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Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Report from the board
  3. The sub regions
  4. Financial report
  5. Looking to the future
  6. Members of the Board as of December 31st 2006

1 Introduction

The members of the Board herewith proudly present the first annual report of the International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment - Europe, ICEVI-Europe. This is a significant point in the more than 50 years’ history of the European division of the world organisation, ICEVI- World.

At the board meeting in November 2005 the new members of the board decided to give ICEVI-Europe the formal status of an association. Now ICEVI-Europe is an association with formal articles. This means that the board is responsible for its actions both to its members, and to other, external bodies. Thus this annual report 2006 is the first step.

The board hopes that you will enjoy reading the report and we would be happy to receive your comments.

On behalf of the members of the board,
Hans Welling
Chairman

2 Report from the board

From August 14th–18th 2005 an ICEVI-European Conference was held in Chemnitz, Germany. During this conference, the usual business meeting took place, in which the new members of the board were appointed.

One of the first issues for the board was to think about the status of ICEVI-Europe, which has had no formal legal status.
The members of the board thought formal legal status was necessary for the further development of ICEVI-Europe. Formal legal status is essential both for internal development, and also for our external presentation.

The board decided to opt for the legal status of an association. In this way, the open and democratic character of ICEVI-Europe is best represented.
During several meetings the board has discussed the concept articles.
In the General Assembly meeting during the world conference of ICEVI in July 2006 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the concept articles and the byelaws were accepted by the members.

The next European Conference will be held in Dublin in 2009.
St Josephs’ Institute for the Visually Impaired will be the host. A programme committee has been chosen by the board and they held their first meeting in Athens in 2006.
During the conference in Kuala Lumpur, the director of St. Josephs’, Brian Allen, and the chairman of ICEVI-Europe, signed an agreement for cooperation.

Professor Dr Branka Eskirovic led the third ICEVI Balkan conference from September 30 to October 2nd 2006 in Beograd, Serbia.
The conference was well attended; all the Balkan countries as well as other countries, participated. The themes were: education and educational methods, inclusive education and rehabilitation of children with visual impairment.
The chairman of ICEVI-Europe highlighted topics in his opening speech such as the importance of the development of multifunctional centres for people with a visual impairment, cooperation with consumers’ organisations, research and development and international cooperation.

In October 2006 a European workshop for psychologists took place. In Copenhagen 60 psychologists discussed their role in a changing service to children with a visual impairment in Europe. The workshop was successful and the next workshop is planned in the Netherlands in 2008.

Communication between countries is of great importance to ICEVI-Europe. In 2006 a number of sub regional meetings took place, bringing together the contact persons from the countries of the several sub regions.

The sub regions are:

Participation differed according to the sub region. In general the meetings were considered to be very useful.

The position of the contact person is strengthened; because of the articles, the contact persons now have to be members of the General Meeting. A new profile and procedures for appointment have been accepted.

In order to support wider communication, the website has been changed. The information about each country has been extended and it is now possible to participate in a discussion board.

The newsletter will be presented digitally and for the meanwhile, a print copy of the newsletter will be produced once a year.

3 The sub regions

Regional ICEVI report, Nordic Baltic countries

5th Nordic congress for staff members was held in Norway, there were 211 participants from the 5 Nordic countries.

The First International Education Conference on Batten Disease was held in Örebro, Sweden, on May 3-6, in the presence of the European chairperson. The Nordic centres responsible for organizing this conference have clearly stated that future conferences should be held under the ICEVI umbrella.

The 1st European meeting for psychologist work with visual impaired people was held in Copenhagen. There were 51 participants from 19 European countries.

In Denmark the 3 core competence groups are extend with 3 more, CVI, Tactile illustrations and the elderly with visual impairment.

The announcement of the first European Comenius-Grundtvig training course on Working with parents of the visually impaired (age 6 – 25)

The annual Nordic meeting took place in Reykjavik in September. All the Nordic countries participated.

There was a visit to the Baltic countries by Hans Welling and Peter Rodney in May.
The outcome: 2 project proposals

Regional ICEVI report, Eastern European countries

An unusual group of cyclists started from Berlin to St. Petersburg on June, 10 on tandems. Ten sportsmen (with good eyesight, visually impaired and totally blind) gathered together to cover the distance of 2500 kms.
“Tandem Relief” (Tandem Hilfen)- is a private and altruistic initiative initiated by Dr. Thomas Nikolai, journalist, who knows the problems of visually impaired people very well as he himself is partially sighted.
Part of this relief project, commemorating the anniversary of “200 years of Education for the Blind in Germany”, is worth over 40.000 Euro.
St. Petersburg was the destination of the tandem tour and here tired but happy cyclists were met and warmly greeted by the management, teachers and the students of the boarding school N.1 for blind children. Russian experts participated with lectures at The World Conference of ICEVI in July 2006 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
In October 2006 we took part in The European Workshop for Psychologists in Copenhagen. It was a very successful workshop.

In November 21, 2006, in common with St Petersburg regional organization of All Russia Association of the Blind (VOS) we held a conference on “Problems in education and professional adaptation of blind and partially sighted people". In this conference there took part representatives of public organizations, scientific, medical and academic institutions, and sports clubs. This conference was intended as an exchange of experiences in resolving the problems of educational and professional adaptation of students with visual impairment and to attract the attention of authorities and society to their problems.

All contact persons in connection with ICEVI-Europe are working on the project in the field of helping children with visual impairment. The strategy for this project will be to concentrate on the practical side, at most, an exchange of experience between experts and an expansion of the work of the special establishments in the remote Eastern European regions. Concerning this project we have done the marketing research work. This work gave us an opportunity to analyse the situation in the field of v.i. in East-European Region.

We are working on our national web pages and hope to receive the information from Moldova and Ukraine during the next few weeks.

