Information about the new AFE-INNOVNET Newsletter.

Subscription to AFE-INNOVNET Newsletter now open:

Dear All,

If you wish to get regularly updated on AFE-INNOVNET, the new thematic network coordinated by AGE to promote age-friendly environments across Europe, you can now register to the project’s monthly newsletter on the homepage of AFE-INNOVNET’s website :

The overarching goal of this thematic network is to support the D4 Action Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing by setting up a large European wide community of local and regional authorities and other relevant stakeholders who want to work together to find innovative evidence based solutions to support active and healthy ageing and develop age-friendly environments (AFE).

You can read more on the AFE-INNOVNET on the Special Briefing of February’s CoverAGE.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,


Promoting Active Participation by Ageing People with Sensory Disabilities

June 23, 2014


Conference Theme

Through this conference we want to Influence Policy; Improve Services; and increase Professional Networking. The focus of the conference is promoting community-centred independence and increasing the participation of older people in society. This conference will be valuable to both academics and practitioners with an interest in the field of ageing. The day will be filled with a mixture of presentations and discussions among delegates. The proceedings of the conference will be published via the SensAge website. A report will be compiled from this conference and a number of presenters will be offered the opportunity to have their papers included in the report. This report will be distributed to appropriate stakeholders including funders, policy makers and other relevant organisations and personnel in Europe and Canada.

Submit an Abstract: We invite papers on ageing with the following sub themes being of particular interest: sensory disability; policy development; service development and innovation; independent living including technology and the benefits of networking.

Conference Fee: £50 to include lunch, tea & coffee.

Language: English Submission deadline: April 22, 2014 midnight GMT.

VENUE: The conference will be hosted in King’s Manor, a unique venue dating from the 16th Century, near the centre of historic York. A city ‘rich in ancient history, exquisite architecture, tangle of quaint cobbled streets, iconic York Minster and wealth of visitor attractions’, York can be reached easily by public transport.

The SENSAGE Conference is organized with the partnership of the EU Grundtvig Network Project SensAge, a project promoting lifelong learning needs for ageing people with sensory disabilities; and the Human Computer Interaction Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of York:

We look forward to welcoming you in York!

Abstract Submission Information Updated

Host organization: National Association of the Deafblind in Bulgaria (NADbBg) Place: Bulgaria, the city of Plovdiv, the Hotel “Novotel” – Plovdiv Dates: from 14th September 2014 to 22nd September 2014.

From 14th September 2014 to 22nd September 2014 on the following general program:

six separate competitions for persons with deafblindness, as part of the Second European Festival of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind:

14th of September 2014, Sunday:

Day of arrival

15th of September 2014, Monday:

1st day of the 3rd European Chess Championship of the Deafblind

16th of September 2014, Tuesday:

2nd day of the 3rd European Chess Championship of the Deafblind

17th of September 2014, Wednesday:

1st European Championship on Backgammon of the Deafblind

18th of September 2014, Thursday:

1st European Bowling Championship of the Deafblind

19th of September 2014, Friday:

2nd European Championship on Track-and-Field Athletics of the Deafblind

20th of September 2014, Saturday:

2nd European Championship on Arm Wrestling of the Deafblind

21th of September 2014, Sunday:

2nd European Amateur Arts Festival of the Deafblind

22nd of September 2014, Monday:

Day of departure.

More details regarding each competition – in the 2nd Announcement (will be sent in first half of January 2014).

Participants who can compete in sports championships and in the amateur arts festival:

Persons with Deafblindness (combination of hearing and visual impairment): men and women, only can compete in these competitions.

Interpreters and assistants of deafblind persons will work and help them during events, but they are sighted and/or hearing persons and they cannot to compete in the events.

Participation in one/ several competition(s) or to be only visitor

Each day can be day of arrival or day of departure. Each participant can decide in which competitions he or she would like to participate (several or one), to arrive on the day before, and to depart on the day after the competition.

Each of you can decide to participate as competitor in particular event(s) or to be only a visitor of the event(s).

The General Assembly of the International Sports Federation of the Deafblind (ISFDb)

We will hold the General Assembly of ISFDb at afternoon(s) / evening(s) in this/these day(s) when the free time is.

Trips and excursions

There will be arranged some trips at afternoon(s) in this/these day(s) when the free time is.


All travel cost from home country to Bulgaria are paid from participants themselves.

Air Transport is possible to the Sofia airport, Terminal 2 and Terminal 1.

Some flights also come to Plovdiv Airport.

The city of Plovdiv can be reached by train or by bus. There are trains and buses from Sofia.

AIRPORT TRANSFER / transfer from bus / train stations:

NADbBg will arrange car and bus transportation of the participants from Sofia airport to the hotel Novotel – Plovdiv and back from hotel Novotel – Plovdiv to Sofia airport.

Distance between Sofia airport and the hotel Novotel – Plovdiv is 146 km on the “Trakia” highway that takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

If there are participants come from Plovdiv Airport or bus/train stations in Plovdiv, they will be transferred to the hotel too.

Transfer service will be included in participation fee.

Participation fee, costs for accommodation and meals, registration form, deadline for registration and payment

In first half of January 2014 we will send the 2nd Announcement with participation fee, costs for accommodation and meals, registration form, and deadline for registration and payment.

HISTORY of the European Festivals of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind:

The 1st European Festival of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind was arranged from NADbBg and was held in 2008 in Bulgaria, the city of Varna (on Black sea coast) from 1st to 8th September 2008, and it was consisted from the competitions:

-2nd European Chess Championship of the Deafblind (because the 1st European Chess Championship of the Deafblind was held in 1997 in Denmark and arranged from FDDB)

-1st European Championship on Track-and-Field Athletics of the Deafblind

-1st European Championship on Arm Wrestling of the Deafblind

-1st European Amateur Arts Festival of the Deafblind

There was decided that the NADbBg will host in 2014 in Bulgaria the 2nd European Festival of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind with the same championships.

