“Cover your eyes with a dark scarf and go to the kitchen for a glass of water.”
With our eyes covered or tightly closed, we rise from our seats in front of the laptop to meet the challenge launched by Eva Oprea, special education teacher and one of the trainers of the introductory course in deafblindness.
This is the fourth live session and we are experiencing for a few moments how a visually impaired person feels like when doing simple tasks. A student says she stopped for several times on the otherwise familiar way to the kitchen, while someone else says that she felt frustrated to pour water next to the glass because she could not coordinate her moves without seeing.
“When you have impaired vision, it’s much harder to do simple tasks. We don’t realize this until we have a similar experience. It’s one thing to understand it rationally and a completely different thing to feel it,” says Eva Oprea in the introduction of her chapter on orientation and mobility.
What is deafblindness and which are its causes, how people with visual and hearing impairments communicate, details about orientation and mobility, personal and social development, methods of intervention and the specifics of deafblindness in children, adults and elderly people were the topics addressed during the second edition of the introductory course in deafblindness, organized between February 28th and April 15th.
For seven weeks, 21 participants with different background- students, teachers, special education specialists, social workers and speech therapists – learned basic elements about deafblindness, which they can use both in their personal, and professional lives.
The second edition of the online course was special because two deafblind people were among the participants, and also the mother of a girl with this deficiency, who shared the challenges she faces. They all participated in the course as beneficiaries of the Vasile Adamescu scholarship.
“I am grateful for this experience! I learned many new things and I hope I will be able to help others in the future, ”says A.P.
The course was accessible to deafblind people with the help of the two sign language interpreters, Ioana Tufar and Mădălina Simion.
The four trainers, associate professor dr. Cristian Buică-Belciu, assistant professor dr. Ioana Tufar, psychologist Gabriela Jianu and psychopedagogue Eva Oprea warmly shared information, resources and practical examples, which helped participants to understand the world of people with deafblindness.
“It was very interesting how the specialists shared theoretical information mixed with real situations from their experience. This made learning much easier, and the knowledge will stay with me and will definitely help me in the future, in my career as a psychopedagogue “, says I.M.
The practical examples also created an engaging learning environment for participants who are already working with people with disabilities.
“The course was a pleasant, engaging and captivating learning and training experience. In addition to the theoretical aspects, the trainers presented many examples of good practice, in an interesting, motivating and interactive way. The information was condensed, with many practical examples. It will definitely contribute to my professional development! ”- G.L.
The students recommend the course to both specialists and to those who have people with deafblindness in their family.
“The way the trainers presented the information and the examples they gave helped us understand the needs of people with this condition, but also created a clearer vision regarding the way they communicate, and how the intervention and their integration must be carried out. ”- G.L.
“It’s a course you have to take in order to learn information from specialists, but also to be prepared for unexpected situations that you may encounter.” – L.U.
“I highly recommend this course, because it helps you grow both intelectually and emotionally I believe that anyone interested in deafblindness should attend this course, as there is a considerable difference, which cannot be expressed in words, between the mentality and the ideas you begin with and the mentality and ideas you finish with. ”- I.M.