This year started for our Board with a physical meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, hosted by our Vinko Bek Center for Education member.

Between many subjects and decisions, especially concerning this year activities and events, it was the perfect opportunity to sign the Memorandum of Agreement between ENVITER and HIPEN (Hearing Impairment Professionals European Network).

ENVITER webinar logo

Another ENVITER Webinar, this time about “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Visual Impairment” was held through Zoom on November 28th.

The presentation by Laura Latour, from our IRSAM (France) member, was about her PhD research studies, which started with two general observations:

  • The high prevalence of ASD in Blind and Severely Visually impaired children: several studies estimate occurrence up to 30-50%…
  • Complexity of the ASD Diagnosis: overlapping of clinical signs + lack of tests adapted to these children.

You can access this presentation here.

The recording of this Webinar is available at ENVITER’s Youtube channel.

 

Photo of a magnifying glass over braille

Dear CVI professional,

 

We would like to know about your possible interest in establishing an ICEVI-Europe professional interest group on Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI). Professional Interest Groups were established with the purpose of bringing together teachers, academics and professionals who work in the same specific field in order to exchange knowledge and experiences about the education and re/habilitation of people with visual impairments.

With this questionnaire we would like to map the organisations and persons who are supporting children and young adults with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) and to determine interest in setting up such a professional interest group.

We would appreciate if you could share this questionnaire that takes no longer than 10 minutes, with any other professionals who may also be interested in such a professional interest group.

Please go to: https://forms.office.com/e/Ae04ZMBqqZ to fill in the questionnaire.

It would be great if you could reply before 20 November 2023.

Many thanks in advance.

 

Marieke Steendam, Royal Dutch Visio

John Ravenscroft, University of Edinburgh

Frank Laemers, University of Education Heidelberg

Aukje Snijders, Royal Dutch Visio

Photo of Elena Weber and Philippe Belseur standing by a EASPD poster
Our President, Mrs. Elena Weber, and another of our Board Members, Mr. Philippe Belseus, are in Helsinki representing us and also our peer Network, HIPEN, in the EASPD (European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities) International Conference ‘Enabling Social Innovation: Concepts, frameworks & organisational change’ and General Assembly.
For more information about this event, visit https://www.easpdconference.eu/.
Project Early Logo

Another ENVITER Webinar, hosted by VYV3 PDL – Monteclair Institute, was held on October 16th, with the aim of presenting the EARLY project results.

EARLY project was born from ENVITER exchanges, based on a topic submitted by MONTECLAIR Institute (Angers-France), and coming from the same purposes: children, and young adults with blindness often lack of autonomy in different areas.

Monteclair proposed to work together to question our practices in early intervention services and support of families with the aim to develop good practices in this field. An Erasmus + project Exchange of practices is born in 2020 between France (Monteclair and CRDV), Italy (Rittmeyer, Ascoli and Istituto dei Sordi), Austria (Contrast), Bulgaria (NRCB) and Croatia (Vinko Bek). During 2 years, 3 mobilities of professionals were developed for the exchange of practices and put forward the good practices for the support of very young children.

This webinar detailed the content of the project and outcomes realized, with intervention by Catherine THIBAULT and Philippe BELSEUR (VYV3 PDL – Monteclair Institute).

You can find the results of this project here:

Please visit our  ENVITER Youtube channel, following this link, if you wish to see the recording of this webinar.

Worshop group photo

This year, Viena (Austria) was the host city of ENVITER’s annual Blue Sky Meeting (BSM).

On September 28th and 29th, our members met at the Hilfsgemeinschaft to brainstorm about ideas for project proposals and develop constructive workshops.

These annual BSM are developed with the financial support of the network itself, sponsoring the involvement of a person per member and this way promoting the opportunity to meet together and to take part in the growth of ENVITER, by encouraging work on new project topics and proposals for submission for funding.

During the 2 work days, we had the opportunity to participate in debates, presentations, project workshops and also a visit to our new member, the Bundes-Blindenerziehungsinstitut.

During the presentations, Laura Latour, from our member IRSAM, presented her work about Autism Spectrum Disorder And  Visual Impairment. You will be able to find her presentation here and we hope that, soon, we can have a webinar about it, so this subject can reach professionals working in our members organizations and others.

