Stan Munroe (Canada), Ricard Lopez (Catalonia/Spain) with the group of Nordic Parents

Ricard Lopez, the chair of the EDBN, has made the most of his time at the conference in Aalborg. In the course of the conference’s four days, he has organized three extremely fruitful networking events.

At the initial meeting, Mr. Lopez met with some Nordic parents of deafblind children. These parents have never participated in family-oriented events hosted by EDBN and other European groups. They discovered that there had been a communication gap in the past, but moving forward, both parties are really keen to work together. The sixth “Listen to Me” event for the next year will be the first shared endeavor.

EDBN launched the Listen to Me project in 2002. People who are deafblind, their families, and specialists in the field get together for a week of events. Families typically attend seminars about particular parts of deafblindness in the mornings to learn more about the condition and how to live with it. Deafblind individuals participate in sensory exercises assisted by volunteers while family and professionals listen to talks. Every family goes out together for some local sightseeing in the afternoons. Everyone leaves on a day trip on one of the encounter days to visit the major tourist attractions in the area where the Listen to Me is held.

Up to 2017, these five Listen to Me meetings were held:

3.Salou, Catalonia: October 1st – 6th 2006
4.Glasgow, Scotland: August 22nd – 27th 2008
5.Olomouc, Czech Republic: July 27th – August 1st 2010

A sixth Listen to Me was scheduled for 2018 as a result of the first network conference in Aalborg in 2017, but its location—Catalonia or Italy—has not yet been determined.