European Organizations For Deafblind People.


Czech Republic, LORM is the first organization which started engaging in the problems of deafblind people and developing special services for them in the Czech Republic.It is the only organization of deafblind people, their parents, families and other people who comprehend the deafblind. LORM employs a small group of professionals who provide the psychological, rehabilitation and consultation services for all deafblind people and their families regardless of the membership of the organization.

What does the LORM association do for Czech deafblind people?

LORM and his alphabet

The creator of the manual alphabet, Hieronymus Lorm, was born in the Czech Republic in 1821. His grave is here too and Lorm?s alphabet was published for the first time here in 1908.

The base of our work is group work. We organise psycho rehabilitation stays, seminars and clubs for deafblind people and their guides to meet each other. The last action in 1996 was an Advent Concert which we prepared in co-operation with Czech TV. Many deafblind people participated in the preparation of the concert and Czech TV broadcast the concert on Sunday 8th December. The concert brought a lot of positive response from the public. It was a big celebration for Czech deafblind people and their self-determination.

At Christmas 1994 LORM started to publish a periodical? Doteky? (Touches). This is a bulletin for deafblind people to break down communication barriers. It is published quarterly in large print and in Braille.

The deafblind people in Czech Republic arose from lethargy after many long years of having been ignored. They know that there are many areas in which they can work. Some deafblind people work in LORM, one is the editor of LORM bulletin,
another is responsible for social and legal consultations. There is also co-operation between LORM and some parents.

  Staff: Director Kirsten Jansbøl, Information Manager Ole E. Mortensen, and Secretary Maria Minzari.

The Information Centre is an independent unit of the Institution for the Deaf (just outside Copenhagen). It is financed by Denmark's 17 counties.

Institution for the Deafblind in Denmark.

The Institution for the Deafblind in the County of Northern Jutland in Denmark holds a nationwide responsibility for persons who are born deafblind.

The Institution frames the lives of 31 youngsters, adults and elderly persons who, due to the Nordic definition of deafblindness, are diagnosed with congenital deafblindness. In addition to this the Institution employs around 90 persons who all go through the in-service training provided for their specialization. Moreover the Institution is a place where family members and relatives have a share in the culture of the institution. The Institution for the Deafblind is the largest institution for people who are congenitally deafblind in the Nordic countries, and our intention is that it continues to have a leading position in the services offered to deafblind people.

It is the task of the Institution for the Deafblind
"to give the congenitally deafblind person the opportunity of obtaining freedom to live in a dignified and responsible interaction with other people within a cultural framework where the deafblind person is the main character in his or her own life, and where creativity and identity seen in an ethical/aesthetical perspective is strengthened and developed to be the basis for a good life."

The Center for Deafblind Youth.

 The Center offers a scope of four programmes; residential, leisure time, education, and workshop to congenitally deafblind persons between 18 and 23 years old, and is the only one of its kind in the Nordic countries.

The center may be compared to a continuation school, where, during a certain period of time, the qualities held by young people are approached. There are many persons at the same place, there are many different challenges during the day and the young people live closely together and share a range of facilities. Requirements are made for each of the pupils, different, however, from the requirements of adult life.

The fact that the four programmes are located at the same address gives the opportunity of creating a certain coherence in the structure of a day, as well as it offers genuine possibilities for interdisciplinary cooperation. It opens up for possibilities of during a period of time influencing the young deafblind people in a differentiated and comprehensive manner, thanks to the different angles of approach presented by the different groups of staff.

At the center the daytime activities are organized in three categories: During a week the young deafblind people spend two days at school, two days in the workshop and one day is a so-called education day, which is in fact an individual needs' day.

Congenitally deafblind youngsters have special needs to maintain and develop hobby and leisure time activities. The Center therefore has a workshop which is adapted to such activities. In addition the music room is used also for physical exercises, parties etc.

Minibo was inaugurated in March 1986. 8 persons aged 26 - 45 live here, 4 women and 4 men. The residents have very varying levels of functioning, but they are all mobile. Some need help in all situations while others are nearly independent. The communication forms are basically visual sign language and objects of reference. In addition the manual alphabet, pictures, drawings and tactile signs are used. Despite the scope of functioning levels within the group, they have common social and outwards directed activities.

Minibo is located in a housing area, with both houses and blocks of flats, and with facilities like grocery store, bus stop, library, chemist's, grill bar, flowershop etc. nearby. This gives optimal opportunities for intergration in the local community, with considerations made to the individual functioning level and needs.

EDbN - European Deafblind Network.

The European Deafblind Network is an organisation of representatives of National organisations of Deafblind people, Family members of Deafblind people and Professionals organisations in Europe.

EDbN was founded in 1988 and is officially recognised as a European Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) representing the interest of Deafblind People, Family members and Professionals in EU.

Full membership is open to Organisations of Deafblind People, Family Members and Professionals from the EU Countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Associate membership is open to organisations of Deafblind People, Family Members and Professionals from all European Countries.

EDbN has a Council consisting of three members from each EU Country, one Deafblind, one Family and one Professional representative.

The Council elects a Management Committee of 3 deafblind representatives, 3 family representatives and 3 professional representatives and appoints a secretary and a treasurer . The Council elects a Chairperson every four years.

The Chairperson is elected on a rotation base from the three groups.

The aim of EDbN is to improve the situation of deafblind people in Europe with the objective of achieving their equal rights and full participation in society, and to be a European forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the area of deafblindness.

