CLEAR PRINT GUIDELINES
The EBU clear print guidelines are available (pdf format, January 2017). The document offers basic principles with good practice examples for printed documents that you can easily apply. The guidelines are also available in German, and Lithuanian (pdf files July, 2017). For fuller information on the accessiblity of information, see our Making Information Accessible For All page.
As for all children, it is vital for young blind and partially sighted youngsters to have access to and enjoy a good education. Inclusive education helps to build an inclusive society. Inclusive education teaches visually impaired and sighted children to learn and play together, making the concept of diversity and equality a practical and natural way of thinking for them.
EBU supports Inclusive education, provided that adequate support is guaranteed for blind and partially sighted students. To this aim EBU started important partnerships with the International Council for Education and Rehabilitation of People with Visual Impairment, Europe (ICEVI-Europe) (External link) and the Inclusive Mobility Alliance (External link) (IMA), an alliance of European organisations aiming at promoting inclusive mobility for students and youth from a number of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
‘Erasmus+ Mobility of Students with Disability’
In order to obtain a clear picture of the possibilities and barriers of exchange programs for university students with visual impairments (VI), EBU and ICEVI-Europe have set up a research group. The research group consists of a researcher from ELTE University Bárczi Faculty of Special Education, Budapest (Hungary), a specialist in visual impairment from ICEVI-Europe, a university disability coordinator from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia) and a member of EBU. The research group has gathered information about the experience of students with VI and Erasmus+ coordinators, resulting in the following documents;
- Recommendations for students with visual impairment participating in international exchange programmes (pdf)
The aim of this brochure is to motivate blind and partially sighted students to participate in international mobility with the Erasmus+ program and to help them prepare for a successful academic experience and stay abroad. Information, recommendations, questions and messages are mainly drawn from the above-mentioned surveys and project materials. But other resources, recommendations and initiatives pursuing the same goal – promoting engagement, equal opportunities and implementing measures that will ensure the conditions for active participation are also used. Now also available in Portuguese (pdf). (13/12/2021)
- A report ‘Erasmus+ Mobility of Students with Disability’
A State-of-the-art report on the accessibility of exchange programs for students with visual impairments jointly produced with ICEVI Europe which intends to obtain a clear picture of the possibilities and barriers of exchange programs for university students with visual impairments.
- Pilot Survey report among Erasmus+ and Disability Coordinators,
The main objective of this report is to describe the situation in and access to mobility of students with visual impairment in different higher education institutions which accept Erasmus students with disabilities.
- Accessible Universities for Erasmus+ Students with Visual Impairment
This document reports on the outcomes of the activities of the common project in its 2nd phase. The activities were aimed at investigating the opinions, experiences and suggestions of Erasmus+ mobility participants, and employees of universities involved in arranging international mobility programmes for students with visual impairment.
- The ‘Pedagogy and Language Learning for Blind and Partially Sighted Adults in Europe’ project ran from 2008 to 2010 and aimed at Improving the accessibility of language learning for visually impaired (VI) persons. The final document ‘Good practice for improving language learning for visually impaired adults’ is now available in pdf format in Czech (External link), English (External link), French (External link), Greek (External link) and Slovak (External link).
Nearly 90% of all blind and partially sighted Europeans are over the age of 60, and two thirds are over the age of 65. Elderly people with sight loss may have additional health problems such as loss of hearing and reduced physical mobility.
They find it more difficult to learn new ways to adapt to their new condition and to cope with daily tasks. They are less likely to have access to adequate rehabilitation programmes or have the opportunity to register as disabled, because they feel it is ‘just part of growing old.’ Agencies providing services to older people may have low awareness of sight problems. Consequently older people may be less aware of the support services available to them, and are at increased risk of isolation.
- EBU closely follows all issues affecting the elderly and produced a concept paper (pdf 88 ko) on how to engage with them.
- The new EBU information paper ‘Rehabilitation and Older People with Acquired Sight Loss‘ (word).
Also available in French, German and Spanish.
- A Tale of Three Cities, a partnership project between the European Blind Union and the European Guide Dog Federation with additional collaborative support and assistance from Age Platform Europe. This looks at the experiences of a cross section of blind and partially sighted elderly people in three European cities, Tullamore in Ireland, Salzburg in Austria and Marseille in France. The resulting Tale of Three Cities report (pdf), uses specific criteria to examine the experiences of older people in adapting to poor vision whilst endeavouring to continue accessing the communities in which they live.
