Blind and Partially Sighted Youth

Welcome to the web site of the Youth Steering Group of the European Blind Union. We have tried to provide you with the information that might be useful in your daily life and in your study or work.

If you have any ideas for improving the content of this site or have some information you would like to share with us on this site, please e-mail us at

Join the EBU youth discussion list

The e-mailing list gives young people the chance to exchange experiences, ideas and resources. It is a good way to make friends from all over the world.

To subscribe, please send an e-mail to

Youth in Action Programme

The Youth in Action Programme offers young people and other organizations to organize activities for young people. These can be camps, youth centres, voluntary work and much more.

This is a funding programme of the European Union. Since many EBU member organizations are from EU and because many organizations outside the European Union can make use of the EU Youth in Action Programme under certain conditions, we found it important to make you aware of the possibilities of this programme.

Any bright ideas about things or activities you have for young people, the EU Youth Programme can help you put your ideas into action. So read more and don't let your potential go to waste!

It is for young people between 13 and 30 years old, but there are variations within different actions of the programme.


Youth in Action Programme
Lower age limit Upper age limit Exception
Action 1: Youth for Europe
1.1 Youth Exchange 13 25 26-30
1.2. Youth Initiatives 18 30 15-17
1.3. Youth Democracy Projects 13 30 None
Action 2: European Voluntary Service 18 30 16-17
Action 3: Youth in the world

For Youth Exchanges, the rules as in Action 1 apply, for Training and Networking Projects,
The rules as in Action 4 apply

Action 4: Youth support systems No age limits
Action 5: European cooperation in the youth field
5.1 Transnational Youth Seminars and National Youth Seminar -15 -30 -None


Activities supported by the Youth in Action programme

Things that you can do by getting the funding from the EU Youth in Action Programme are grouped into Actions.

The programme offers several activities for young people:

 Youth Exchanges (Action 1.1)

Youth Exchanges offer an opportunity for groups of young people (in principle aged 13 to 25) from different countries to meet and learn about each other’s cultures. The groups plan together their Youth Exchange around a theme of mutual interest. These are a 6-21 day events for young people. The group must consist of minimum 16 participants. It can involve a minimum of two countries or more.


 Youth Initiatives (Action 1.2)

This Action supports group projects designed at national and international level in order to strengthen their European aspect and to enhance cooperation and exchanges of experiences between young people. Youth Initiatives address mainly young people between 18 and 30. Young people from the age of 15 may be admitted if accompanied by a youth worker or coach. This action allows a minimum of four young people to start their own activity which improves the local community for youth or for anybody else, but involves young people as volunteers. Projects developed by a single group in their country of residence are called National Youth Initiatives, whereas projects realised in common by two or more groups from different countries are called Transnational Youth Initiatives.

 Youth Democracy Projects (Action 1.3)

This Action supports young people’s participation in the democratic life of their local, regional or national community and at international level. It is open to young people between 13 and 30.

 European Voluntary Service (EVS – Action 2)

The aim of the European Voluntary Service is to support young people's participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union. Under this Action, young people aged 18 to 30 take part individually or in groups in non-profit, unpaid activities. The service may last up to twelve months. In exceptional cases, young people from 16 years old may participate in European Voluntary Service. It can last from 2 weeks to 12 months if you decide for a Short Term EVS – for people with special needs (which we are) or from 2 to 12 months if you decide for a Long Term EVS.

And one more for young people or organizations active in the field of youth:

 Support Measures (Action 4)

This is for organizations to organize contact making seminars among other organizations, to do trainings, study visits, plan youth activities and so on.

You can read all the details in English at where you will also find the Programme Guide for the programme in your own national languages,

There you will also find links to your National Agency – an organization in charge of running the EU Youth in Action Programme in your country. Just look through the pages, read the Programme Guide and if you are interested contact them. Usually there are young, enthusiastic and very nice people working there, so have no fear!

There are rules about which country can take part. Have a look with whom or where you can spend your next summer camp.

