Community development, Social inclusion


Enable everyone to learn sign language with the aim of removing communication barriers and achieving better integration of marginalized groups of people with hearing problems in society.


Who is behind this?

Dina Ivas

Association Alternativa


Who is joining forces?

Association of Interpreters and Translators of Croatian Sign Language of the County of Istria.


Association for Rehabilitation and Education TOWERING POPLARS



Idea pitch

Due to comm. barriers people with hearing problems are marginalized and disconnected from society and because of that are often feeling less worthy. We want to bring sign language closer to our citizens who will then actively contribute to include them in society and empower them for further actions in their environment. Interested citizens who are usually not in contact will join in discussing the problem on the platform panels and will bring differing perspectives of a topic to the table

Where will your project idea take place?

Pula (Croatia), but since everything is online, it will be available throughout Croatia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

People with hearing impairments are not perceived as an integral part of society at all, society does not adapt to them, they do not understand what is happening around them at all, they have difficulties with public services, public institutions, wherever they go no one understands them nor do they understand people around them And they remain deprived of various basic life needs and services, from doctors to the post office, wherever they go there is misunderstanding and miscommunication. They are not seen at all as equal members of society and all members of the community, especially public service employees, must make an effort to integrate them. Or they need to provide translators, and for that they first need to provide translators who are almost non-existent in Istria.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target groups are general citizens who like to work on their personal growth by learning new skills and who would like to get active and start to make better changes in their society. Attract people who at this moment don't believe that their voice can be heard and that they can't make a change and show them different by creating space for open communication, opening dialogue, workshops and panels and by calling local government to join. We will especially work with young people because we want them to learn to become tolerant, aware, inclusive, and active citizens. All the activities on the educational platform are beneficial for all the hearing-impaired people because they are bringing groups together and breaking communication barriers.

How do you plan to get there?

We will create a new interactive website compatible for online learning and then record sign language courses for three levels of education (beginner, medium, premium) and arrange educational materials for free use within the web. After each completed level, users will have an exam after which, if they pass successfully, they will receive a certificate of passing the course. Inside the web and the platform we will organize seminars and courses on the rights of people from vulnerable groups and strengthen them through various support programs. Parallel to learning website, we will log on to the comm. platform at Disciple media, where we will actively participate with citizens, share with them various information and contents, exchange examples of good practices, create games for children in schools to be aware of environments with socially vulnerable groups from an early age. In addition, we will jointly address certain problems faced by vulnerable groups, such as SOS for the deaf. We will shape the proposals and solutions into projects that we will implement together with the local government, in order to build the highest quality community and better synergies of society in all areas of activity. We will invite them to join the panel and ask them to listen and consider the proposals.

What are the expected results?

- Development of a new interactive website for learning sign language in which we will post online lessons of sign language, seminars and panels:
- At least 3 people will be trained as professional’s trainers, and at least 30 people familiar with sign language.
- 2 local schools (up to 60 students will be involved)
- 1 University (up to 10 students will be involved)
- 5 local government representatives aware of the necessary changes policies
- Potentially 1000 stakeholders informed about project results through the media
- Created a Unique community platform that connect with web and connecting people to work together
- Created one short promotional video of the project.
- Wide advocacy of conceptual solutions adopted.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

As citizens get involved in classes of sign language they will make a positive impact on their local community. They will learn new skills that will bring to a more inclusive society. They will also put out a great message; we care for our community members, we care about our and others personal growth, and want to make changes. As our workers collaborated with the local organization of the hearing impaired, we know that many citizens who wanted to learn the language worked in civil organizations, schools, social offices, and they wanted to help people in their field of work by learning their language. They had many experiences and suggestions but now one asked them and they didn't know where to address them, until this project when we would give them that opportunity.

Why is this idea important to you?

The project was developed based on many years of experience in working with the Association of the Deaf, where we had the opportunity to analyze the problem of the deaf and after much deliberation, we concluded that the best solution is a network platform, which is simple and suitable for all. Last year, we launched lead translators in Istria to establish an Association of Interpreters in Istria with the reason that they can focus on educating hearing users who are the only ones who can remove the communication barrier. We have been cooperating with the Assoc. for Rehabilitation and Education TOWERING POPLARS for many years, and they operate on a national and international level and have the right team to fight and advocate when it comes to the rights of people with fewer opportunities.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project coordinator, salaries, 4 hours of work per day, (Alternativa) - 9.234 EUR
Project, technician, service contract (Alternativa) - 2.000 EUR
Organisational costs (Partner 1, Partner 2, Visual identity, programme cost etc.) - 14.266 EUR
Cooperation with the experts on the panels and seminars - 2.500 EUR
Elaboration of the interactive website and the website content - 7.000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would be happy to receive advice, suggestions, or examples of good practice regarding the involvement of citizens in making certain solutions to improve the lives of vulnerable groups.


Udruga Alternativa

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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