This pilot project established by Ádám Kósa MEP and Werner Kuhn MEP aimed at easing the lives of one million deaf sign language users in Europe.
The goal of this project is to develop a service concept and later a technology platform and service that can be used by any deaf or hard of hearing citizen within the European Union to assist them with real-time live sign language interpretation by a certified sign language interpreter or/and a real- time captioning service in order to enable independent communication with the institutions of the European Union, such as the European Parliament or the European Commission.
In 1987 the ECDBS, European Community Deafblind Secretariat, was established in Dublin by national representatives of deafblind organisations, family members organisations and professional organisations from the EU countries. In 1994 the Council meeting of ECDBS in Greece decided to change the name of the organisation to EDbN, (European Deafblind Network). The governing body of EDbN is the General Assembly and the Management Committee. In 2003 a decision was made to continue the work of EDbN despite a lack of funding.
The General Assembly is made up deafblind people, family members and professionals. The Management Committee is made up of deafblind people, family members and professionals, most of whom work voluntarily.
As the membership of the European Union has grown so the membership of EDbN has grown. Now, the majority of the 27 Member States are represented and actively involved.
The activities of EDbN are diverse and have developed over the years. In the past EDbN supported about 120 different multinational projects during the first 12 years of its existence; conferences, seminars, study groups, cultural exchanges and meetings. Many of them were Dbl network activities. Three very successful European Conferences for family members were also organised. Now EDbN is a network of people campaigning for greater recognition of deafblindness in Europe and the inclusion of the needs of deafblind people in European society and policy work.
The Chair of EDbN is a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF). This allows us to work with other European disability organisations and take part in the policy work of the European Union. EDF often asks EDbN to contribute to policy work to ensure that the needs of deafblind people are included. The expertise of all the members of EDbN is valuable to this work. A group of 'Experts' has been created to formalise this work.
April 16, 2014
After two years working on the European Deafblind Project, for Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, the project is getting to an end. The last meeting will be held in Barcelona and offering an open day conference next 20th June. It is expected the attendance of European and Spanish authorities, as well as professionals working on disabilities, from the social services and bound to deafblindness.
This condition will provide the necessary steps to explain the requirements and needs of Deafblindness to all the members of the European institutions
August 27, 2014
The European Deafblind Network (EDbN) has recently received the confirmation of the access rights to the European Parliament premises. The accredited status will allow our representatives of Deafblindness greater networking opportunities to contact all the members of the European Parliament (MEP).
On 11 February 2014, EDF presented its manifesto on the EU elections 2014 at the European Parliament. The event was organised in cooperation with the European Parliament Disability Intergroup and gathered a lot of MEPs; all of them expressed their full endorsement to the key priorities of EDF manifesto.
MEP Adam Kosa, who is also the President of the European Parliament Disability Intergroup, opened the event together with the Vice-President of the Intergroup, MEP Richard Howitt.
"In the next term of the European Commission we need a fully-fledged directorate on disability issues and we hope that we will achieve that. It is time to bring a real change to the lives of persons with disabilities”, said MEP Adam Kosa.