Communication is essential for staying healthy, holding a job, managing a household and participating in the community. 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.
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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 websiteFind 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.
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
deafblind people in Europe was one of the main issues of the meeting hold last 3rd of March in Brussels between the board of the European Deafblind Network (EDbN) and the European Commissioner for 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.