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The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted is a nationwide institute for young people and adults with visual disabilities. The declared objective is helping young people and adults, who have a visual disability, to work with the best of their abilities in a seeing world. We do this through counseling, teaching and education.
As a nationwide institute we always co-operate with the individual’s local authority. In some cases support and assistance is offered locally by Institute staff. In other cases it is necessary to offer the visually impaired shorter or longer periods of living at the Institute itself.
The Institute is situated in Hellerup north of Copenhagen, but it is open to anyone in need of support and assistance in all of Denamrk.
The Institute offers consultancies and supplementary training to professionals working with visual impairment. We also offer tailor-made courses.
Professionalism at a very high level, continuous in-service training and focus on special methods of teaching the blind characterize the Institute.
200 members of staff, divided into 30 groups of professionals are employed to carry out and develop Institute activities. The daily activities are organized across professional groupings.
The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted belongs under The Social Services department in Copenhagen.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate a new concept in comprehensive rehabilitation targeted at the visually impaired people and others with physical handicaps – the establishment of a business house, Vision Trade Center, as an independent financial unit. The idea is to establish and operate a combined business and training facility providing call-centre and customer services as well as to give job training to disabled people within a business area with good job prospects both nationally and internationally. The expected outcome would be real job creation: breaking down the barriers faced by the disabled employee through the power of example; the test and implementation of new software and telephony tools for the blind; the development of an internationally valid empirical model; the initiation of intensive national and international collaboration to promote the call-centre education as a qualification and to lay the basis for common international educational standards in this field.
Preparatory phase: November 1st  2004 to April 30th  2005
Implementation phase: May 1st  2005 to April 30th  2008

Nature of the project

Comprehensive rehabilitation on normal labour market terms for the visually impaired persons and others with disabilities.


 The Business House concept includes 9 parallel overall goals :

The aim of the project is to establish an independent business enterprise, known as Business House, in which the visually impaired people and other disabled/marginalised persons may complete their education in an active business environment focusing on normality and visibility.One of the major challenges facing persons suffering from visual or other types of handicap is the tendency to become marginalised. Such marginalisation has not only personal and social consequences, but also makes it difficult to get an ordinary job.
The establishment of a real company in a normal business area is a concrete, visible and consistent refutation of the prejudices the handicapped often face. The formation and running of the company on normal commercial terms, with disabled employees playing the major role, can be expected to lead to changes in the views of both the surrounding business world and the disabled themselves about the ability of handicapped people in the labour market.

The company model will be characterised by :
  • business combined with education
  • the creation of new realistic education and job opportunities
  • giving the visually impaired people the requisite qualifications to achieve job mobility
  • contributing to technological development in the call-centre business
  • taking the offensive in both national and international policy development
  • the development of a new business model in this field
  • being transparent and open, with the focus on getting the message across
  • full collaboration with the corporate sector
  • the development of a national/international commercial learning model
  • contributing to international progress in the field.


With customer service as the foundation of its business, Vision Trade Centre is building and already operates a combines business and training facility that: 1. Offers, produces and delivers professional telemarketing services for the business community. 2. Places well-trained staff with business companies. 3. Offers training and upgrading for company staff in close collaboration with companies. 4. Gives work and job mobility to the visually impaired and others with disabilities. 5. Is developing a national/international learning model.


Combined business and training facilities Ease entrance to labour market for marginalized individuals. To develop a learning model specifically adapted to visually impaired To develop a mentor scheme matching the needs of visually impaired To create new educational and occupational options – in the labour market both nationally and internationally.

National partners

The project has collaboration agreements with a series of national partners.
Together these partners represent almost the complete range of Danish business :

 Telecom Scandinavia A/S

Strong representative of that indispensable, dogged enterprise culture we need so much in this country.
Telecom Scandinavia designs and develops interactive communication solutions for fixed networks, mobile telephones and the Internet, that support access from all the Scandinavian telephone companies. Telecom Scandinavia guarantees an optimal basis for marketing campaigns, customer service and business-to-business activity covering the whole of Scandinavia.
Contact person: Martin Pock, Sales Manager.

 Nykredit A/S

Nykredit is one of Denmark’s leading finance firms with activities that range from mortgaging and banking to insurance and estate agency activity.
Mortgaging is Nykredit’s core activity. Nykredit is Denmark’s biggest mortgaging company and one of the biggest issuers of private property bonds in Europe.
Nykredit operates with multi-channel distribution and marketing through its own network – including its own call-centre, 105 collaborating banks, the Internet, estate agents and insurers. Marketing takes place under two brands: Nykredit and Totalkredit.
The Nykredit group has more than 3,200 employees throughout Denmark and accounts for nearly 27% of the total Danish mortgage and bank loan market.
A central element in Nykredit’s core values and vision is to show social and ethical responsibility. Plurality is a key word for Nykredit in relation to both employees and external suppliers.
Contact person: Jane Bering, Legal expert.

 GN Netcom A/S

The illustrious Store Nordiske Telegrafselskab is the parent company of this company, which is a leading producer of communication solutions for call-centres. GN Netcom is GN’s global brand for hand free communication for professionals in offices and contact centres.
GN Netcom supplies technologically advanced solutions combined with smart and functional design, creating value for companies by contributing to employee job satisfaction and efficiency.
Contact person: Henrik Elbćk, Director for New Product Management.

 Steen Scheffler ApS

A glowing example of Danish enterprise culture despite its many years in the business, the company’s niche is solutions for the visually disabled, and the motivation for being partners in the project is a clear wish to “give something back”.
Contact person: Martin Mejlby, Managing Director.


The core role of the AF (Arbejdsformidling, Denmark’s Employment Service) is to help the job market function well so that companies get the labour they need, in both the short term and the long term, and to help jobseekers find work. AF’s services to companies and jobseekers are offered both through personal contact and over the Internet in the form of the AF Jobnet, which contains AF’s countrywide job and CV-bank. Greater Copenhagen AF also has a series of facilities available for jobseekers in the two jobcentres: advice and guidance in job-seeking, access to PC’s and the Internet, newspapers, etc.
AF Handicapservice runs these services for people with disabilities. The aim is to help disabled people both find and keep jobs:
Personal assistance in finding work
Preferential access
Jobs with pay subsidies for newly trained disabled staff
Facilities for the disabled in the work place
A disability becomes a handicap as soon as the person meets barriers that make it difficult to participate on an equal footing with those who are not disabled. This understanding of handicap is called the environment-related concept of disability. In many cases AF Handicapservice can compensate for the barriers, so disabled people can participate on the labour market on equal terms.
Contact person: Kai Lundsteen, Handicap Consultant.

 Blindehuset, Faroe Islands

This is the North Atlantic equivalent to the Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Denmark.
Blindehuset offers counselling and guidance to citizens with visual disability on the Faroe Islands. The organisation offers trials and guidance in relation to facilities and equipment for the disabled, and its two occupational therapists travel round on home visits.
Some of the training and counselling is given to other occupational groups and schools on the Faroes. Computing has a high priority!
Blindhuset has a total of 11 employees with various occupational training behind them.
Contact person: Karin Kass, Manager.


The Institut for Blind and Partially Sighted Rymarksvej
1 DK-2900 Hellerup
Phone: + 45 39452545
Fax: +45 39452525

Responsible for the project: Head of Department, Janne Hansen jh@ibos.dk

Vision Trade Center
Høje Taastrup Boulevard 19
DK-2630 Høje Taastrup
Phone: +45 43 520 521
Fax: +45 43 520 528

Project leader: Connie Hasemann ch@vtc-dk.com

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