The European Guide Dog Federation is a European wide organisation of bodies representing guide dog users and guide dog service providers.
It was officially registered as an NGO in the UK in July 2007. By the end of 2012 we expect to have more that 50 members in more than 25 European States. Some of its full member organisations have been working together for some considerable time. A number of our members are fledgling organisations and others which have just passed this stage are busy developing new guide dog services.
Before the creation of EGDF, guide dog users were largely invisible citizens at EU level, seen as a sub-set of the blind and partially sighted community. They missed opportunities to influence EU decision-making directly in favour of their own specific needs and interests and, in some cases, were unable to act together at Member State level. The creation of EGDF enables guide dog users across the European Union – and the wider Europe – to play that direct role in shaping policy and legislation in order to bring about their full and equal citizenship. Part of EGDF’s mission is to empower them to do so.
2012 EGDF Mobility research report
Download the EGDF mobility research report from here
Seminar on Training and Standardisation in Schiphol, Amsterdam
Report on this seminar held on the 8th of December 2012 can be downloaded from here
EGDF’s Youth Working Group
The EGDF’s Youth Working Group has compiled a survey to find out more about the mobility needs and aspirations of young visually impaired people. The survey is available in: Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Maltese, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish and should only take a few minutes to complete.
To take part in the survey please click on the link below:
CEN PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, 14 November 2012
European agreement will lead to better training of guide dogs and more independence for blind people
Experts from some of Europe’s leading guide dog training schools have worked together to develop a set of criteria for the competences of guide dog instructors. This new framework should lead to better training of guide dogs as well as improved support for blind people throughout Europe, enabling them to enjoy greater mobility and independence in their daily lives. The reference criteria for the competences of guide dog mobility instructors have been published today (2012-11-14) by CEN.
The new CEN Workshop Agreement "Guide dog mobility instructor – Competences" (CWA 16520) provides reference criteria for the essential competences of guide dog mobility instructors. It sets out the competences and knowledge that are needed to train guide dogs and also to provide blind persons with instruction and advice on how to communicate and work with their guide dogs.
The full version of this press release can be found on the CEN website:
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Here is the short link for Twitter users: bit.ly/UomxQI
The UK Parliament’s Transport Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation relating to transport for disabled people.
From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The Equality Act aims to protect disabled people and provides legal rights in a number of areas including access to land based transport services. In 2009, the UK Government ratified the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities. The Convention does not create new rights, but sets out the legal obligations on countries to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities in all main areas of life, including access to transport.
The Transport Committee has decided to hold an inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation relating to transport for disabled people. The Committee invites submissions on the following issues:
• The effectiveness of legislation relating to transport for disabled people: is it working? Is it sufficiently comprehensive? How effectively is it enforced?
• The accessibility of information: including the provision of information about routes, connections, timetables, delays and service alterations, and fares
• The provision of assistance by public transport staff and staff awareness of the needs of people with different disabilities
• What can be learnt from transport provision during the Paralympics and how can we build on its successes?
Although this inquiry will get most of its evidence from UK residents, because the UK is a major tourist destination and this year in particular, with its hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics, evidence from those who have recently visited the UK would add to the strength of the committees work.
Information about the inquiry and how to give evidence is available at