To support and help deafblind people, their families and the people who work on their behalf.
To work for an improvement in the living conditions of deafblind people, and for their rehabilitation and integration in Europe.

To promote the exchange of information and experiences between organisations of and for deafblind people and other organisations.

Since 1995 EDbN has published a newsletter 1-2 times a year in print, disk and internet versions  Since April  1999 EDbN Clipboard is published monthly by e-mail and fax.

Finland. The Arla Institute, vocational training and development centre, operates in Espoo, quite close to the centre of Helsinki. They offer vocational rehabilitation and training for visually impaired and deafblind people. In addition we offer various specialist services. They are the only specialist centre in Finland in this field. And they are government owned.


  This site is "all in German" it is for families with children who are congenitally Deafblind, Also has a link to the Newsletter of the Association of Families

Ireland The Director of the Centre is Melanie Patterson.

The Anne Sullivan Centre, was setup in January 1995 by the Anne Sullivan Foundation. It is located is Stillorgan in County Dublin. The centre was designed as both a training centre and a residential centre with the students coming from around Ireland.

The centre became the home for 6 deafblind young adults ranging in age from 16 to 23. There were 3 male and 3 female students. Activities in which they took part included horse-riding, swimming, arts and crafts, daily living skills etc. They were
also taught hands on sign language. As the centre grew training was provided, from staff in Perkins in Boston and a deafblind centre in Denmark.

Three and a half years later the foundation purchased a house in the estate behind the centre and two of the students with a new student moved into the first community house. There the idea was to give them more independence. The centre took in another new student bringing its numbers up to 5. A music room a snoozlin room and a pottery workshop were also opened in the centre.

A year later another community house was purchased in the same estate with 4 of the students from the centre moving into it. The centre took in another student. The students in both community houses use the centre for activities during the day returning for meals and evening activities. Other activities which have taken place include camping (if only in the back garden) bowling, shopping, picnics, strawberry picking and shopping. During the summer the activities are based around outdoor activities and trip to the beach are a firm favourite.

The students also go on a holiday for a week. The staff include social tutors, house parents, and the director. There are 3 teachers catering for the needs of the students.




Foreningen Norges dvblinde (The Norwegian Association of the Deafblind).

The Norwegian Association of the Deafblind (NADB) is run by a board consisting of five deafblind members. In addition, the chairman and one of the board members make out a work panel. NADB has a headoffice in Oslo with full time administration.

The Norwegian Association of the Deafblind cooperates with the deafblind organizations in the other Nordic countries. Together they try to find solutions to mutual problems concerning the deafblind and his/her everyday life. NADB participates in international causes as well.

The information section of the NADB has its offices in Arendal, where as the administration is seated in Oslo. This division gives the deafblind the valuable and imortant chance of being updated, which is something the rest of us take for granted.

The Central Unit for the Deafblind. The Norwegian Central Team for the Deafblind is a state-run resource team distributing information on deafblindness. The team maintains a register of deafblind and persons who suffer severe degrees of visual and auditory impairment. The National Central Team for the Deafblind is a subdivision of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The team is a resource group within the fields of psychology, education and social work.
  The Nordic Staff Training Centre is run by the Nordic Council of Ministers. They have literature in the Nordic languages and in english.


The "ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DEAFBLIND OF SPAIN "was created in 1991, as a result of the "NATIONAL CONFERENCE," celebrated during 5, 6 and 7 of April  1991 in  Madrid, for parents of deafblind children and youngsters with the help  of  the General Direction of the ONCE. They attended parents of great part of Spain. It was the moment in which  families with the same problem joined, and took place a fruitful interchange of  experiences. One of the conclusions of the meeting was the need of creating an nation-wide association  to canalize the necessities of the children.

Approved the Statutes by which the ASSOCIATION  is governed and after a time, it began  a series of actions and projects, gathered in  his objectives as Association.


Sweden, FSDB is a national organization of deafblind people, founded in 1959. Only those who are visually and hearing impaired can get full membership with voting rights. We have more than 300 members. There are about ten regional associations within FSDB. There is also a parents' section and a youth section. In the parents' section the members work with issues concerning deafblind children and their families, and in the youth section the young deafblind people get together and arrange their own activities.

FSDB's aim is to make life better for deafblind people. It acts as a pressure group, to influence authorities and politicians to give deafblind people the service they need. This is generally achieved by starting different development projects or programs, with the financial aid of a special governmental fund for developing support for children and disabled people. When the project has shown the success of a certain service for deafblind people, the next step is to see to it that this service is made permanent and financed in the ordinary national budget. The newsletter, the Print-to-Braille service, interpreter service, computers as text telephones are all results of projects of this kind.

Another important aim for FSDB is to make it possible for deafblind people to meet other deafblind people and to have a good time together. We arrange summer and winter holiday weeks, information meetings and courses.

Mo Gårds folkhögskola. Nordiska folkhögskolan. Strömbäcks folkhögskola. Väddö folkhögskolas filial i Danderyd. Västanviks folkhögskola. Önnestads folkhögskola. Örebro folkhögskola.

Switzerland. The SNAB is the Swiss umbrella organization for blind and visually impaired people

SNAB has many support centers throughout Switzerland for Deafblind people. I have taken the list below from SNAB's web pages. Because it would be virtually impossible for me to discover this information on the net, and I thank SNAB for making this information available on their pages. for people wishing to find their nearest deafblind resource center in Switzerland.

A-Z to Deafblindness