We are working on a translation of the English book by Mary Lee "This Little Finger" – an early literacy home resource pack for parents of children with visual impairment.

We are working intensively on our 1st International Arts Festival, which will be held on December 2007 in St.Petersburg, Russia. Special attention will be paid to visually impaired children. An announcement will be placed on the international website of ICEVI and will be sent to the Newsletter. We are looking forward to seeing you all at our 1st International Arts Festival in St.Petersburg.

ICEVI Regional Report. English Speaking countries

Preparations have been going ahead for the 5th Workshop on Training of Teachers of the Visually Impaired in Europe, which will be held In Bratislava (Slovak Republic) in May. The topic will be, 'Training Specialist Teachers for Children with Visual Impairment: Exploring the Role of Learner-Centered Instructional Approaches.' Steve McCall and Mike McLinden, from the University of Birmingham, U.K., will be speaking about how to move away from traditional lectures towards facilitating small group, interactive learning as a way of training teachers of the visually impaired. Janis Sugden from the University of Edinburgh will also be attending.

Mary Lee (Royal Blind School, Edinburgh) and William Stuart (St Joseph’s School, Dublin) have joined colleagues from the ICEVI European committee, in Athens to discuss and begin to put together the programme for the forthcoming ICEVI European Conference to be held in Dublin in July 2009. The next meeting will be held in Prague in June 2007. This promises to be a very interesting and thought provoking programme.

The home pages for the United Kingdom and for Ireland have been completed and can be visited on the website of ICEVI Europe.

Steve McCall, Graeme Douglas and Mike McLinden are now joint editors of the British Journal of Visual Impairment. They are looking for relevant articles that reflect the focus of the journal, full details of which can be found on the homepage of the publisher SAGE: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/home.nav

The editors invite authors to contact them to discuss ideas for an article on: edu-bjvieditors@adf.bham.ac.uk

ICEVI Regional report, the French-speaking countries

During the year 2006, links were set up between the French-speaking European countries (Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium and France). These first links are starting slowly to bear fruit, particularly through the sharing of information by the means of the contact persons.

To date, communication is now established with the contact persons (Frank GROBEN for Luxembourg, Isabelle MATHIS for Switzerland, Violaine VAN CUTSEM for Belgium) and a meeting is planned in France at the end of November 2007. During this meeting, each participant will get to know and understand the organizations, and learn about the activities that are carried out in these countries.
We hope that these first contacts will strengthen the exchanges and make the ICEVI better known in these countries.

REPORT ON THE SOUTH SUB-REGION, YEAR 2006

It is important to highlight some of the actions developed in our sub-region:

After different consults, Mr. Enzo Tioli – responsible from Education at the Italian Blind Union – will be the contact person in Italy.

Last June Mr. Hans Welling, President of ICEVI Europe, visited Madrid and a meeting with the contact persons from Italy, Portugal and Spain was held. The contact person from Malta did not attend the meeting but he sent a short report on the situation of his country. Each member informed about the situation of the education of visually impaired people in his/her country and it was agreed that the main action to carry out was to set a training curriculum for the teaching staff and the convenience to work this matter through any European programme.

In the month of May a meeting was held in Sevilla for the training and the exchange of experiences with professionals involved in the field of early attention in Spain and Portugal.

Professionals from Spain and Italy participated in the World Conference held in Malaysia with the presentation of several papers.

Finally, Spain is participating in the work meetings of the EFAVI Group within the global education campaign for visually impaired children.

Luz Laine
Madrid, November 2006

4 Financial report

Income 2006
Contributions 20061148,82
Interest9,2
Income 20061149,74
Expenditure 2006
Website costs1093,88
Printing costs4012,99
Travel and accomodation costs meetings1840
Postage costs2697,29
Total expenditure9644,16
Profit
Profit 20061853,24
Equity
Saldo 20052392,15
Saldo 20061853,24
Total equity4245,39

5 Looking to the future

The purpose of ICEVI-Europe is the sharing of knowledge in the field of education and rehabilitation of people with visual impairment. In order to accomplish this, the board has made some ambitious plans.

In April 2007 ICEVI-Europe aims to organise a workshop on the theme “Working with Parents of Children with Visual Impairment”.

The preparations are being made by:

From 17th – 20th May in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, the fourth workshop on ‘The Training of Teachers of the Visually Impaired in Europe’ will be held.
The theme of this workshop is ‘Training Specialist Teachers for Children with Visual Impairment: Exploring the Role of Learner-Centred Instructional Approaches’.

A European Conference on Early Intervention is being prepared with the theme ‘Theory Meeting Practice in Early Intervention in Europe’. This conference will take place in Budapest in 2008.

In the same year a second workshop will be organised for psychologists, working in the field of education and rehabilitation of people with a visual impairment. This workshop will take place in the Netherlands.

In 2008 the Fourth Balkan Conference takes place in Istanbul, Turkey.
The preparations for this conference are being undertaken by the Turkish members of ICEVI-Europe.

The members of the board are considering the possibility of organising thematic workshops in Eastern Europe. Several organisations in Eastern Europe have requested these workshops. One of the conditions is to obtain the necessary income through sponsorship.

In July 2009 the European Conference will be held in Dublin, Ireland.
The programme committee, consisting of Hans Welling, Peter Rodney, Terezie Hradilkova, Mary Lee and William Stuart from St. Josephs’ School for the Visually Impaired, is occupied with preparations. News and updates will be regularly published in the newsletter and on the ICEVI-website.

Several members have expressed their desire for a European Masters Degree for teachers. The possibilities of this are being explored and European organisations have been consulted. These contacts also offer us the opportunity to draw attention to ICEVI-Europe at a European level.

Members of the Board as of December 31st 2006

Advisors


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