- BIOVI report (pdf file) on two big projects took on in order to secure access to information for visually impaired people in Iceland, with special attention to the needs of senior citizens with visual impairments.
- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 2012 Ministerial Conference in Ageing ‘Ensuring a Society for all Ages’. Alan Suttie (Co-ordinator, Elderly Network, since deceased) attended this meeting as an invited representative on behalf of European Blind Union (EBU) and with support from World Blind Union (WBU) who have United Nations (UN) consultative status. Download Ensuring a Society for all Ages report (.doc 25ko), and the Ministerial Declaration (pdf 381 ko)
EMPLOYMENT, REHABILITATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Blind and partially sighted Europeans are undoubtedly among the most vulnerable and least visible members of society. For the most part they are at the bottom end of the earnings league.
Poverty and social exclusion are inextricably linked and are caused by a complex combination of factors. Poor education and housing, unemployment and inadequate social protection, inaccessible information, transport and the built environment, negative attitudes and prejudices in society are all factors that lead to exclusion.
Rehabilitation and vocational training are closely related to employment and a decent income. All blind and partially sighted people should have access to these services and EBU advocates minimum quality standards.
The Union of the Blind of Serbia (External link) and the European Blind Union invited all EBU Members to the 2021 annual conference themed around Employment and Rehabilitation of Blind and Partially Sighted People. At the end of the conference, EBU published the Belgrade Declaration, 2021, with our results and conclusions. More information on the event page.
- New! (September 2023) EBU guidance on reasonable accommodation for visually impaired employees and applicants (pdf), produced to accompany the European Commission’s Disability Employment Package (External link) initiative, an element of the EU Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030.
- (February 2022) You can download the ADVISE manual! It provides future ADVISE trainers with the necessary guidance to support young blind and partially-sighted job seekers through specific training course and coaching approaches and provides useful information on how to select job-seekers and coaches, and how to organise and lead ADVISE sessions. Available in English, Danish, German, Lithuanian, Montenegrin, Polish, Serbian, Spanish and Croatian. (pdf files, updated August 2022)
- In 2019 EBU and its Spanish member ONCE published a report on the situation of blind and partially sighted persons regarding employment in Europe after 10 years of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: challenges and opportunities. PDF document also available in Spanish.
- The EBU document (all docx format, 2018) ‘Good practices on blind and partially-sighted persons’ employment in Europe‘ is now available, also in Czech, French, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish. We know that economic levels, legislation and awareness of visual impairment are very different within EBU’s member countries, but we are convinced that good practice which is demonstrated in one country can be used to help shape good practice in other countries too. That is the aim of this brochure.
- The EBU manual for inexperienced job seekers with a visual impairment (pdf format). This detailed manual includes an analysis of skill and competences, writing a c.v. and cover letter, going for interviews, and a section on body language and presentational skills. This document is also available in Portuguese, Danish, French, German, Lithuanian, Montenegrin, Polish, Serbian, Spanish, and Icelandic and Croatian. (updated August 2022)
- Self-employment of the visually impaired in Europe: report of a survey by the EBU Commission on Rehabilitation, Vocational Training and Employment (word 340 Ko) (2010)
- The employment of blind and partially-sighted persons in Italy (word 130Ko): a challenging issue in a changing economy and society (2009)
- Results and recommendations of the EBU Questionnaire Survey on the education, vocational training and rehabilitation of blind and partially sighted women across the 27 EU Member States (word 275 Mo) in 2007.
- Also available in one single document, the 3 EBU Position Papers on Rehabilitation in .doc and .pdf formats. This document includes
- Rehabilitation and older people with acquired sight loss
- Minimum standards for low vision services in Europe
- Political Positions Concerning the labour Market from Self-Help Organisations of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons in Europe
A series of studies of economic inactivity among blind and partially sighted people in
- Austria and France (2012). A German summary of the Austrian report is also available.
- Poland (2011)
- The Netherlands (2010)
- Germany, Romania and Sweden (2008-2009)
The Summary Reports
A summary report (word) written in 2013 of the Hidden Majority studies in Sweden, Germany, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, France and Austria is now available. This report is now available in the languages of the countries covered (word): Swedish, German, Romanian, Dutch, Polish, French and also Spanish.
