which has been made in recent years in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in EU external action.
Commisisoner Mimica said that concrete actions need to be taken now by EU institutions and delegations to ensure that all of EU development cooperation is truly inclusive and accessible.
As a member of the EDF Board, the EDbN representative, Ricard López, actively attended the meeting representing almost 3 million persons with Deafblindness
February 23, 2015
The disability movement in Europe gathered this weekend in Jurmala, Latvia for EDF’s Board meeting. Before the meeting, a European conference on information and communication technologies for persons with disabilities was organised bringing together more than 150 participants from all around Europe.
The Board of the European Deafblind Network (EDbN) goes to Brussels to meet the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen
March 4, 2015
The discriminatory situation of the deafblind people in Europe was one of the main issues of the meeting hold last 3erd of March in Brussels between the board of the European Deafblinf Network (EDbN) and the European Comissioner of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen.
Ramón Tremosa, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) by Convergència i Unió (CiU), accompanied the deafblindness representatives: Ricard López and Lucy Drescher, president and vice-president, respectively, of EDbN, together with Sonja Van de Molengraf and Helle Buelund, members of EDbN too.
The meeting established a first high level contact in which the needs of deafblindness were exposed. This collective is estimated to be almost 3 million people in Europe and their attention is at a clear disadvantage compared with other collectives. The difficulties they face of accessing communication and information are the biggest obstacles of the deafblind people. There is no European strategy leaded to solve this situation or to care specifically about such a significant collective.
The board of EDbN proposed to start working lines oriented to the identification of this collective, as well as the inclusion of deafblindness in the European Agenda with the same conditions that other disabilities have.
This initiative also has the support of several MEPs from different countries in Europe. Click here for more information about MEPs supporting Deafblindness.::/introtext::
February 10, 2015
The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) is a spiritual journey that pilgrims of all backgrounds have traversed for over a thousand years. Pilgrims walk the Way for various reasons: some to seed penance, others enlightenment, others for a sense of adventure.
Several deafblind people will take up this challenge next September, a week-challenge that calls for visibility of the deafblind. This is an open proposal to deafblind people and their interveners, on the one hand, and relatives of the deafblind and professional volunteers, on the other hand. We consider two different options: by bike and on foot.
For those who prefer to take up this challenge by bike, you can come along with your bike or tandem, and we are planning to cycle a distance of 300 km. We are going to meet in Oviedo between the 12th and the 13th of September 2015 in order to start our long walk. For those who prefer walking, we will meet in Sarria, which is a strategic location, with good travel connections because of its coach and train stations. We will walk 100 km, until we reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Once there, the bishop will be waiting for us to celebrate that we overcame the challenge. Our arrival is planned to be on the 19th at 12pm. Both the walkers and the cyclists, deafblind or not, will reach the Cathedral together in order to get the Credential of the Camino de Santiago, a document given to walkers to certify them as pilgrims to record their passage through distinct locations along the routes.
CALL FOR INTEREST
if you are a deafblind relative, a volunteer or a professional in this field and you want to take part in this activity, please contact EDbN for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org::/introtext::