Unione Italiana Ciechi ed Ipovedenti Sezione Provinciale di Firenze Italy (Coordinator)
Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti UICI (Italian Union of the Visually Impaired), is a social utility non-profit organization. Founded 1923 in Florence, has more than 100 local branches in all Italian provinces and in the major municipalities, all of which have legal autonomy and an elected board. The UICI is member of the European Union of the Blind as well as of the World Blind Union and in both institutions we belong to the leading board. The mission of UICI is to facilitate social integration of the visually impaired persons and to promote a more realistic aptitude of Public Authorities as well as of the public opinion with regard to problems concerning VI. This includes a variety of policies, actions and events, in cooperation with private and public institutions, in the domain of education, sport, leisure, social security and welfare, job opportunities, access to information and IT, rehabilitation. Only the branch in Florence has got more than 500 members and among them around 50 are young people between 15 and 30 years old. UICI has also got an active group of young people which carries out different activities both at local and international level. Thanks to the Views Italia group, visually impaired participants from all over Italy have participated to different youth exchanges within the E+ programme as well as in the EVS programme.
Fundacion Docete Omnes Spain
Docete Omnes Foundation is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation. It is an educational and public interest institution by virtue of a Ministerial Order. The Foundation is a social complex working in different areas; the two main areas are education and care sectors. Nowadays, the Foundation is a large organisation with more than 140 workers: among them teachers and experts with a high level of experience in the field of special education and generally speaking in the field of disability. Docete Omnes Foundation, as an educational and social centre, provides regular vocational training courses and different courses for workers, for the unemployed and for immigrants. Since 1968, Docete Omnes Foundation constitutes an active centre in the development of innovative policies, teacher training, development of research projects, development of occupational centres, development of residencies for elder people with intellectual disabilities, development of sheltered houses for young and adult people with intellectual impairment etc.
Visually Impaired Education and work support international AISBL Belgium
Visually Impaired Education and Work Support International (in abbreviation Views International or VI) is a European non-governmental organisation created in 2008, as continuation of the international activities and aims of Views (NGO born in 2001, splitted up in Views Belgium and Views International in 2008). VI is also a network gathering members and partners from all over Europe: Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. The objectives of VI are: (a) to facilitate the meetings between young European people, majority of whom are visually impaired; (b) to optimize the chances of this young people population to be integrated in the social, private and professional life as autonomously as possible; (c) to develop spirit of solidarity and democracy, specific of the European culture.
The actions of VI may be captured under the framework of: Youth exchanges, Adapted European Solidarity Corps volunteering activities, Trainings, seminars, job shadowing, study visits, as well as collaboration projects with countries outside EU (capacity building activities). VI further works in the interest of young visually impaired by providing conditions of youth learning mobility and by enhancing intercultural learning, understanding and active participation in Europe.
Polski Zwiazek Niewidomych Poland
Polish Association of the Blind (PZN) is the largest organization for the Blind in Poland which unites blind and visually impaired people. Polish Association of the Blind is a non-profit, public benefit organization. The Association joins adults, teenagers, children, who are blind from birth, and newly blind due to different disorders. Polish Association of the Blind acts all of Poland. In each region there are the chapters of PZN and in each county there are local units of PZN. PZN has been supporting visually impaired persons in the rehabilitation field and in the vocational field. The Organisation has been carrying out various project the aim of which is to support blind persons to enter the job market. PZN has approximately 52,000 members, over 90 % of whom have different levels of visual impairment. The 7% of the members of PZN are people who are totally blind and so far there are 43 members of staff in the office of the Polish Association of the Blind in Warsaw.
OFENSIVA TINERILOR ASOCIATIA- Romania
Ofensiva Tinerilor Association was founded in 2004 by a team of dedicated youth workers who wanted to offer young people accessible educational opportunities that would help them achieve their full potential. This mission constitutes the main pillar of the Association ever since. An essential element of the Association is the European cooperation and exchange, as a mean to supporting persons belonging to different backgrounds to embrace cultural diversity, understand the common European values and develop responsibility in the community. Many trans-national initiatives are organised in cooperation with local and national institutions, with the support of the Erasmus+ Programs and also through pilot calls of the European Commission (AMICUS, EYV 2011, etc.). In the last 5 years Ofensiva Tinerilor Association has conducted many actions such as (a) sent more than 50 EVS volunteers in stages in Europe, Asia and Africa; (b) hosted more than 110 EVS volunteers; (c) hosted more than 200 youth workers and young people who have been in training courses or youth exchanges experiences in Romania; (d) sent more than 100 youngsters to participate in mobility projects. Since 2014, Ofensiva Tinerilor Association, constitutes a member of the European Peer Training Organization, sharing a common vision: “People enjoy learning from each other how to embrace their differences and realize their unique potential”. In the spirit of this vision, several peer-education programmes on various topics have been implemented like: diversity and anti-discrimination, religious diversity, gender equality, inner-diversity. Also, together with partners from five Balkan countries Ofensiva Tinerilor Association has developed the “Peers for Inclusion” training methodology, aimed at creating the attitudes and offering the tools that youth workers need to become more inclusive in their work towards persons with disabilities. At local level, since 2014 more than 600 people have been benefited from these programmes, including young people, youth workers and teachers.
UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY – Greece
University of Thessaly, with 37 Departments, and 8 schools is a University with its own identity and with a prominent position in our national educational system. University of Thessaly provides undergraduate and postgraduate programs and extra-curricular modules in specific research and business fields, for over 43,000 students. The main mission of the University of Thessaly is the promotion of scientific knowledge through research and the contribution to the cultural and economic development of the local community and wider society. It is known for its excellent research performance and outstanding scientific achievements, in accordance with the international standards. The Department of Special Education (SED) of University of Thessaly consists of 1,246 special education teachers who have graduated from SED, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in special education, as well as research laboratories. The vision of SED is to be converted into an open “school” in the world with interactive pathways through communication and interaction bridges. Highlighting the significant expertise in the field of Special Education, the department’s expertise aims to contribute to the identification of special needs education as a scientific field with discrete variables and scientific tools consistently assisting in developing modern dynamics in the relevant field. As part of the activities and the fulfilment of its targets the Center of International Education (CIE) http://cie.uth.gr/ on its own initiative implements various projects, which have as a main target to reinforce the development of new instruments and innovative solutions related to the office overall objectives. The CIE of UTH has significantly contributed in various European projects (H2020, Erasmus+, DG Employment, EASME, Interreg, Erasmus+ Sports, Knowledge Alliances, EASME).