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At 19, we look forward

Today, February 2, 2020, when Sense International Romania turns 19 years old, we do not look back, but look forward.

Everything we have achieved so far is important, but everything we aim for for the coming year is equally important:

  • We will organize several orientation and mobility trips for  children and young people with deafblindness from our projects.


  • We will think and organize, for the first time, lobbying, advocacy and leadership courses for a group of young people with deafblindness so that they can make their voices heard;


  • Together with Code for Romania, CSEI Timişoara, CSEI Oradea and Pavelcu High School, we will work on e-Sense, the first educational software dedicated to children with deafblindness, through a project funded by the Orange Foundation.


  • We will start work on the first e-learning platform that will offer courses in the field of of deafblindness for teachers, parents, for anyone interested in this field.


  • We will continue the tradition of organizing in schools across the country activities with hundreds of children to mark the Helen Keller International Feast.


  • For the third year in a row, we will mark 3 December – International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in partner schools all over the country, an event dedicated to Mr Vasile Adamescu.


  • In the autumn we will organize the First National Conference on Deafblindness, an opportunity for specialists in the field to learn from each other the latest methods and techniques of working with the child with deafblindness.


  • We will continue to promote the rights of people with deafblindness by participating with the Sensory Tent Beyond Senses at events, conferences, etc. Call us and we’ll come.

Vasile Adamescu – Beyond Senses

December 3 – The International Day of People with Disabilities

December 3 was designated by the United Nations – the International Day of People with Disabilities. This year, Sense International Romania organizes a series of activities to mark this day, dedicated to the one who was Professor Vasile Adamescu (05.09.1944 – 06.12.2018), a person with deafblindness who, despite the lack of sight and hearing, succeeded extraordinary performances.

At a very young age, Vasile Adamescu completely lost his vision and hearing. Having an extraordinary will and supported by his teachers at the Special High School for Visually Impaired Children Cluj Napoca, Vasile Adamescu became a teacher, a sculptor, an artist, a writer and fought for the rights of people with deafblindness as a Board member of the Sense International Romania.

Activities in 15 schools all over Romania

Various activities such as clay modeling, sculpture, pottery, pantomime, experiential theatre, painting, drawing, candle making, glass painting are just a few examples of the multitude of activities that children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments, their parents and  teachers from 15 special schools in Arad, Bucharest, Buzău, Cluj Napoca, Craiova, Focşani, Galaţi, Iaşi, Oradea, Sibiu, Târgu Frumos and Timisoara, partner schools of Sense International Romania, will run at the beginning of  December as part of the project “Vasile Adamescu – Beyond senses”.

About Deafblindness – Inside the Sensory Tent

In parallel, Sense International Romania takes part in the 10th edition of the Diversity Week organized by British Council Romania under the umbrella of diversity, equal opportunities and inclusiveness.  On Tuesday, December 3rd, on the occasion of the International Day of People with Disabilities, Sense International Romania invites you to a unique experience through the activity “Beyond senses – about deafblindness, inside the sensory tent”, at the British Council Library. On December3-4, between 14:00-17:00, those present will have the opportunity to experiment for a few minutes, inside the sensory tent, what a person with deafblindness feels.

Vasile Adamescu and Viorel Micu inside the Sensory Tent

«On December 3, every year, we are celebrating the International Day of People with Disabilities, a day when, every time, we think about equal opportunities, inclusion, normality, a country that is capable of genuinely supporting people with special needs.

This year, at the special initiative of Sense International Romania, December 3rd will be a special one dedicated to Professor Vasile Adamescu, a person with deafblindness, who is no longer among us and who has been and remains a standard, an example to follow. In the pages of his autobiographical book, titled suggestively “Confronting Life”, Vasile Adamescu describes the greatest success in Romanian special education, educating and training a person without hearing and sight. As he said so many times, I also urge you to fight for each child, to have a lot of patience, to put in a lot of work and to be a united team: child, teachers and parents.