For participants that could also stay until Saturday, it was possible to engage in a very special visit to one of the most iconic places, in Vienna: St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

ENVITER webinar logo

ENVITER and ICEVI Europe logos

On 21 September, for almost 2 hours, during the afternoon, ENVITER and ICEVI-Europe (International Council for Education and Re/habilitation of People with Visual Impairment, Europe) hosted a joint webinar on Visual Impairment and Relations, Intimacy, and Sexuality.

All blind or partially sighted people (from 0 to 100), regardless of their intellectual ability, should have access to correct knowledge about their body, relations, intimacy, and sexuality and should be given the opportunity to experience this all according to their wants and needs. This statement is the rational for the work at the national Dutch expertise group on relations, intimacy, and sexuality (RIS), made up of members from 3 different organizations: Royal Dutch Visio, Bartiméus and the Robert Coppes Foundation. And they invited all interested professionals to join an interactive international webinar on September 21 and share experience and knowledge: sexual development in the lifecycle, practical information and materials, results from scientific research project, personal stories from clients, casuistry, and ideas for attitude and conversations on this topic.

Presenters:

  • Suzanne Sparidans (Royal Dutch Visio)
  • Sandra van der Meijden (Royal Dutch Visio)
  • Yeshe Zoutenbier (Bartiméus)
  • Bram Vedder (Robert Coppes Foundation)

You can find the recording of this webinar in our ENVITER’s Youtube channel.

Other resources presented in the Webinar:

photo of the muziekgebouw with save the date 2 to 4 june 2025

Save the date: 2-4 june 2025 – Tactile Reading Conference

photo of the muziekgebouw with save the date 2 to 4 june 2025

ENVITER is excited to announce the Tactile Reading and Graphics Conference 2025, which will take place from 2 – 4 June 2025 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Tactile Reading’s third edition will bring together participants worldwide that contribute to making information accessible through tactile solutions. In addition to braille, this also involves tactile graphics, drawings and 3D. During three days, the conference will feature a varied program about all aspects of tactile reading and graphics with inspiring speakers.

Join us at the fantastic and inspiring venue of the ‘Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ’, the most important concert hall for contemporary music in the Netherlands.

To learn more about the Conference, please visit the website www.tactilereading.org . Stay tuned for further details, including the call for abstracts, the official program and featured speakers.

It is the aim of the Conference Organization to connect as many people as possible in joining forces to empower inclusive reading experiences for all. Therefore, if you know other people and organizations who might be interested to participate, to be a speaker or to be a supporting sponsor of the Tactile Reading and Graphics Conference, please forward this announcement to them.

So, mark your calendars and save the date!

 

Teaching Braille book cover

To enable and increase access to Braille teaching Visio International has developed: “Teaching Braille, a manual for teachers, parents and policy makers”. The online manual is based on Unified English Braille (UEB) and explains different stages of braille learning: from preparatory to beginner braille and advanced braille. Focus is also on the way of teaching Braille. The book contains many links, practical examples and attention is paid to different materials with which you can teach Braille.

This book is intended for people who work with blind or partially sighted children, many of the ideas may be useful if you work with older children or adults. This book focuses especially on techniques that do not solely depend on expensive equipment and materials. The book emphasizes instead things you can find or make easily. It is especially aimed at the following people:

  • Teachers and classroom assistants who have visually impaired children in their classroom, both in special and mainstream schools
  • Parents, caregivers and siblings of visually impaired children.
  • Decision-makers: education officers, school principals and others who make decisions about the education of blind and visually impaired children.

You can download the book via the following link:

https://www.visio.org/getmedia/46c1905b-c3c6-4954-8bb8-de034b967aaf/Teaching-Braille-A-manual-for-teachers-parents-and-decision-makers.pdf

Photo of our representative during the IMC 2023

The 18th International Mobility Conference (IMC18) was held in Warsaw, Poland, from 22 to 26 May 2023. The prestigious IMC18 was organized by the Chance for the Blind Foundation together with Polish universities and other organizations working on behalf of blind and visually impaired people.

The International Mobility Conference takes place approximately every two to three years and is held in different countries around the world. It is attended by both academic professionals and practitioners in the broadly defined field of rehabilitation of the blind.

The theme of IMC18 was “Information, resulting in mobility and ability”.

In 2022 September, based on our discussion in Trieste, if Enviter can do something to assist European countries with a severe lack of O&M instructors, a small group started working on the topic. The group created a short questionnaire about the O&M situation in each member country.

The Scientific Program Committee gave us the chance to lead a workshop during the conference, where we could share the results of the questionnaire plus started a professional dialogue about the possible solutions in the near future. You can access the correspondent presentation here.