The feeling I have had throughout the conference was that I was on a different planet… This is how Gabriela Jianu, early intervention specialist, a participant at the conference, describes the 16th Deafblind International World Conference.
Sense International (Romania) hosted the extremely special conference which brought to Bucharest, JW Marriott Grand Hotel, almost 400 participants from 50 countries, in May 25-30.
The days were filled with emotions, enthusiasm and positive energy, where people with deafblindness from around the world, their accompanying persons and interpreters, specialists in education and communication shared unique experiences, learned from each other and made new friendships.
Alongside many important guests, Mrs. Liliana Preoteasa, State Secretary with the Ministry of Education, attended the official opening: “The reason I wanted to be here was the fact that I have known Cristiana Salomie and Sense International (Romania) ever since I started working with the Ministry. I believe SI(R) is one of the best partners the ministry has, a partner which influenced policies, but in a quiet way, a dear friend who did not make a lot of noise but accomplished a lot.”
One of the most special moments was the announcement of the Deafblind International Awards, given to those with special contribution to improving the life of people who are deafblind. Among the winners of this edition was also Cristiana Salomie, Sense International (Romania) Director, who received the Lifetime Achievement Awards for special contribution to services for people with deafblindness in Romania.
It is difficult to summarise the special atmosphere of the five days in a short text: 4 plenary sessions, 98 workshops and 27 poster sessions, a relaxing and joyful gala dinner, special and committed young volunteers, dozens of communication methods and styles specific for people with deafblindness…
Being there as a media partner, The Romanian National Television caught on tape the key moments of the conference, presenting them in the TV Show People like us, hosted by Dana Rusu. The show can be viewed here: