Finnish Professionals Visit Catalonia to Observe High-Quality Services

The local organization working on the deafblindness field APSOCECAT hosted the exchange program concerning good practice in the world of disability

Finnish representative speakingMay 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. 

Group photo with the Finnish professionals

Finnish and Catalonian representatives at the final session at the APSOCECAT premises

Read more: Finnish Professionals Visit Catalonia to Observe High-Quality Services

EDbN present at the international conference of deafblindness in Moscow

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.

The Moscow international conference logoApril 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.

Deafblindness representatives gathererd in Moscow

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

Read more: EDbN present at the international conference of deafblindness in Moscow

We Can Be Connected

 Communication is essential for staying healthy, holding a job, managing a household and participating in the community

The words We Can Be Connected in different colours


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

Read more: We Can Be Connected

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