Thursday, 10 May 2018 13:00

On Communication with Love

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Dear Readers of We Hear You, you might remember last year’s event in Plovdiv devoted to the demonstration of ways of communication with deafblind people. The Norwegian methods sparked the interest of a great deal of people, so they asked to be taught how to use them in practical situations. The National Association of the Deafblind in Bulgaria (NADbBg) won a grant in 2012, which allowed it to host an education event for interpreters of deafblind people. Unfortunately, just five professionals were given the opportunity to learn the alternative ways of communication mentioned above. The number of knowledgeable professionals prepared to work with deafblind people is far from being enough to meet the needs of the deafblind people in Bulgaria. What’s more, they’ve never worked with children before. But this is what’s going to happen now.

We believe proper communication is the key to a better treatment. Another educational event entitled Alternative methods of communication with deafblind people is currently being held from 8th of May until 17th of May 2018. It involves communicating with children. The National Association of the Deafblind in Bulgaria is hosting the event in cooperation with the Municipality of Burgas. Gallery ‘Georgi Baev’and Expo-Center Flora-Burgas are the places to be in case you want to attend the discussions and workshops. The event is being hosted by Anna Roydeva, psychologist in the NADbBg, and Deyan Slavov, special education teacher in the NADbBg.

The first day of the event (8th of May) features a brief historic overview of the education of deafblind people with the oral and manual methods explained, an introduction to the different types of sensory deficits and the similarities and differences between them. The efficiency of the One-on-one method of communication (one specialist working with a single deafblind person) in modern times will be discussed.

The schedule on 9th of May will feature an introduction to the jobs of the assistant, the guide, the interpreter and the intervener. The rules of guided mobility will be introduced along with the corresponding verbal instructions and haptic signals. The attendees will also learn about the usage of the red and white striped cane.

The third day (10th of May) will offer a detailed view on language and its specifications, conventional and natural language, fingerspelling alphabet (both one-handed and two-handed), visual and tactile perception of language. The nature of sign language (including its tactile version) will be explained and its classification presented.

Haptic communication will be the topic of the day on 11th of May. This kind of communication requires the usage of the specific methods demonstrated by the Norwegian specialists who took part in last year’s International Conference entitled ‘See the Silence, hear the darkness’.

Practical workshops will be held during the weekend (12th – 13th of May). The days to follow will feature a number of topics such as sensory alphabet, Tadoma method (based on vibrational and tactile sensitivity and visual perception of speech), LORM and Protactile system (both methods in use created by deafblind people). The final day of the educational event will deal with Braille alphabet, total communication and the psychological aspects of working with deafblind people. The basics of communication with deafblind people will have been covered by the end of the event.

Team We Hear You will take part in the practical workshops on the specifications of communication. Hopefully, we’ll be able to take a look at the world beyond the line of vision on 12th and 13th of May. We’re looking forward to meeting Georgi Skordev (the incredibly brave guy from the seaside town) and his unresting  mother again. See you soon!

Text and photo by Christina Tchoparova

EN Translation by: Maria Mihailova

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