The HM ‘How To’ Manual
A “how to” manual (word)l was also developed to help the EBU members produce their own HM report. In order to further assist countries wishing to produce a HM report of their own, this document is now available in (word) Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovenian, and Spanish.
See also useful links for more employment resourses
TRANSPORT AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Outdoor mobility presents difficulties for blind and partially sighted people. The design of vehicles as well as infrastructure such as stations and stops, many of the standards for which are set at European level, affect how easy or not it is for blind and partially sighted women, men and children to travel. The growing number of electric vehicle (EV) and electric-hybrid vehicles (EHV) is a fundamental concern to blind and partially sighted people. Due to the strong intervention of the European Blind Union, the European Union and the UNECE (United Nations economic Commission for Europe) have addressed the necessity for additional artificial sound generation for electric and electric hybrid vehicles, more on this in our campaigns section.
Assistance dogs -Travelling in and out of Europe following Brexit (02/03/2021)
Following the UK’s exit from the EU at the end of 2020, the rules applying to travelling with a guide or assistance dog have changed. These are detailed in the links below, however, always check with your vet before you plan to travel. The new rules discriminate against persons with disabilities who wish to travel from the UK into Europe with their guide dog, as a new Animal Health Certificate (AHC) must be obtained for each and every trip out of the UK. For most people travelling with a dog is a choice; for a person with disabilities who relies on their guide dog, this is an essential. This means that short notice trips will be impossible to arrange, whether for business, pleasure or family matters. Each trip will incur a substantial additional cost, extra planning and time taken spent in the process involved obtaining the AHC. This is in addition to the current discrimination often experienced when travelling with a guide dog and highlights the inequalities suffered compared with other travellers. EGDF (External link) is engaging with MEP’s, the European Disability Forum, the European Blind Union and other Assistance Dog Organisations to campaign to create a level playing field.Travellers to Europe or Northern Ireland from the UK with their guide or assistance dog will no longer be able to use a UK issued EU Pet Passport.
For those travelling from the European Union into the UK however, rules have not changed and are detailed in the link below
- In 2019, EBU invited its member organisations to submit examples of best practices on the accessibility of mobility for visually impaired persons. These were compiled into a brochure.
The brochure is available (pdf files) in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish.
This present brochure documents best practices towards independent and safe mobility from across Europe. It is structured in three clusters, which reflect important and interlocking areas of accessible mobility: legislation and standards, built environment and infrastructure and lastly digital solutions. A short discussion section complements these chapters in order to contextualise some pertinent issues on the safety and independency of mobility for visually impaired persons.
The full document of the selected best practice, submitted by our Slovenian member, on Strategic Accessibility Planning, is available (pdf document).
- 2019, EBU published a report to the European Commission’s DG Mobility and Transport, unit “Social Aspects, Passenger Rights & Equal Opportunities” entitled ‘Most frequent problems experienced by blind and partially sighted persons when travelling by air‘ (pdf document).
- In 2011, the EBU Commission on Transport and Mobility conducted a survey on the rights of VI air passengers to assess the impact of the Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of 5 July 2006 on VI air passengers. Read the final report (word) “Survey report on the implementation of the EU Regulation concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRMs) when travelling by air and its impact on visually impaired passengers’ air travel experience“
NEW! (02/2021) On the occasion of the 2021 International Women’s Day, EBU launched the 2021 – 2023 Gender Equality Committee Action Plan. EBU fosters equal opportunities for both genders to full participation and aims at increasing the representation of women in decision making positions. This means raising awareness on the added value of diversity and on the right to equal opportunities, and also the empowerment of women to take their rightful place in society.
Leadership training and women´s forums organised by EBU gave women the opportunity to learn skills and to strengthen their network.
In 2018 EBU implemented a four-year activity, called GEAR – Gender Equality Awareness-Raising. On 14 – 16 June in Malmö (Sweden) the biggest event of this project took place. It was the GEAR conference. Our EBU Fous newsletter looks at the conference in detail. It is available in English, French, Spanish, and German, and in .doc only in Polish, Serbian and Turkish.
Audio files of the conference are now available, each mp3 file covers half a day of the conference: Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning.
