The experts in deafblindness from around Europe, who held their first meeting in Glasgow on the 19th and 20th of November 2012, started off this two-year project granted by the Grundtvig Programme of the European Commission. The meeting joined the nine official organisations of the project, coming from eight EU Member States (United Kingdom contributes two organisations), gracefully hosted by Sense Scotland in Glasgow, placing their facilities at the disposal of the 25 participants, who had the chance to visit their centres and services.
The five organizations which were not granted a budget to participate in the project have agreed to continue being linked to it as non-official partners to follow its development and collaborate with its implementation. This cooperation mainly guarantees the coverage of the national reports concerning their five European States. These organizations are:
– Sense International Romania.
– Casa Pia de Lisboa (from Portugal).
– LASUC (from Lithuania).
– DODIR (from Croatia).
– Kuurosokeat (from Finland).
This means a provisional coverage of 13 European States, including the ones represented by the official partners of the project, as is shown in the map.
On the 21st of February, the Catalan Association for Deafblind People (APSOCECAT) and the Danish Centre for Deafblindness and Hearing Loss (CDH) applied to the Comenius Regio Programme of the European Commission to finance a series of activities related to the investigations that are currently being conducted regarding the situation of deafblindness in Europe.
The proposal consists of the creation of a consortium between two European regions or municipalities (in this case, Barcelona and the Nordjylland Region in Denmark) to finance the expenses related to the organisation of a Congress at the European level, to be held in Barcelona in June or July of 2014, where the results from the current Grundtvig European project regarding the European Indicators on Deafblindness will be presented. APSOCECAT and CDH also applied for resources to publish the book including the conclusions of this study. The project’s dissemination will be done through a website that will display all produced materials.
Specifically, this Comenius Regio consortium is made up of three prongs in each region: on the one hand, an Education Administration in each region (the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities of the City Council of Barcelona and the Department of Special Education of the Nordjylland Region, respectively); on the other hand, a school (Auxilia Special Education Centre Barcelona and the CDH School in Aalborg); and, lastly, an organisation related to the field of the project (APSOCECAT and the Danish Parents Association for People with Congenital Deafblindness). The final decision regarding the application will be made public next July.
Last 3 to 5 June, representatives and experts on deafblindness from the nine member organisations (and also the Romanian non-official partner) met again with the purpose of working in the European Grundtvig project. This second meeting of the project took place at the Centre for Deafblindness and Hearing Loss (CDH), in the Danish town of Aalborg, where participants had also the opportunity to visit its premises.
This meeting has been celebrated seven months later than the first one held in Glasgow. On that occasion the tasks of the project were distributed among the participating organisations and were set up the working groups to develop the seven domains to be considered for the global assessment of deafblindness.
Therefore, the 21 participants to this second meeting have made a follow-up of the distributed tasks and the working groups have presented their conclusions and the most relevant indicators to be considered within each domain.
The next phase of the project consists on the development of a questionnaire with the questions concerning the relevant indicators within each domain, to be distributed among the expert organisations in the field of deafblindness of the different European states. The final goal of the project is the publication of a book with a comparative study of the status of deafblindness in whole Europe.
The meeting focused also in the next meeting to be held in Lille next August, on occasion of the 8th European Conference on Deafblindness, organised by Deafblind International (Dbl). Besides holding the third working meeting, in an act organised within the conference the project will be explained to the attendants and there will be the presentation of the final questionnaire.
This new map shows the current situation of the EU countries already involved in the project. In this sense, the twelve countries highlighted in green correspond to the countries that have agreed to participate in the project, having as main task the completion of the questionnaire on the situation of deafblindness in their respective countries. They are Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Estonia, Germany and Sweden, and even the non EU Member States Norway, Iceland, Turkey and Switzerland. More details about the involved organizations can be found in section Partners of this website.
Apart from these countries, the map also shows the official and non-official partner countries of the project. The eight countries from the official partners are highlighted in pink (Spain, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary), while the five non-official partners are highlighted in blue (Romania, Portugal, Finland, Lithuania and Croatia). These non-official partners are the ones that submitted the application form together with the previous ones, but were not finally granted. Even though, they retained their participation in the project.
Taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the 8th DbI European Conference, which took place in Lille (France), the team members of the project “European Deafblind Indicators” joined together in the facilities of the Grand Palais Congress Centre, in Lille (France), on Saturday 24th August, the day before to the conference.
This meeting opened the second stage of the project, with the participation of 21 attendees. Once the first stage has already been done, which was focused on the definition and writing of the European Deafblind Indicators, the new stage starts with the distribution of a questionnaire regarding the most relevant indicators of each category. The aim is to distribute this questionnaire between specialised organizations on the scope of the deafblindness in many different states as long as we can ensure the appropriate gathering of information. The pieces of information obtained will allow the development of a European comparative study about the degree of attention received by the collective. The results will be collected in a book, whose results will be presented in Barcelona in June 2014.
In this way, the meeting was focused on these two main points: the closing of the final details of the questionnaire, which will see the light in early October, and the distribution of tasks relating to the writing and production of contents, which are destined for the book. Also, we had time for other issues, as the presentation of the outreach material created for the project, which has as a slogan “Make a noise about deafblindness across Europe”.
Besides, we took advantage of this chance to present the project in three Working Groups and in a Network Session of the DbI Conference, from Sunday 25th to Wednesday 28th August. This was useful to disseminate the project and for gathering opinions and new contributions of the attendees regarding the project and on how we can reach its adequate adaptation to our aims.
The meeting has focused on the analysis of the data obtained by each country and also on the discussion about the strategy of political impact that the application of the conclusions inferred from the project must guarantee.
On the 24 and 25 February, the fourth meeting of the project “European Deafblind Indicators” has taken place at the Royal Dutch Kentalis, in the city of Den Bosch (The Netherlands). Twenty-five people belonging to the ten participant organizations have attended this event.
At this point of the project which has been developing for two years, tests about the situation of deafblind people from 26 European countries have been collected. Regarding this big amount of data, in this meeting we have prioritized working in groups, with the aim of coming to conclusions corresponding to the different dimensions. Topics regarding writing the final report, the presentation of this report in the next congress which will take place in Barcelona and also the completion of the European Grundtvig project have been discussed, within the frame of this cooperation.
One of the most relevant facts has been the development of a group devoted to define a strategy of impact to be continued after the report and the Grundtvig project will be finished. With the goal of guarantee the utility of the project, this group will establish a schedule of political actions and also will write suggestions with the aim of allowing the contributors of each country to use this book when dealing with their administrations, and so, accomplish the mainly aim of this project: to improve the situation of deafblind people in Europe.
With this hope in mind, participants are preparing the next meeting, which will take place in Barcelona on the 19 and 20 June. On these days, during the International Congress on Deafblindness organized by APSOCECAT, the results will be presented in an official event.
As part of the activities in Den Bosch, our hosts invited us to visit their facilities, where the participants could meet the professionals working there, and also some of the deafblind people who are attended in these rehabilitation services.
The European Deafblind Indicators Project will finish with an open day conference on June 20th
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 project aimed to create a common European framework for the assessment of institutional models of care for the Deafblind. The conference in Barcelona will present the specific needs of this disability and the situation among Europe. The ultimate purpose of the project is to influence the decision-making at a European level, on the basis of the data collected and relevant figures, which allow the improvement on the attention to deafblindness and avoid discriminatory situations.
The European Deafblind Project has counted on the participation of the most important organisations working for deafblindness in Europe; nine organisations as official partners, from eight different countries, and five organisations as non-official partners representing their own countries. Other fourteen European countries have collaborated on the project represented by their own organisations.
(June 18th) The registration process is already closed.
See the Programme (English, Spanish, Catalan)
July 3, 2014
Final Report was presented on 20th June at the European Conference on Deafblindness held in Barcelona, Catalonia – Spain, by the European Deafblind Indicators team. 34 organisations from 26 countries have collaborated on the project.
Click on the image to download the full document.