Please find attached more information about traditions in deafblind sports in Bulgaria, in presentation “Sports as way for social inclusion of the deafblind” that was presented in 10th Helen Keller World Conference – 07-08.11.2013, Tagaytay, Philippines.


With warm regards,

Dimitar Parapanov,

President of the National Association of the Deafblind in Bulgaria

President of the International Sports Federation of the Deafblind

EDBU Auditor

WFDB Auditor

Committee for Culture of Saint Petersburg.

Saint Petersburg State Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Russian Library Association. April 3-4 2014.

Invitation to take part in the international scientific-practical conference ‘Adaptive technologies in cultural institutions as means of engaging visually impaired persons in the art of music’.

The conference is a part of the program of Saint Petersburg State library for the Blind ‘Guaranteeing access to the cultural and historical heritage for visually impaired persons’ and will be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from 3 to 4 April, 2014.

Budapest, 30 Sept-1 Oct. 2013.

Tajana Uzun from Croatian Association of Deafblind Persons Dodir, participated at ForAge International Conference in Budapest in order to present the SensAge project to the conference participants.

ForAge is a European multi-lateral network which aims at communicating the experiences of later lifelong learning to create high standards of practice. Since the aim of this network is to make a database of all initiatives and experiences when it comes to the education of older people in general, the participant have been quite interested in the SensAge project and the coordinator of the network, John Benyon from UK, expressed interest in future cooperation of the two networks.

Participants saw the video of SensAge, along with a short powerpoint presentation and leaflets with information about SensAge and the Knowledge Base.

ForAge International Conference:

The Future of Learning for Older People in Europe

Learning from Experience

30 September – 1 October 2013

Budapest, Hungary

To coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older People on 1 October, the ForAge Grundtvig Multilateral Network is holding a Pan-European Conference to examine trends and developments in learning in later-life and what can be learned from the experience of European initiatives in this field.

The programme includes the following topics:

The context for later-life learning in 21st Century Europe and the role of ForAge

Improving the quality of training of those trying to reach potential older learners

The benefits of later-life learning and the supporting evidence

Experiences of other European networks as information sources and influencers as well as providing expert opinion about future actions
Perspectives from international adult education organisations
Emerging issues and the further development of later-life learning
Older learners’ perspectives
Oral and poster presentations of European Projects on later-life learning.

The 2nd Annual SensAge Conference ‘Ageing People with Sensory Disabilities – Quality of Services and Their Impact’ took place in Istanbul, on the 2nd July 2013, within the framework of the 8th ICEVI-European Conference on Education and Rehabilitation of people with visually impairment. On the 3rd of July a SensAge project meeting took place.

The Conference focused on the sharing of knowledge, practice and experiences and on the identification of issues, within the remit of SensAge being the Reference Point in Europe for Ageing People with Sensory Disabilities.

The best practices out of the Knowledge Base of the website were presented in Istanbul. You will be able to find them on this website or by just clicking here: Communication when the hearing is failing (Oslo Voksenopplæring Skullerud), Dodir Zagreb Lujo (Dodir), Method Specialist Care for visually impaired elderly at De Vlasborch (Royal Dutch Visio). A video of the lecture of Ruth van Nispen (Istanbul, July the 2nd) can be watched here (Depression and anxiety in visually impaired older adults: an overview). Below you will find the leaflet with these best practices [under construction].

The SensAge conference was organised with the partnership of the EU Grundtvig Network Project Lifelong Learning Needs for Ageing People with Sensory Disabilities (SensAge), ICEVI-Europe – International Council on Education & Re/habilitation of People with Visually Impairment and Beyazay Association of Turkey.

The ForAge network is collecting information about later life learning across Europe working through 16 partners to help collect, collate and disseminate information.

We are looking to create links with other relevant EU wide work – as well as national and regional activities, policies, practices and research, so please contact us and make the connection. As part or our current work we have created a discussion forum and set up three questions for debate based on our own research. Please contribute to the discussions.

We hope that the debates will also be developed in all the partner languages.

We are still refining the database element of the website so please contact me with any enquiries about this and how it is to be used.

Learning from Experience: the future of learning for seniors in Europe.
Budapest, Hungary 30th September – 1st October 2013.

The second conference and consultation of the ForAge network is being held in Hungary on the above dates – which embrace and celebrate the International Day of Older People.

This year’s event wishes to draw from the vast range of learning opportunities funded across Europe in recent years, as well as better understand future funding opportunities and the policy imperatives which underpin them.

At the moment the programme is being completed but I would wish you to put these dates in your dairy and/or contact the event organiser Barbara Varga-Pinter or Jim Soulsby for further information or to register interest in attending, contributing to a workshop, or presenting a paper or poster.

As this is a pan European event you may be able to apply to your national agent for funding.

Larnaka, Cyprus 6th – 10th November 2013. Sustaining learning in later life.

The 6th later life and intergenerational training programme is being held in Larnaka on the above dates. This programme has really developed in the last five years attracting over 160 delegates from 28 different European countries.

This has now encouraged us to change the programme to build on all those experiences and enable past participants to return and build even further on their knowledge and experience, as well as provide an excellent learning environment for those just embarking on work in this area and wanting to develop their own ideas and knowledge

The closing date for applications to your national agency is 30th April 2013. For further information or to progress your application please e-mail Klitos Symeonides.