Development association Ludbreg
Varaždin county Association of the blind
Koprivnica county Association of the blind
Croatian alliance of the blind www.savez-slijepih.hr Međimurje county Asssociation of the blind www.usm.hr Brodoto NGO www.brodoto.com Hiking association Ludbreg www.pdludbreg.crtice-hrvatske.com
Aim of the project is to FIGHT SOCIAL EXCLUSION OF THE BLIND by initiating 2 types of EDUCATIONAL TOURS:
1. Tours LED BY THE BLIND (sighted people use simulation glasses to see how people with different visual impairments "see", try to move with a white cane, learn how to guide a blind person, learn about the life of the blind etc.)
2. Tours FOR THE BLIND (blind experience walking without assistance in a unfamiliar environment of hiking trails above Ludbreg, try riding a tandem bike etc.)
Small town of Ludbreg (8.478 inhabitants), Varaždin County, Northwest Croatia
In small cities like Ludbreg people are "afraid" of those who are different. Blind have to endure everyday life with no adapted infrastructure whatsoever. Employees in services like post and market don’t know how to assist. Ludbreg is a religious tourism destination where many blind come for healing. Businesses that participate in the tourist sector are also not trained to assist. Growing number of the population is losing sight because of age. Elderly also don't get any help because their families lack knowledge, compassion and awareness of the issue. Last, blind people in general don't have many opportunities for travel, socialization or recreation. Even when there is some, activities are held in isolation, behind closed doors.
Public forum event on white cane day.NGOs dealing with similar target groups will provide their opinion. Local government is open to suggestions and discussion on future collaboration. People with visual impairment will be included in discussion on how to get the most of the project idea and infrastructure adaptation. Blind people can’t participate in activities that general population can. Town has no sporting and outdoor activities adapted for the target group. They will be able to hike equally, get new roles in society as guides and essentially get more confidence. Local owners will argument their needs in terms of needed knowledge and adaptation of their businesses towards the visually impaired. Local population will express their needs in terms of adaptation of public infrastructure.
Tours led by blind will be advertised not only to the general public but to schools and teachers as learning activities, companies as team building, politicians, NGOs etc. By pushing story in media and reaching a vast number of people, stigma and fear about blindness will be eliminated and the general public will know better how to assist the blind. People will pass their experience to friends and peers. Issues will be pushed into public discussion which will push decision makers to implement other changes like tactile roads or braille signs in public spaces. Employers will be more open to employ a person with a disability. Businesses will have employees trained to assist the blind. NGOs may implement gained knowledge in their daily activities like starting similar tours in other cities.
1.Adapting city of Ludbreg and trails for the blind in partnership with City of Ludbreg officials
2. Creating a brand (logo, web, socials)
3.Buying simulation glasses, white canes& tandem bikes
4.Arranging partnership with local restaurants for cooperation on tours
5. Organisation of excursions in partnership with associations of blind and partially sighted
6. Creating a tactile map of Ludbreg, promo videos and materials
7. Contacting media, schools, teachers, companies, NGOs, institutions and inviting them on tours
8.Making forum event in Ludbreg for international white cane day (15.10.2021.) and discuss issue with local stakeholders
9.Continue working on visibility, reaching more people, new partnerships, start tours in other cities
- Greater social inclusion of blind;
- Risen quality of life of blind in Croatia;
- Various stakeholders involved in discussion on problem;
- Adapted hiking and walking trail in Ludbreg - special braille trails, handrails and rubber trails which enable blind people to enjoy nature without concerns of getting lost;
- Adapted part of city infrastructure (removed barriers, adapted fonts on public institution names, educated staff);
- Positive image of Ludbreg as city adapted for blind and visually impaired;
- Min. 80 people attended the tour for the blind;
- Min. 300 people attended the tour led by the blind;
- Min. 10000 people heard about the project;
- A raise in tourist numbers in Ludbreg;
- Raise in new customers and guests in local businesses;
- Contribution to local economy.
This is an innovative idea that not only gives new opportunities for the blind and visually impaired, but also promotes progressive civic life which is inclusive and has multiple beneficiaries through its implementation - people with special needs, general population and local economy. The idea is not locally locked, it can be scaled and implemented in other locations and we see it as a big positive. Concerning the fact that a healthy lifestyle and outdoor activities are growing in popularity all across Europe, we think that it has come to a time where we have to think about the ones that have huge obstacles enjoying nature than the majority of the population. We have involved partners with similar daily activities and vast networks who can easily adapt our idea to their local situation.
Two people facing issues we want to tackle (blind and partially sighted) are part of project team and they came up with this idea as a solution for their problems. With tours for the blind we want to provide blind a new experience which will boost their confidence. With tours led by blind we want to raise awareness and fight social exclusion. Also, this project would provide employment to 1 blind person - Marko, which would make his life more purposeful. We also want to contribute to our town by making it more progressive and inclusive for all people. We want to contribute to the town’s economy by attracting tourists and connecting them with local business owners. We want to promote a healthy lifestyle by introducing the hiking trail, which is a permanent result of a project.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
CIVIC EUROPE FUNDS
Transportation & meals for groups of blind (min 80 blind+ their assistants) 6.500€
Personnel costs 18.000 €
10x Educational videos production 6500€
6x simulation glasses&white cane 3500€
Web page adapted for the blind 3.500€
Social media management& PR 5000€
Tactile map& materials print 2000€
LUDBREG CITY FUNDS
Trail and city adaptation 10.000€
2x tandem bike 5000€
White cane day event 5000€
Personnel cost 2000€
Brainstorming about project idea can only make it better. Also, if you are interested in partnership or wanna be involved in this project in any way, shape or form fell free to contact us! Cheers from Marko, Beata, Branimir, Kristian and Lucija. :)