DANOVA – Innovative transportation services for blind and partially sighted passengers in the Danube Region is a transnational cooperation project co-funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, one of the programmes of the European Territorial Cooperation objective funded by the European Union.
The aim of the DANOVA project is to improve the accessibility of airports, ports, train and bus stations for blind and partially sighted people, by developing a set of new services and competences, in order to allow them to have full access to all transportation information and services. The project, with a duration of 30 months (01 July 2020 – 31 December 2022) and a total budget of 2,192,546.66 euros, brings together partners from 9 different countries, motivated to work together so as to make transportation facilities more accessible.
In Europe, there are more than 30 million blind and partially sighted people who cannot travel independently, as more than 96% of the European transport system, especially in the Danube Region, is still not totally accessible for people with visual impairments. Many blind and partially sighted passengers find it extremely difficult, and in some cases even impossible, to use conventional transportation, such as aircraft, railways or urban public transportation.
The reasons for this are various: blind and partially sighted passengers do not have equal access to up-to-date visual or written information regarding transportation, personnel is often not trained to support and adequately communicate with blind and partially sighted passengers, there is a lack of adequately accessible infrastructure, differences between national legislations about accessibility exist from country to county, etc. Throughout the Danube Region, there is increasing demand from organizations employing and representing blind and partially sighted people to set up new services which will make the environment of transport facilities more inclusive and accessible, and where blind passengers will be treated as equals.
DANOVA’s goal is to meet this need by producing several concrete and tangible outputs, through an integrative and transnational approach:
- International investigation of the best solutions to be transferred to the Danube Region;
- Capitalization Strategy to support decision makers, to transfer the identified solutions in an efficient way;
- The involvement of stakeholders in the design process of a new transnational concept of a transportation system that is fully accessible to blind and partially sighted passengers in the Danube Region;
- Testing innovative solutions in involved territories;
- Equipping personnel on how to use new services and how to adequately assist and communicate with blind passengers.
The consortium of 14 partners is led by Dubrovnik Airport (Croatia). The consortium is well-balanced in terms of the involvement of airports, ports, research institutions, local authorities and associations representing blind people: Žilina Airport, Budapest Airport, the Centre for Budapest Transport, the University of Maribor, the Bulgarian Association for the Transfer of Technology and Innovation, Croatian Blind Union, Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted, Dubrovnik Port Authority, Municipality of Maribor, Airports of Montenegro, Port of Kotor, Sarajevo International Airport and the Technical University of Moldova. The project also involves 4 associated partners: Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union, Ljubljana Airport, Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova and DEX Innovation Centre.
Project number: 543
Start date: 01.07.2020
End Date: 31.12.2022
Total budget: 2.192.546,66 euros
ERDF contribution: 1.739.970,00 euros
IPA II contribution: 362.130,00 euros
ENI-MD contribution: 90.446,66 euros