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The Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

We are happy to start the project The Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania! This will take place over the next 2 years, between April 1st 2022 - March 31st 2024.

People with deafblindness  in Romania represent an extremely vulnerable group, who are marginalized, isolated, and suffer from inequalities and social exclusion. The combination of the two impairments, visual and hearing, raises barriers in accessing services of all kinds, given the major difficulties in communication, orientation and mobility, in accessing information, as well as the lack of interpreters specialised in deafblindness.

According to international estimates from 2018, the prevalence of deafblindness is 0.2-2% of the population, meaning between 40,000 – 400,000 people affected in Romania. In time, Sense International Romania has worked with more than 500 children, young people and adults with deafblindness. Despite being recognized in legislation, deafblindness continues to be insufficiently known and understood, a relevant example in this sense being the small number of people with deafblindness in official statistics – 77.

The project aims to lay the groundwork and increase the capacity of 40 people with deafblindness to become a voice capable of fighting for their rights, through meetings meant to empower them and provide them with the tools for self-representation, aiming at establishing a representative association of people with deafblindness.

Also, to ensure their access to the services they need, the project will train a group of 20 sign language interpreters to specialise in deafblindness (20% of the total no. of authorised interpreters in Romania), a field that interpreters currently have little or no knowledge of at all. In parallel, the project will increase the level of awareness, though national campaigns dedicated to improved knowledge and understanding of deafblindness.

In partnership with Sense International UK and collaborating with the World Federation for the Deafblind (Norway), other institutions and organisations, SIR will support PwDB cu have a voice, to be seen and heard, gaining the capacity to advocate for the social inclusion of the entire group of PwDB in Romania.

What we plan to achieve

The group of people with deafblindness

Training interpreters in the field of deafblindness

Regulating the red and white cane

Awareness around deafblindness

We will identify and work with a group of people with deafblindness, so that they have a voice, know and fight for their own rights.

We will create and organise training courses for Romanian Sign Language interpreters, so that they acquire knowledge in the field of deafblindness.

We will make the red and white cane known and included in the trafick law, as a distinctive element drawing attention on the fact that the user is a person with deafblindness.

We will organise activities throughout the country to make deafblindness better known and understood by the general public, by authorities and institutions in the social field, health and education.

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 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.

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