DVV International, Institute for international cooperation of German Association of higher national schools organized study trip to Latvia from 21 to 25 11th 2017 with the aim of visit rehabilitation centres for the blind. Participants were representatives of blind organization from Armenia, Gruzia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They wre situated in „Days hotel“ in Riga, the capital of Latvia.
On 22th 11, the aim of visit was „the village for the blind“ situated in Riga. You can arrive there by accessible public transportation.
Due to audio information about stations, blind person use tram without any problem. Audible traffic light signals enables safely moving around.
Our host in the „village“ was Sandra, coordinator of rehabilitaion centre. He gave us basic information about blind's organization in Riga.
It is appreciated that about 12000 blind and partially sighted persons live in Latvia. About 2500 of them are members of eleven unions of the blind.
All blind students attend first twelve classes in special school and after they could continue further education by regular program.
Our hosts wanted to know how blind persons from guest countries realize their rights for education, employment, enabling aids and social care. We exchanged information about legislation with Svjetlana, the president of blind Union in Riga. Blind persons in Riga could get each enabling aid onl for seven Euro.
Rehbilitation centre includ range of buildings in the „village“. Fifty professionals of a different profiles work in he Centre. A person cold attend the program from few years once in his or her life. There is no limitation for other programs.
The following progras are available for blind persons: mobility and orientation training, training for moving aroun with guidedog, computer skills, creative workshops (baskets, brashes, etc).
All services in the Centre are free for users. Costs of programs implementation are covered by the state.
Social activities are also implemented in the Centre. One group has just celebrated 18th birthday of member.
Liapaja is 250 kilometers far from Riga. We travel there by bus with the group of rehabilitation centre beneficiaries.
Rehabilitation centre in Liepaja has an accessible garden. Beneficiaries cultivate flowers and take care of animals.
On the first floor are bedrums.
Blind guide met us in touristic agency. He informed us about city parts which we visited. Touristic agency has tactile map of the city. Paths are also accessible for the blind.
Blind Union has adequate room for work. Members could attend creative workshop and education about their rights.
The third day we again went to „village“ because of interesting presentation with the topic of social interpreniership and guide dogs. I was particularly impressed by approach with young children in the school for the blind. After six month attending of creative workshops, the children painted.
Musical group organized concert for their guests.
The visit was opportunity for contacts and exchange experience between blind's organizations. We could teach much from Latvia with respect of blind's organization and adaptation which make their life easier and more independent.