For more information, please contact Gary May, EBU Information Officer, by email at ebuinfocom@euroblind.org or by telephone at +33 1 47 05 38 20.
Although they represent an increasing part of the population, visually impaired (VI) seniors are one of the most marginalised communities in terms of lifelong learning. This is a clear obstacle to their active involvement in society. This is why British and Dutch experts on visual impairment and older age developped a VISAL training course tailor-made to both the age- and disability-related specific learning needs of elderly VI persons. The course was experimented in Austria, Croatia, Slovakia and the UK, and has later been implemented in France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Information on the project is available in  Austrian (German language), Slovakian, Croatian and Dutch.

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- Provide VI seniors with adapted learning contents,
- Improve elderly VI persons' social and professional skills,
- Increase VI seniors' self-esteem and motivation to learn further,
- Promote elderly VI persons' active involvement in society.

Which outcomes and results?

- 160 VI seniors trained in 4 experimental countries,
- 112 VISAL learning workshops,
- VISAL guide available in Croatian, Dutch, English, German and Slovak,
- National facilitators trained to facilitate VISAL workshops,
- 4 national conferences on elderly VI persons and lifelong learning.

Who is VISAL for?

The project will be targeted at VI senior citizens in Europe, whose proportion in the population is increasing. The VISAL project will also help European VI organisations face the challenge of an ageing population by providing them with an adapted learning opportunity for their elderly members to be included within their service provision strategy.

Who will implement VISAL?

The project was designed and will be conducted by the European Blind Union and will involve six other partners: Age UK (experts in social inclusion for elderly persons), the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted, the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union, the Croatian Association of the Blind, the Royal National Institute of Blind people (UK) and Royal Dutch Visio, a service provider specialised in visual impairment.

Project duration:

24 months from 1/11/2012 to 31/10/2014.