During the second half of March, in 20-23 March 2023, we organised in Predeal the workshop of the group of people with deafblindness, an activity which is part of the project The Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania.
A group of 19 young women and men, together with 9 parents, 1 teacher, 2 sign language interpreters and Sense International Romania team took the first steps together in setting up the group of people with deafblindness in Romania.
Together, we approached topics such as: what is deafblindness, what are the causes, how people with deafblindness communicate, the importance of sign language interpreters for people with deafblindness, the red and white cane, Vasile Adamescu and Helen Keller. We went through some rights and principles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: accessibility, work, participation to political life, freedom and safety. Through role play, theatre, drawing and painting, we learned from each other how important it is to look after one another and ourselves.
”I was happy to attend all activities. It was a great opportunity to interact, for the first time, with a group consisting of people with deafblindness, to be in contact with numerous valuable information, to meet new people and spend a couple of days in a warm atmosphere, characterised by a constant preoccupation for the well being of everyone present. ” B.S., Young man with deafblindness attending the workshop.
This workshop was the second in a series of four such activities, where we have already managed to identify a group of 43 people with deafblindness, supporting them to have a voice, know and fight for their own rights.
”This meeting helped us, the mums, to better know ourselves and to share experiences, learn from each other, be strong, not give up and fight for our children, regardless of the situation, the conditions and everything the society has to offer”, the group of 9 mothers.
Sign language interpretation was ensured by Rodica Halus and Monica Savin, from the Romanian National Association of the Deaf, whom we kindly thank for their effort and congratulate for their participation and involvement.
The project is implemented by the Foundation Sense International Romania in partnership with Sense International UK and benefits from a 149.668,89 euros grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this materiale does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.
said Professor Vasile Adamescu, a friend and ambassador of people with deafblindness in Romania. Under this motto, we organised the National Conference ”Education of Children with Deafblindness: Together for 22 Years!”, on February 2 - 3 2023, in Bucharest.
The event marked the 22nd anniversary of Sense International Romania, 22 years of activity celebrated on February 2nd.
We were extremely honoured to have with us at this conference more than 60 participants, representatives of the Ministry of Education, partner special schools and universities. For two days, specialists in the education of children and young people with deafblindness shared experience and work methods under the three sub-themes of the conference: early intervention for babies born with sensory impairments, education for children with deafblindness and vocational services for youth with this type of disability.
On the evening of February 2nd, we celebrated our anniversary in the presence of His Excellency, the Ambassador of Great Britain in Romania, Andrew Noble, Kavita Prasad, Director of Sense International, parents, youth with deafblindness, partners, friends of supporters of the organisation.
On this wonderful occasion, we were honoured to present the Sens(e) Awards to some of those who have been by our side throughout the years, a first edition of these awards:
Nelumbo Foundation – Award for Trust and Support
Orange Foundation – Award for Impact and Friendship
Liana Mitran – Award for Excellence and Perseverance
Coca Vasiliu – Award for Excellence and Perseverance
Florica Stoica – Award for Excellence and Perseverance
Eva Oprea – Aknowledgement and Involvement Award
Gabriela Jianu – Aknowledgement and Involvement Award
Ioana Tufar – Aknowledgement and Involvement Award
Cristian Buică-Belciu – Aknowledgement and Involvement Award
Viorel Micu – Promoter of the Rights of People with Deafblindness
We have also organised an exhibition of clay works created by students from the 21 partner schools attending the I too have a voice! Campaign organised as part of the project The Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania, 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 2014 -2021.
Here is what some of the participants shared:
A new lesson – EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE! I enjoyed everything in this conference, the involvement, the project, the achievements and the presence of so many wonderful people coming to our support, us who carry various unseen and unheard problems. Thank you!
E.S. young woman with deafblindness in Sense International Romania programmes.
Happy Birthday, Sense International Romania! Thank you for the meaning you give year after year to project meant for children and young people with deafblindness and multisensory impairments! It has been an honour for me to meet you and attend such a learning environment. This exchange of experience is beneficial to all partners in special education. Together with my colleagues from the Special Technological Highschool Gheorghe Atanasiu in Timisoara, we will continue running beautiful projects together!
I spent 2 days together with true professionals in the field of deafblindness, 2 days where we gained from the expertise of practitioners and co-created new contexts and directions. Thank you to the Sense International Romania team for this wonderful opportunity to learn and share experience, such useful!
Sense International Romania invites you on Tuesday, December 6th 2022, between 11.00 - 12.00, to the event called IN MEMORIAM Vasile Adamescu, that will take place online, on Zoom:
We propose an even event of the heart dedicated to Professor Vasile Adamescu (1944-2018), someone who, despite the total lack of sight and hearing, succeeded in life becoming a teacher, a writer and a sculptor, a true promoter of the rights of people with deafblindness, former member on the Board of Sense International Romania.
December 6th is the date when we commemorate four years since we lost professor Vasile Adamescu, and thus we warmly welcome you to this meeting meant to keep his memory alive and make deafblindness better known and better understood by all.
The meeting is organised part of the I Too Have a Voice! Campaign, a campaign that aims to make deafblindness beter known and understood by the wider audience, by authorities and institutions in the field of social welfare, health and education. The campaign is organised to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, a global celebration drawing attention upon the rights of persons with disabilities.
The event is interpreted into Romanian Sign Language.
The activity is organised within the project The voice of people with deafblindness in Romania, implemented by 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 website does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.
We hope to see you there!
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.