"Passport to success for children and youth with visual impairments"

Through this project, the Pontes Association, in partnership with the Social and Medical Assistance Directorate Cluj-Napoca and the Association of Romanian Christian-Orthodox Students – Cluj Branch (A.S.C.O.R), aimed at reducing inequalities and social exclusion of the visually impaired children and youth, both by developing a network of specialists in order to conceive and consistently monitor an action plan aiming at reducing discrimination, and by launching an information and awareness raising campaign in the county of Cluj as concerns the discrimination of the disadvantaged people.  115 visually impaired children and youth were involved in the project, together with healthy children and youth, through mixed activities such as “Discover the Unseen City”, “Tandem Bicycle Ride”, “Dinner in the Dark”, trips, meetings on the skating rink and others.

Through the services offered, the project mainly contributed to life quality improvement and to the development of certain abilities (orientation in the urban development, personal hygiene, cooking, professional integration, socialization) among the visually impaired children and youth, who thus became more active and open to new experiences. Considering the lack of information concerning the needs of the visually impaired people, another major gain of the project was preparing the visually healthy persons having participated to the activities for the interaction with the visually impaired people, including by elaborating a guide containing conduct recommendations in typical social contexts.

The establishment of a network of specialists to conceive an action plan aiming at increasing the accessibility of the urban environment and at improving the occupational integration of the visually impaired persons is an important achievement of the project, with an impact mainly on medium and long term.