What is deafblindness? What are the challenges and difficulties faced by people with deafblindness?
”Deafblindness is when you can't hear at all or partially; you see a little or nothing at all"
concluded Iulian, one of the young people attending the first workshop organised as part of the project The Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania. The workshop took place in November 3 - 6, in Predeal. A group of 19 young women and men with deafblindness, together with 3 parents, 3 accompanying teachers and the Sense International Romania team, took together their first steps in becoming a group of people with deafblindness.
”By becoming a group, attending activities together and telling others that we are with deafblindness”
are just some of the ideas shared by Delia, a young participant with deafblindness.
Emina, a participant to the workshop, beautifully summarised the group discussions on this theme:
”Because it is important that we are all united by a goal, a plan or a project, because we must pay attention to one another, trust each other and our own successes. As a group, we share pleasant activities, we get to know our qualities, find solutions to our problems, and group experiences help us all. We get to know reasons to appreciate one another, to accept our qualities and impairments, we learn the couraje to evolve, we learn to live happy moments at our meetings. We learn to smile and be happy about our successes.”
The participants familiarised themselves with the red and white cane, recently selected as a symbol of deafblindness by the World Federation of the Deafblind, while using it in a outdoor hiking trip. They created and acted in plays about accessibility, the right to work, to participate to the political life, freedom and safety, starting from an easy-to-read version of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. In the end, using paint, paint brushes and palms, they created beautiful paintings starting from words such as freedom, opportunity, equality, respect and equal access, as they imagined it.
This workshop was the first in a series of four such activities where we aim to identify a group of 40 people with deafblindness, a group that has a voice, know and fight for their rights.
The project "The Voice of people with Deafblindness in Romania" is implemented by the Foundation Sense International Romania in partnership with Sense International UK, with financial support from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this material does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org.