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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

European Countries and Blind/Visually Impaired

Am curious if there is or are any foriegn European counties which have a very good social/educational system for the blind or visually impaired. Am looking at the country's favorable acceptance, education, employment, transportation system. Have always been curious in the fact that a great majority of these countries transportation system is established more for mass transportation versus reliance upon the automobile. If anyone American or foriegn, has any observations or advice, I would appreciate such.

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Re:European Countries and Blind/Visually Impaired

Hi there!! what do you exactly want to know about transportation in Europe? Well, I can tell you about this as far as France go as I live in France. I live in Bordeaux which is a city in the south-western part of the country. Here, we have a very good bus & tram system. Although busses are slowly being worked on to become more accessible to people in wheel chairs, our trams are indeed fully accessible to this category of people as they are ground level and therefore no steps to get in. Our tram system was built in 2003 and all 3 lines are still being extended. To accomodate blind people, there is a voice synthesizer announcing all the stations so it is very convenient I must admit. However, tere is no such facility in the busses so you definitely have to be more careful and more or less rely on the driver if you are not sure.
I used to live in Paris up until 1997 and the transportation there was also quite good although unfortunately not really accessible to people in wheel chairs at the time. They may have changed now as there is a new disability law now in the country. In paris, some busses had voice synthesizer but only a minority unfortunately. As for the subway, it is very old so therefore no such facility. However, the new lines that are being built are, I believe, made more accessible.
We do have a wonderful train system here in this country, supposedly the best in the world. All train stations provide assistance to disabled people who need to go from point A to point B. You are put in the train and your destination station is called so that someone comes to pick you up at the other end.
Well, I hope this answers your questions. You all take care!
Lyn & Twinny.

Re: European Countries and Blind/Visually Impaired

Well, it was interesting that in France or Paris not all the busses tells the names of the stop where the bus is situated, in Hungary where I live mainlly big cities its working some places, but if someone wants to come here can ask help from me.

Anyway people around me help often, and for a blind from other country it can cause problems that not everyone speaks english or german, but i our capital I think you can find help and guidance, but hope the situation is getting better.


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