It is our duty not to forget Vasile Adamescu, the teacher, the mentor, the writer, the artist and the MAN, who once surrounded us with warmth, who smiled upon us, gave advice, loved us, and who used all his skills to educate children with disabilities in our country.»

Viorel Micu, interpreter of Professor Vasile Adamescu, member on the Board of the Sense International Romania

Annual Review 2018 – With love, for Mr. Vasile Adamescu…

We dedicate this review to Mister Vasile Adamescu, member on the Sense International Romania Board of Directors. In 2018, we lost a true landmark.

The story of his life has impressed and still impresses upon many people, because Mr. Vasile Adamescu represents a model for each and every one of us, a very special man, a kind and warm soul whom we miss very much. At a very young age, he completely lost his sight and his hearing, but this did not stop him from fighting and winning.

In 2018, Mr. Vasile Adamescu received from Sense International Romania the title of Promoter of the Rights of People with Deafblindness in Romania. It was our way to bring homage to the artist, the sculptor, the writer, the teacher, our colleague and friend, Vasile Adamescu.

e-Sense–using digital technology to revolutionise the education of children with deafblindness

Alone We Can Do So Little. Together We Can Do So Much. Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Fundația Orange selected the project e-Sense – using digital technology to revolutionise the education of children with deafblindness to receive funding through the programme The world through colour and Sound, 2019 edition.

Children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments face major difficulties in communication, access to information, orientation and mobility. For this reason, teaching these children is a very specific type of education, which requires specialised techniques, knowledge and skills. Digital technology is more and more widespread in the education system and in our everyday life, but not when it comes to children with deafblindness. In order for them to be able to access high quality education and not be “left behind”, they need educational software adapted to the specific needs that come with having both visual and hearing impairments.


Sense International Romania, the only organisation in the country specialised in the field of deafblindness, joins forces with Code for Romania, a community of young and enthusiastic professionals developing IT solutions to solve the problems of the society, as well as with three schools which provide educational services for children and young people with deafblindness: Special Technological Highschool “Vasile Pavelcu” Iasi, School Centre for Inclusive Education ”Cristal” Oradea and School Centre for Inclusive Education „Constantin Pufan” Timişoara, in order to develop, test and approve e-Sense – an accessible, free, open source educational software package for over 335 children with deafblindness in Romania, for their parents and teachers.In 2008, as an initiative of Sense International Romania, the National Curriculum for the Education of children with Deafblindness was developed and approved by the Ministry of Education. Now, more than a decade later, this curriculum will step into the 21st century and will be translated into digital technology language, all foe the benefit of children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments.

Thus, in 2020-2021, specialists in the field of deafblindness and IT speicalists will work together and find the best digital solutions for important curriculum areas such as language and communication, mathematics and science, arts, human beings and society to take the shape of educational software. Children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments, their parents and teachers from the three partner schools, will test and asees e-Sense throughout the project life, using equipment purchased through this project, to make sure that the solution developed is useful, real and necessary.

The final version of e-Sense will be submitted for certification from the Ministry of National Education, so that it becomes a tool that can be used by all schools in Romania providing education for children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments, but also at home, by children and their families.

Implementation period: January 2020 – December 2021

Value of the project: 414.804 lei


It is not by chance that the same year when Sense International Romania turns 18 years of activity, the first generation of future typographers graduates school. Today, mAY 30, we have attended with pride and joy to the Graduation fesitivities of the 12th grade, typography class, at the Special Professional School for Children with Hearing Impairments St. Mary Bucharest.

Here, just like at the Technological Highschool gheorghe Atanasiu in Timișoara, the first 17 young graduates finish professional school – 10 in Bucharest and 7 in Timișoara. Of these, 7 are already employed in the field of typography, 5 in Bucharest and 2 in Timișoara.

We are very happy with the succes of these schools and we wish the young graduates lost of success in life and many accomplishments!

Starting with 2012, Sense International Romania, alongside Orange Foundation and Medicor Foundation, provided financial, material and technical support for the development of 8 vocational centres in Arad, Bucharest, Buzău, Craiova, Focșani, Galați, Iași and Timișoara, within partner special schools. Over 240 children and young people with deafblindness and sensory impairments have studied in these centres fields such as typography, marzipan molding and horticulture.