Participating countries

Countries, which can participate in all Actions of the Youth in Action programme, are called “Programme countries”.
Most types of project co-financed by the Youth in Action Programme require a partnership to be established between two or more partners. A distinction is made between Programme Countries and Partner Countries.
Programme Countries

Programme Countries

Member States of the European Union (EU

Czech Republic
Slovak Republic
United Kingdom

Programme Countries

Programme Countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA)

Iceland Liechtenstein Norway

Programme Countries

Programme Countries which are candidates for accession to the European Union


Neighbouring Partner Countries
South East Europe Eastern Europe and Caucasus Mediterranean Partner Countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia
Russian Federation
Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip


Other Partner Countries of the World

Cooperation with other Partner Countries of the world, having signed agreements with the European Community relevant to the youth field, is possible under Action 2 and 3.2 of the Programme.


Application deadlines

There are four project application dates a year. However, always plan much ahead as it may take you up to six months to actually start doing your project. But don’t be discouraged!

For projects that are selected at national level, there are five application deadlines a year:

National level
Projects starting between Application deadline
1 May and 30 September
1 July and 30 November
1 September and 31 January
1 December and 30 April
1 February and 31 July
1 February
1 April
1 June
1 September
1 November

For all projects selected at European level, there are three application deadlines a year:

European level
Projects starting between Application deadline
1 July and 30 November
1 November and 30 March
1 January and 31 July
1 February
1 June
1 September

You can find the application forms on the web sites of your National Agency. You can find it through this web site
They will surely answer any of your questions, however silly or stupid you might think they are (your questions, not the people, of course!

Erasmus Programme

If you are a higher education student and would like to spend some of your time studying at a foreign university, Erasmus programme is the thing for you.

Skim through and have a closer look at student and teacher exchanges, language courses (EILC), European credit transfer system (ECTS).

You can also link to Erasmus for students in the left hand corner of the site to learn more about how to become an Erasmus exchange student or simply click on

This is of special interest to all of us: the link is It contains information for Students with severe disabilities in SOCRATES/Erasmus.

To ensure that students with severe disabilities can take full advantage of the European mobility arrangements, the ERASMUS programme pays particular attention to guidance, reception, physical accessibility, pedagogical and technical support services, and, especially, financing of the extra costs.

This means that your ERASMUS grant is higher than the normal study grant to offset the specific difficulties with which you are faced (such as physical access and the organisation and content of teaching).

 For the grant application you have to fill in a form describing your disability, the special needs and additional requirements it entails, as well as a detailed cost estimate of the financial support you will need. Your application should include a medical certificate stating the level of disability, acknowledged by a doctor and by your home university. Hand in your application to your home university. For your information, see last year's application form (pdf format).

To find out information on the sort of facilities available at your host university before going abroad, you can get into direct contact with the person who is responsible for these matters at your prospective host university. The international relations office of your home university should assist you with this.

In the meantime, the HEAG database (Higher Education Accessibility Guide) contains a guide to support services in higher education institutions in Europe. This database provides for a search for specialist support and guidance services at higher education institutions for students with disabilities.

 You should also ask your National Agency to provide you with more information on specific issues that are of concern to you when planning your study period abroad. The "European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education" provides a 3network of contact persons, appointed by the Ministries in each of the EU/EEA countries, who are available to answer questions and give advice on issues concerning special equipment and facilities for disabled students.

In general, your home institution should ensure that the necessary arrangements are being made at the host institution to meet your specific needs.
We hope we have encouraged you to take the opportunity to study abroad with the ERASMUS programme!


EBU national youth coordinators

The European Blind Union wishes to strengthen the position of youth with visual impairments both as a part of the community of the visually impaired, and as a part of the general public.

That is why the EBU Youth Working Group would like to establish good contacts with all EBU National Members, to include the views and opinions of young people from every country and spread relevant information about youth exchanges and other projects that directly concern youth.

Please provide information on the national member and youth worker for your organisation. Whether this is an employee, a volunteer or another institution is not important. What is important is that every member organisation in the EBU takes the time to appoint someone who has a special responsibility to spread information on a national level, and convey information from the national organisation to the European community of visually impaired youth. If your country is not on the list, please try to encourage your organisation to provide us with the necessary information by filling the form and returning it to EBU Office at


Useful links

 European Youth Portal

 Visually Impaired's Educational World Support (VIEWS)
VIEWS organizes meetings and training of blind and visually impaired young Europeans with a philosophy of increased autonomy and open-mindedness.