WFDB’s 3rd Technical SHAPES Workshop

WFDB’s 3rd and final technical SHAPES workshop was held in person in Brussels on 5 and 6 June 2023. Find here the concept note. The last one was held in Geneva, 11-13 July 2022.

Workshop Overview

The 3rd Technical Workshop included the participation of WFDB’s Executive Council (EC) and Regional Representatives, Auditors, as well as President Francisco Trigueros (Spain) from the European Deafblind Union (EDBU). The workshop was an excellent opportunity to validate the activities conducted so far and plan for the remaining months, as well as discuss the sustainability and long-term impact of the project.

Aims and Outcomes

As per past workshops, one of the aims of these meetings is to ensure proper knowledge of, and ownership of, the ongoing work of SHAPES at the EC level, as well as strengthen ties with European deafblind organizations and SHAPES partners. A key aspect of this workshop is policy influencing. Meeting with different stakeholders provided the opportunity for WFDB to share their work, guidelines, recommendations on the inclusion of persons with deafblindness.

Participants included 9 persons with deafblindness and their interpreter-guides/Deafblind interpreters from the following countries: Croatia, Colombia, USA, Malawi, Finland, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Sweden, and Spain.

Activities and Highlights

On the first day, Lucia D’Arino, WFDB Program Advisor and focal point of the SHAPES project, provided an overview of updates and future activities. A session was dedicated to presenting preliminary findings on WFDB’s future global report on older persons with deafblindness. The report to be published by the end of October will include the findings from the SHAPES Project, as well as information on the barriers, recommendations, and good practices on older persons with deafblindness worldwide.

The last part of the day included a presentation about “eCtouch” App by Omnitor representatives. Participants and interpreter-guides/Deafblind interpreters had the chance to download these apps on their personal devices or lent ones and provide information on their usefulness, accessibility, usability, etc.

The second day included a meeting with European Disability Forum (EDF) Director, Catherine Naughton, where the SHAPES Project and outcomes were presented.

In the afternoon, WFDB co-organized an event at the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament Mr. Ádám Kósa (Hungary) and Ms. Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (Spain) co-hosted this 2-hour event to present WFDB’s recently published 2nd Global Report, as well as the SHAPES Project”. The event offered the opportunity to learn about the situation of persons with deafblindness, including good practices and recommendations for their inclusion. Moreover, the SHAPES Project was presented as a good example of how to include persons with deafblindness in large scale projects and mainstream programmers.

Find more information about this event here.


We thank the WFDB Board and staff for their participation, as well as the organizers of the event, which include the International Disability Alliance (IDA).