Romanian-Norwegian partnership

Between 20 and 23 May 2019, the Sense International Romania Foundation, represented by Etelka Tzondi, Director, and Ramona Antonie, Program Coordinator, visited services offered by the Signo Foundation in Norway.

Services offered by Signo Foundation from Norway

Thus, the resource centers of the Signo Foundation in Andebu and Oslo (education and vocational services for children, young people and adults with deafblindness in Norway) were visited, meetings were held with specialists from the organisation and the development of joint activities in the future was discussed. The Sense International Romania team also met with Mr Geir Jensen, President of the World Federation for the Deafblindness, based in Oslo, where we discussed the Global Report on Deafblindness, conducted by the Federation in 2018.

Etelka Czondi, Geir Jansen, Ramona Antonie, Knut Rune Saltes

This visit was an activity carried out through the Inclusion with Meaning project: Building partnerships between Sense International Romania and organisations in Norway with the aim of meaningful inclusion in the education system for children with deafblindness and sensory impairments, a project funded as part of the call for proposals for bilateral initiatives aimed at identifying partners for projects carried out in partnership with the donor states, the development of bilateral partnerships and projects under the „Local Development” Programme.


18 Years! We Have Come of Age!

On February 2nd, Sense International Romania turns 18 years old! 18 years of learning, step by step, to make the wishes, the dreams, the successes as well as the difficulties of people with deafblindness in Romania seen and heard.

What were our plans and what are our successes? 18 reasons of joy

  1. Deafblindness – we wanted and we succeeded to make deafblindness better and better known. In 2001, when the organisation was established, the word deafblindness didn’t even exist.
  2. Information – We spent the past 2 years organizing ample information  campaigns around deafblindness: with Sensabilitate Caravane, together with Mr. Vasile Adamescu, we visited 12 towns all over Romania, inviting hundreds of people of all ages to step inside the Sensory Tent, with their eyes and ears covered, to experiment deafblindness.
  3. Promotion – With the support of Calin Goia (Voltaj), we aired on TV and online, a video where he explains deafblindness. More recently, in December 2018, 22 great Romanian sports champions also covered their eyes and ears during the campaign Born for Sports, drawing attention on people with deafblindness.
  4. Awareness – Every year, in June, hundreds of children in special schools all over the country, together with teachers and parents, celebrate the International Helen Keller Week through activities that emphasize the fact that people with deafblindness can be active and equal members of the society, if they are given the opportunity and support needed. Recently, we started holding such activities with children on December 3, the International Day of People with Disabilities.
  5. Legislation – We succeeded more than just creating a word: deafblindness was recognized as a distinct disability by Law 448/2006.  Two more pieces of legislation have provisions around the education and early intervention for children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments.
  6. Partnerships – Ever since 2001, all our work was done based on a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Education, as well as over 40 schools, hospitals, local authorities, universities, other organisations from the country and abroad.
  7. Education – Over 500 children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments have had access to quality education services, in classes with a small number of children, in schools where we trained the teachers in the field of deafblindness and we provided sensory equipment and materials.
  8. Early intervention – Over 200 babies and small children befitted from early intervention services in 4 specialized centres, so that they have increased chance to a harmonious development.
  9. Curriculum – Together with Romanian specialists, we developed a curriculum for the education of children with deafblindness, as well as one for early intervention for children 0-3 years old, both documents included in legislation.
  10. Vocational workshops – over 240 young people with deafblindness and multisensory impairments have learned and still learn a trade in the 8 vocational workshops established together with 9 schools and local authorities. Some of them are already employed in the field that they study.
  11. Courses – We held training courses for more than 200 teachers and specialists, some of them also benefiting from training abroad.
  12. National trainers – To ensure the sustainability of the professional training of teachers, we established a group of 11 national trainers in the field of deafblindness.
  13. Orientation and mobility camps – over 22 children and young people attended orientation and mobility camps for the past 5 years, acquiring practical skills for an independent living.
  14. Hearing screening and visual testing – Throughout the 10 years of early intervention, we facilitated the hearing screening of over 100,000 babies and the visual testing of more than 19,000 babies.
  15. Network – In time, we established a national network in the field of deafblindness, with annual meetings of specialists in the field, national and international conferences, numerous seminars and workshops on this topic.
  16. Sensabilitate – We created the first online platform in Romania accessible for people with sensory impairments, www.sensabilitate.ro, a key resource with information about deafblindness.
  17. Knowledge – We developed various specialized materials, we facilitated the translation of numerous books and articles, the majority of these are free to access on the platform Sensabilitate.
  18. Companies – During the past 5 years, we convinced over 70 small or large companies to contribute, financially and materially, to our projects. We thank them and we are deeply grateful!

