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German Federation of Blind and Partially Sighted

Aims and tasks

The aim of the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV) is to make a lasting improvement to the situation of the 1.2 million blind and partially sighted people currently living in Germany (WHO statistic). We want every blind or partially sighted person to be able to live as autonomously as possible, and for as much support to be available as is needed. We are therefore committed to the creation of equal conditions for the blind and partially sighted, their societal and professional integration, as well as improvement of their social status.
DBSV
- impacts the creation and implementation of new German laws, as well as new EU guidelines and stipulations,
- stands up for rights in matters specifically relating to the disabled,
- fights for compensatory measures to offset the disadvantages resulting from this disability,
- pushes for accessibility in all areas of life,
- supports the development and provision of suitable technical devices,
- promotes the education and vocational training of blind and partially sighted people,
- continues to develop counselling and support services,
- is a contact partner for the media and the public, as well as a partner for ophthalmologists and opticians concerning prevention and support measures.

Structure and network

As a self-help group, DBSV represents the interests of blind and partially sighted people. We combine and coordinate the public appearances and efforts of 20 regional associations. Our regional associations represent the interests of the blind and partially sighted at the level of the German federal states. The regional associations in turn look after approximately 250 local organisations with more than 36,000 members. Here comprehensive services, competent advice, as well as leisure activities, are available to the blind and partially sighted, as well as their next-of-kin.
Furthermore, DBSV has stakes in non-profit organisations for the blind and partially sighted and plays a formative role in 25 further organisations, such as the German Disability Council (DBR). At an international level we are active members in both the European Blind Union and the World Blind Union.

Activities in the area of youth and children

DBSV represents the interests of blind and visual impaired children, teenagers and young adults at a high level. We are clustering our activities under a special sub branch of our organization; called “DBSV-youth club”
Aims and tasks of the “DBSV-Youth club”
The main focus of the DBSV-Youth club is to enable young motivated people from the federal blind organizations to develop and coordinate activities for their target group on their own. To accomplish this we are offering comprehensive workshops in:
- Project planning
- Fund raising
- Public speaking
- Dealing with media
- Creating a accessible and attractive website

Additionally the Youth Club gives support in the practical implementation of projects to engaged visually impaired youngsters.
Social Media
To enlarge communication and exchanging the Youth club is running a Mailing list and a Newsgroup. Additionally every person who is organizing an activity can post it into the appointment calendar of the website of the DBSV-Youth club.
In order to keep youngsters updated about what’s happening in the field of visual impairment DBSV is publishing a monthly appearing Audio magazine. It contains reports of activities of the federal Blind organizations, updates about assistive devices and technical innovations, interviews about favourable topics for visual impaired people and announcements for upcoming events.
Leisure and educational activities
To enhance cultural and educational opportunities the DBSV-Youth Club is offering a broad range of activities like seminars, workshops, travelling and sport activities.
Examples for our events are:
- Braille reading workshops
- Braille Musical notes workshops
- Horse riding courses
- Sport activities like “Blind football” and “Showdown”

International activities

One of our main goals is the International exchange. Especially for young visual impaired people it is quite evitable to get to know their foreign peers. International activities support the beneficiaries in their personal and soft skill development, enrich their knowledge and their cultural understanding and create chances for long lasting friendships, study and job opportunities.
During the last years the DBSV Youth club has organized several multilateral youth exchanges. You can find more about our international activities on our website: http://www.dbsv.org/ratgeber/betroffenengruppen/jugendliche/jugend-inter...
Sending and hosting young volunteers

This year DBSV will host a volunteer from Spain who will make a six months volunteer service in our organization. In the past we have already sent young German visual impaired people to VIEWS in Belgium and VIEWS in Spain. For all of them their volunteer service abroad was an exciting, instructive and thrilling experience. In order to give foreign visual impaired youngsters the chance to learn more about German culture and the structure of the self-help system of visual impaired people in Germany we want to host foreign volunteers as well. Young German adults who are already engaged in the field of youth work for a long time, will give proper guidance and support to the new volunteers.

Contact Details

Deutscher Blinden- und
Sehbehindertenverband e.V.
Rungestr. 19
10179 Berlin
Germany
Jessica Schroeder
Youth Coordinator
Tel.: +49 30 28 53 87 -289
Fax: +49 30 28 53 87- 200
Mail: j.schroeder@dbsv.org
Web: www.jugend.dbsv.org