The results and conclusions of the conference can be found in the 2019 Malmö Declaration. Blind and partially sighted women who are interested in joining the EBU women´s network can contact email@example.com and our secretary general at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The toolkit ‘The Future We Want’ (pdf English (External link), pdf Portuguese, pdf Spanish (External link) pdf German, pdf Slovenian, pdf Montenegrin, pdf Danish, pdf Icelandic) aims to raise awareness regarding the importance of including gender in the decision-making process and in all other areas so as to enable change in policies, strategies and activities within an organisation.(2016)
- The EBU information package ‘The Right to Live without Violence’ for blind and partially sighted women (2015).
- Brochure 1 – ‘The Right to Live without Violence’ Information for professionals (pdf)
- Brochure 2 – ‘The Right to Live without Violence’ Information for blind and partially sighted women and their organizations (pdf)
- A3 campaign poster high definition for printing (pdf)
- A3 campaign poster low definition for web and emailing (pdf)
- Guidelines on the information package ‘The Right to Live without Violence’. (word)
- Read the 10 page draft report on Women with disabilities (External link)produced by the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on the 17.6.2013
- On 13 June 2012 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation CM/Rec (2012)6 on protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls with disabilities, which was prepared by CAHPAH-WGD working group of experts last year in Strasbourg. You can download the recommendations (word) in English and Français.
- Now available to download, accessible pdf files of the Guide to Mainstreaming Gender in Public Disability Policies, in English and Spanish
- Sweden (pdf): Looking the other way – A study guide to female victims of violence with disabilities (2011)
- Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement (word) against rape and sexual violence on women (2010)
ACCESS TO ART AND CULTURE
Access to Art and Culture is another area in which EBU is active, guided by UNCRPD article 30. Below a selection of useful information and good practice.
- Part one of the EBU Handbook for High Quality Audio Description on Screen is now available (June 2023, word document)
- Access to Art and Culture – Political and legal background – An overview 2022 (December 2022, pdf document)
- Results of the survey about Audio Description in EBU Countries conducted in 2021 as part of the PARVIS project (December 2022, pdf document)
- EBU examples of good practice in access to museums and cultural heritage sites (February 2022, pdf document)
- EBU produced a podcast on 31 January 2022, “Right to equal access to culture“. Read the podcast episode transcript.
- EBU would like to make available the joint publication
Accessible Publishing – Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers
Please note, this is an external document and as such may not conform to EBU’s own accessible document guidelines; it remains however a valuable resource.
See also our campaign on Creative Europe media funding to the film industry.
ARCHIVE OF PRESS RELEASES AND POSITION PAPERS
- EBU proposed amendments for EP Plenary, European Accessibility Act in pdf and word format (July 2017)
- EBU Response to the European Commission public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights in doc and pdf format (December 2016)
- EBU position paper on EC proposals to implement Marrakech Treaty in doc and pdf format (November 2016)
- Accessible Lifts – EBU Statement on ballot within CEN/TC 10 regarding contrast requirements in EN 81-70 in doc and pdf format (October 2016)
- EBU response to Public Consultation on reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications in doc and pdf format (September 2016)
- EBU contribution to the consultation on COM(2016)287/final – Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities, in doc and pdf format (July 2016)
- EBU response to Public Consultation on the Revision of the European Interoperability Framework, in doc and pdf format (June 2016).
- EBU Response to the European Commission Consultation on the proposal for a European Accessibility Act, in doc and pdf format (February 2016).
- EBU response to the European Commission Public consultation on eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 in .doc and .pdf format (January 2016).
- EBU Response to the Regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy questionnaire in .doc and .pdf format (December 2015).
- EBU final response on the evaluation of the regulatory framework for electronic communications and on its review in .doc and .pdf format (December 2015).
- Now available in one single document, the 3 EBU Position Papers on Rehabilitation in .doc and .pdf formats. This document includes
- Rehabilitation and older people with acquired sight loss
- Minimum standards for low vision services in Europe
- EBU Response to the European Commission Consultation on Directive 2010/13/EU on audiovisual media services (AVMSD) ‘A media framework for the 21st century’. (September 2015)
- EBU Position Paper – Political Positions Concerning the Labour Market from Self-Help Organisations of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons in Europe (February 2015).