We continue to believe that every step ahead is a MAJOR success and we bravely enter the adulthood of the organisation alongside children and young people in our project, their families and long term dear partners and friends!

Vasile Adamescu – a life dedicated to the rights of people with deafblindness

On December 6th 2018, Professor Vasile Adamescu passed away. It is an extremely sad moment for all those who knew him, as well as for those who know how special he was. Despite lacking both vision and hearing, Vasile Adamescu Graduated university, became a teacher for children with deafblindness, wrote books, knew five foreign languages, he was a sculptor and fought to promote the rights of people with deafblindness. Since 2015, he was a member on the Board of Sense International Romania.

It is difficult to describe in words the feelings we have, which is why we invite you to read about his life in Vasile Adamescu’s own words:

I was born on September 5th 1944, in the village Borcea, Ialomita County. I was the second born of my parents, Zamfir and Voica, poor but hardworking peasants. Until the age of 2, my life was normal. Unfortunately, I lost my mother prematurely, due to a simple cold. Not long after that, a tragedy fell upon me> while my family was out working the fields, I was left home in the care of an aunt. I fell asleep outside, on the porch, and a cold autumn rain started, which made me catch a bad cold. As treatments back then were only those traditionally known by my grandmother, she treated me the best way she could. A few months later, I lost the most elementary senses, vision and hearing. My father took me to see doctors, but it was in vain.

Until the age of 11, I lived in darkness and in silence, after which I was taken to the School for the Blin din Cluj. Florica Sandu, a bright teacher, managed the impossible, teaching me how to speak, read and write….

I graduated highschool and then I started University, learning Special Education, which I graduated in 1977. I became a teacher at the same school where I had studied, and I spent 30 years as a teacher there. Between 1983-1986, I studied sculpture at the Popular School of Arts. I loved sculpture since childhood. I learned new methods of working in clay, making vehicles, animals and buildings.

In 2010, I received the Honorary Citizen of Cluj. One year later, a received the title The Person with Disabilities of Year 2011. Since 2015, I became a member on the Board of Directors of Sense International Romania. In 2018, I received the title Promoter of the Rights of People with Deafblindness in Romania.

Recently, after many years of hard work, I managed to publish Volumes 1 and 2 of my autobiography, names „Confronting Life”.

The funeral will take place on Saturday, December 8th 2018, at 11.45, in Floresti, Cluj Conty. All those who wish to pay homage, are welcomed.

Close your eyes, cover your ears, open your soul!

For December 3, The International Day of People with Disabilities, the Association Junior Sport in partnership with the Foundation Sense International Romania and the producer of sports equipment ANCADA, together with great champions of Romanian sports, launched the campaign BORN FOR SPORTS, a campaign dedicated to children with deafblindness.

