From June 27th to July 4th in many countries in the world took place International Deafblind Awareness Week. Why this date? It was created to celebrate birthday of Helen Keller, an author, social activist and the most famous deafblind person in the world.
We celebrated it also in Poland, every voivodeship branch of Association for the Welfare of the Deafblind People (TPG) in a specific way. What our branch in Greater Poland have prepared to promote awareness of deafblindness?
Starting from June 27th, we have organized double meeting – first with Paweł Wicher, a traveler. He told us about his and his friend’s trip across the frozen Lake Baikal. The meeting was open to everybody, so even people not connected with TPG were invited to come to listen Paweł Wicher’s lecture and to get to know deafblind people too.
Right after the meeting, we have prepared special contest for everybody inspired by popular game show “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”. We divided participants into groups, which during qualifications were supposed to match given password in Lorm alphabet. Then, each team consulted to choose correct answers. Of course, well known melody which gives individual form to this contest couldn’t be missing. There was a possibility to use four hints and lifelines, but there was no need to do so. The show was hosted by our plenipotentiary, Wojciech Arczewski. As participants underlined, the idea was interesting and the contest was a nice way to recall what they already know about deafblind people and to get to know some new information.
At the same time in Collegium Da Vinci in Poznań (former School of Humanities and Journalism – WSNHiD) our volunteer coordinator Jacek Kowalski taught Lorm alphabet to students of pedagogics. We would like to thank Association of Sign Language Interpreters and Lecturers “GEST” for invitation.
During International Deafblind Awareness Week we have also informed via our social media about deafblind people and alternative methods of communication with them (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest).
At the very end, in the Old Market Square we have prepared a flash mob „Hear us, see us” which idea was to create a kind of “deafblind chain”. We were standing around next to each other, covering our neighbors’ ears or eyes with our hands. The goal of this event was to pay attention of society to the fact that deafblind people are living next to us. Awareness about this specific disability is still on a very low level. In this symbolic way we wanted to show that besides blind and deaf people there are also people with combination of severe hearing and sight loss at the same time.
Daily newspaper “Głos Wielkopolski” (“The Voice of Greater Poland”) found our flash mob interesting – they have published information not only on their website, but also in print. Here you can find a link: –LINK.
Also a magazine „Filantrop Naszych Czasów” (“Philanthropist of our times”) was interested in what we have done (PDF file is available here LINK, page 12).