- EBU Access Denied Report
- Access Denied! How blind people struggle to access everyday goods, services and information and what the EU can do about it – November 2014 report (word file)
- Annex I – Overview of the accessibility European Commission website November 2014 (word file)
- Annex II– Overview of the accessibility European Council website November 2014 (word file)
- Annex III – Overview of the accessibility European Parliament website November 2014 (word file)
- Access Denied! report, French version (word file)
- EBU position paper on Rehabilitation and Older People with Acquired Sight Loss also available in French, German and Spanish (November 2014)
- EBU Response to EC Green Paper on mobile health (“mHealth”) (July 2014)
- EBU recommendations to Council on Directive on accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites (May 2014)
- EBU response to the Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules (February 2014)
- EBU response to European Central Bank consultation on recommendations for the security of mobile payments (January 2014)
- EBU response to European Commission Consultation on Directive 2003/59/EC on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers (October 2013)
- EBU response to EC Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values” (August 2013)
- Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites Directive – EBU recommendations to European Parliament (June 2013)
- EBU Position Paper on the European Commission Proposal for a Directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites (May 2013)
- EBU response to European Commission consultation on a review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates (December 2012)
- EBU Position Paper on the dangers of silent vehicles ‘Ensuring the Safety Needs of Blind and Partially Sighted Pedestrians in Road Traffic’. (September 2012)
- EBU response to EC consultation on the “Internet of Things” (IoT) (July 2012)
- EBU response to Public Consultation on the Access to Interoperability Information of Digital Products and Services. (June 2012)
- EBU response to European Commission Green Paper ‘Towards an Integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments’ (April 2012)
- EBU response to Public Consultation on a European Accessibility Act (February 2012)
- EBU response to European Commission survey on “helping public authorities procure ICT based on standards” (February 2012)
- 11 November 2018, Setting the bar too low – disappointing agreement reached on European Accessibility Act. Press release in English (pdf).
- 08 November 2018, Audio-visual media services on the spot; broadcasters now obliged to cast a wider net to include persons with visual or hearing disabilities. Press release in English (pdf).
- 01 October 2018, Access to accessible format books: EU and EBU on the same page. Press release in English (pdf).
- 27 September 2018, Accessibility act: no more sitting on the fence. Press release in English (pdf).
- 04 July 2018, EBU Urges Austrian Presidency to Engage in Constructive Negotiations on Flagship European Accessibility Act. Press release in English (pdf).
- 28 May 2018, Joint EBU – FEP Press Release, The European Blind Union and the Federation of European Publishers met in Brussels on May 23, 2018 (pdf). They released a joint press release, also available in Italian (pdf).
- 08 March 2018, In a world where an estimated two-thirds of blind people are women, EBU is commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 with the release of a new video. – Press Release in English (pdf).
- 28 February 2018, How Accessible will the Europe of the Future be for the Blind and Partially Sighted? The European Blind Union releases a new Position Paper on the “European Accessibility Act” – Press Release in English (pdf)
- 17 January 2018, The European Parliament is discussing and voting , the 17th and 18th of January 2018, its recommendation on the draft Council decision on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Marrakesh Treaty. Press Release in English (pdf).
- 11 May 2017, The European Blind Union celebrates agreement on Marrakesh Treaty legislation, regrets optional “tax on accessible books” – Press Release in English, Spanish and Hungarian (pdf files)
- 27 October 2016, An Accessibility Success Story – Press Release in English
- 13 October 2016, World Sight Day – Press Release in English
- 29 September 2016, The Marrakech Treaty comes into force – but not for EU citizens! – Press release in English
- 10 March 2016, Access to online services: 20 European NGOs tell EU ministers ‘no one should be left behind’ – Press release in English
- 03 February 2016, European Parliament demands EU ratification of Marrakesh Treaty – Press release in English
- 10 December 2015, “Right to read” for blind and low vision Europeans still denied – access to literary works locked. Press release in English.
- 03 December 2015, Commission proposes long-awaited EU Accessibility Act. A new dawn for Europe’s blind and partially sighted people? Press release in English.
- 02 December 2015, Access to Web Content: EU Governments’ Plans ‘A Disgrace’ says EBU President. Press release in English, also available in Italian.
- 16 September 2015, Petition’s committee of the European Parliament supports the “Right to read campaign” to end the stalemate of EUs ratification process of the Marrakesh Treaty. Press release in English
- 25 June 2015, EU member states need to ratify the Marrakech Treaty now EBU/ EDF joint press release in English
- 10 June 2015, European Blind Union to EU Ministers: “Our right to access the web is not negotiable” Press release in Italian and English
- 07 May 2015, Germany and Italy – stop blocking EU ratification of our right-to-read Treaty! Press release in English