Born for sports

Valeria van Groningen Răcilă – Olympic champion in rowing, Ecaterina Oancia – multiple Olympic and world champion in rowing, Silvia Stroescu – Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics, Alina Alexandra Dumitru – Olympic and European Judo champion, Irina Deleanu – world bronze medalist in rhythmic gymnastics and president of the Romanian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Dorina Gabriela Mihai – world fencing champion, Monica Iagăr – athlete, European high jump champion, Traian Rus – multiple world and European Kempo champion, Alin Romulus Păcurar – absolute Balkan champion, multiple European medalist in free fighting and Honored Master of Sports, Hajnal Iuliu – a legend of Romanian football, Gruia Docan – Holder of 4 dan Kyokushin Karate and president of the Romanian Federation of Kyokushin, Nicu Dobre – President of the Romanian Oina Federation, Ștefan Sandulache – former basketball player, currently Director of Bucharest Department for Sports and Youth, Mircea Barna – former captain of the national basketball team and owner of ANCADA sports equipment producer, Theo Matican – multiple medalist in national and international swimming, skiing and cycling competitions for people with disabilities, the young sports champions Nicolas Luca Lupu – fencing golden medalist, Miriam Ciolacu – football player and athlete with numerous trophies and medals, Monica Elena Duca – double world champion in acrobatic dancing, Andrei Victor Păcurar – multiple gold medalist in free fighting, Andrei Sandulache – basketball player, Alina Alexoi – National Romanian Television TV reporter and Andrei Pralea – Business Manager at ANCADA, launched the sporting equipment collection called BORN FOR SPORTS.

Through a series of suggestive photos, as well as a video, these 22 participants to the campaign sent a heartwarming message supporting the cause of children with deafblindness:

„I, born for sports, take into account the fact that beyond the sports community that I am part of, there are people with deafblindness, who can neither see nor hear about my performance. Yet, through my gesture, I bring light and sound into their life. Close your eyes, cover your ears, open your soul!“

The sporting equipment producer ANACADA will donate 30% of the sporting equipment sales from the collection BORN FOR SPORTS to these children! We thank the professional photographers for their probono support: Florian Gîndilă (Bucharest) and Iosif Vajnar (Pixel Prosport Târgu Mureș).

But… what is deafblindess?
Deafblindness is a severe multisensory impairment, most times associated with other types of disability, generating major difficulties in communication, access to information, orientation and mobility.
Among world well-known people with deafblindness, we can mention Francisco Goya – the famous Spanish painter who became deaf and blind in his last years of life, Helen Keller – a famous American writer, the first person with deafblindness who graduated college and our own Vasile Adamescu – a Romanian teacher and artist, who lost both his vision and hearing when he was a child, and now, he is the biggest promoter of the rights of people with deafblindness in Romania.
The Foundation Sense International Romania is the only organisation in our country working for the benefit of children with deafblindness, since 2001. Along the years, this organisation supported over 500 children through high quality education services, initiated the early intervention programme for babies born with sensory impairments and now is mainly focusing on young people with deafblindness, providing them with the opportunity to lean an independent life through the vocational programme.

We are looking for a colleague :)

We are looking for a colleague to enthusiastically join a small, but dedicated team, supporting people with deafblindness.

Imagine your life without being able to perceive light or sounds. This is the life of people with deafblindness, a life beyond senses. Our mission is to make sure, through our projects, that people with deafblindness have access to counselling, opportunities and support, becoming active members of the society.
#dincolodesimturi #surdocecitate #beyondsenses #deafblindness

What will your role be?

You will be responsible for raising funds for the organisation programmes.

What training should you have?

University degree or final year student in marketing, communication, public relations or another relevant field.

What else is important?

  • 1 year of relevant experience in the field, being open to learn new things and to get to know the NGO environment, the legislation in the field of fundraising, fundraising campaigns.
  • Empathy for vulnerable groups and willingness for personal development.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Romanian, as well as an excellent knowledge of written and spoken English, as we are collaborating with other international organisations and external partners.

If you don’t know something yet?

You can learn. The CAN DO attitude is absolutely necessary if you want to join us.

If you find yourself within the description above, please send your CV and a letter of intent describing why you want this job, in English, no later than December 12th, to rantonie@senseint.org.ro, contact person Ramona Antonie.

For further information about the vacancy, please download the Job description.

We thank you for your interest, however please note that only shortlisted  candidates will be contacted. The applications received will be evaluated respecting the principles of confidentiality and equality of chances.