The European Deafblind Network (EDbN), originally known as European Community Deafblind Secretariat (ECDBS), was established in 1987 in Dublin. The association was founded by representatives of different organizations, ranging from National Deafblind Citizens Organizations and family member organizations to professional organizations from various EU countries.
In a meeting in Greece in 1994, the ECDBS Council decided to change the name of the Organization to EDbN. Today, the governing body of the association is the General Assembly and the Management Committee.
In 2003, despite a lack of funding, the EDbN team persevered and were able to continue the work. Nowadays, the EDbN Management Committee is made up of deafblind people, family members and professional experts who have specific studied this disability. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the majority of the association members are volunteers.
The EDbN is composed of members from 27 different countries who actively participate in the association. Since its foundation in 1987, the association has supported about 120 different multinational projects, conferences, seminars, study groups, cultural exchanges and meetings. In most cases, the activities carried out by the EDbN are deafblind International network activities, such as European conferences for family members. The last activity performed by the association has been the Deafblindindicators.eu, a project to which the European Commission has given a star.
Today, the EDbN is a network of people fighting for greater recognition of deafblindness in Europe and for the inclusion of deafblind people’s needs in European society and policy work. The Chair of the EDbN is a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF), which enables the association to work together with other disability organizations around Europe, as well as to take part in European Union policy work.
The EDF often asks the EDbN to contribute to policy work in order to ensure that the needs of the deafblind people are developed and enforced. In addition, all the EDbN members have a lot of experience within the framework of deafblindness and have the support of different kind of experts, such as psychologists, support workers, Interpreters, interveners, orientation & mobility experts, etc.