Association of the Visually Impaired

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defaultBelarusian Association of the Visually Impaired (Public Association BelTIZ) is a dynamic developing non-governmental organization, active in the Republic of Belarus.

It consists of 6 regional branches, representing 142 primary organizations of about 20 thousand people with visual impairment.

OO BelTIZ has created 12 unitary enterprises and 4 subsidiaries employing about 3 thousand visually impaired people.

In 85 years since its establishment in 1924 the Association has been active in rehabilitation of the visually impaired, protection of their lawful rights and interests.

Social-economic and political changes that occurred during the first half of the 1990s dramatically reshaped operating environment for BelTIZ. In the new conditions, the Association managed to maintain most of its traditional activities in the field of rehabilitation, and discovered totally new directions of work in social and occupational rehabilitation of people with visual impairment. BelTIZ not only maintained, but also successfully developed its production enterprises. Our enterprises manufacture about 1500 competitive products.

Today people with visual impairment engage in business activities, learn computer skills and acquire new qualifications, increasingly employing modern rehabilitation technologies in their lives.

1BelTIZ in cooperation with government authorities undertakes active efforts to improve social legislation of the Republic of Belarus, develop and implement corresponding state programs. Agreements have been concluded and joint projects are being implemented together with various organizations of Europe and North America. Many problems of occupational rehabilitation of the visually impaired have been successfully solved.

The Association supports active efforts for creating a barrier-free environment for the visually impaired in the Republic of Belarus; regularly distributes financial and humanitarian aid.

The Association’s well-organized structure effectively protects the interests of disabled people, providing them with the opportunities to work at specially designed enterprises, improve their living conditions.

One of the most important fields of work for BelTIZ has been health recovery of the visually impaired. The Association provides gyms, recreation centers, has its own sanatorium in operation.

BelTIZ actively participates in development of the Paralympics Movement. The Chairman of the Association O. A. Shepel is also the President of the Paralympics Committee of the Republic of Belarus. Athletes of BelTIZ earned 9 medals and finished among the top ten in the team qualification at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Winter Games.

BelTIZ actively encourages artistic talents, regularly holding art festivals and contests in Belarus

The Association provides typhlo-technical aids and audio books, actively involves in elementary rehabilitation. Anyone can count on our support in tough situation.

We are well aware of current problems – deficit of technical means of rehabilitation for the visually impaired, insufficient implementation of information technologies, including adaptive technologies, undersupply of modern typhlo-technical aids, lack of a guide-dog training school in the Republic of Belarus.

Understanding important problems of complex rehabilitation of the visually impaired made it possible for us to formulate an effective action plan for further improvement of OO BelTIZ operations.

Vice Chairman of the Central Board of OO BelTIZ

M. N. Antonenko  

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