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Press release

The local working group for Banja Luka, which includes 7 organizations of persons with disabilities, organized the event “Our rights are your obligation” on the occasion of marking the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 and Volunteer Day on December 10. The event is organized within the campaign “Disability does not determine me” of the EMPOWER project, funded by the European Union, the Central State Office for Croats Abroad and Catholic Relief Services.

Today, as part of the campaign, the first public forum of the planned two was held at the IN Hotel, which was attended by representatives of the local work group for Banja Luka, people with disabilities in the Banja Luka region, Empower project officials, media and local authorities in charge of resolving issues as well as issues of persons with disabilities. Selected areas debated today are expanded services – the necessary standard and personal assistance and customized transportation, and the exhibitors were Miroslav Mandic, president of the Banja Luka City Organization of the Blind and Rodoljub Janjic, president of the Banja Luka Association of Disabled Workers. After the presentation, the participants gave concrete proposals related to the issues discussed at the forum, and conclusions were adopted.

The local EMPOWER working group for Banja Luka plans to distribute leaflets in public places, sports events for people with disabilities, have media appearances, and get in personal contact with government officials throughout December to point out the problems of people with disabilities. to join in creating a more favorable environment for people with disabilities.

The City Board of the Association of the Disabled of the City of Banja Luka has been planning to organize such a campaign for a long time, so we are very pleased that Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina has joined with its partners and the EMPOWER project. at all levels in solving these problems “, said Rodoljub Janjić, one of the exhibitors on the topic from the public tribune and the president of the Association of Disabled Workers of the City of Banja Luka.

Through this campaign, we plan to acquaint society with the problems of persons with disabilities, but even after its completion to continue with persistent and patient dialogue to fight to resolve the issues raised in the campaign.

In our local community since 2005, we operate under the name of the City Board of the Association of the Disabled of Banja Luka and for ten years on the occasion of the Day of the Disabled we organize sports meetings for people with disabilities, where this year campaign activities.

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“Sports Weekend” 2021

The XVI International Bowling Tournament for the Blind and Visually Impaired was held at the Laush Bowling Alley on September 15, as part of the “Sports Weekend of Sports” 2021 sports event, which was declared an event of interest to the city and supported by the Assembly’s decision with 2,850.00 KM. Five teams from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the competition with thirty players in the men’s and women’s competition. In addition to the City Administration of the City of Banja Luka, the realization of the event was also supported by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports of the Government of the Republic of Srpska. In the presence of the competitor and colleague Dejan Travar, the event was officially opened and the advisor to the Mayor of Banja Luka, Mirna Savić Banjac, addressed the occasion.

The team winners are bowlers from the bowling club ŠUS “Svijetlost” from Osijek, and Radomir Radanović and Hanka Čaldarević from Banja Luka individually stood out as champions in the category of completely blind competitors.

In their free time, the guests visited the cultural and historical contents and catering facilities of the city, so this sporting event has its own tourist note.

Braille alphabet letters, vector illustration. Tactile writing system used by people who are blind or visually impaired.

World Braille Day

January 4, 2021 is World Braille Day. In 2018, the UN General Assembly officially designated World Braille Day as a day to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of human rights for blind or partially sighted people. World Braille Day marks the birthday of Louis Braille, born in France in 1809, who is credited with creating Braille, a widely used touch-reading and writing system for the blind. This is a special code made of 6 raised points on the grid. There are 63 combinations of these points, which means they can be translated into many languages, including music. Braille is essential for the literacy and lifelong learning of the blind, their freedom of expression and opinion, and social inclusion. This is in line with Articles 21 and 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which focuses on inclusive and equitable quality of education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. Celebrating World Braille Day, the World Union of the Blind calls on all countries to ratify and implement the Marrakesh Agreement, which allows the distribution of Braille and other accessible reading material without the threat of copyright infringement. This is a great way to ensure that Braille remains relevant with new technology. This is especially important given that in less developed countries, Braille production is expensive, which limits the availability of reading materials for the blind. Moreover, as the world struggles to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, access to information and reading material in accessible formats is essential for blind and partially sighted people. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to invite governments, policy makers and all other stakeholders to ensure that reading materials are available in accessible formats, including Braille, so that no one is left out.

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Training was held at the Braille Resource Center

As part of the Braille Resource Center project, co-financed by the Government of Japan and the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Association of the Blind of Republika Srpska organized a training for operator administrators in handling Braille printers and Braille lines from December 10 to 12. . Instructor Jovica Radanović and coach Pavle Vučić, along with 10 candidates from local member organizations of the Federation, implemented a training program, introduced them to the use of Braille equipment with the use of licensed programs such as Duxbury and Jaws. In the following period, the candidates will train five candidates each with the help and support of a coach. Thus, as planned, in the next period, a total of 60 participants from the Republic of Srpska will complete the training. The recently opened Braille Resource Center is gradually being put into operation and made available to potential users.

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Meetings with local organizations in Trebinje and Sarajevo

On February 8 and 10, the President of the Association of the Blind of RS, Branko Suzić, visited the Sarajevo-Romania region and the Upper Podrinje and Eastern Herzegovina regions.

In the premises of the City Organization of the Blind and Visually Impaired in East Sarajevo, a meeting was organized with representatives of the Inter-Municipal Organization of the Blind in Foča and GOS I. Sarajevo. The second meeting was held at the Leotar Hotel in Trebinje with the participation of representatives of MOS Trebinje and MOS Bileća.

Consultative talks and information on the situation in local organizations and associations of the blind in both regions were held at both meetings. Work plans for 2022 were discussed and priorities were determined. It was stated that local associations are not satisfied with the level of support from the majority of local communities and at the Republic level. Expectations were expressed that the status of local associations would be defined by a decision of the RS Government. It was pointed out that the pandemic significantly hindered the functioning and work of the Alliance and its members. Membership has been further passivated, and the work of organizations has been reduced and reduced to the minimum necessary. The organizations from Foča and Trebinje especially pointed out the problem of lack of financial resources to cover the basic costs of the work of the organizations. Expectations were expressed that through the amendments to the Rulebook on medical devices, access to orthopedic and typhlotechnical aids will be improved, procedures for exercising the right to them will be simplified, deadlines for use will be shortened, and the list of aids will be updated and expanded. Expectations were expressed that the amendments to the Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons will improve the conditions for stimulating employers in employing LSI, provide reserved jobs for LSI with severe disabilities and strengthen the Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons. Given that a significant number of members live on the edge of poverty, there is a need to ensure a minimum of social security for socially disadvantaged blind and partially sighted people by increasing the average social benefits and introducing subsidies and benefits that would partially improve living standards. The presence of journalists and correspondents of agencies and public RTV services, private and local electronic and written media was used at both meetings to invite representatives of local institutions and members to respond and support program and project activities of organizations of blind and partially sighted people from Sarajevo-Romania and East Herzegovina. The president of the Association and the leaders of local organizations, Jovica Mijatović, Dara Đajić, Milutin Manović and Dušan Babić, gave statements at short press conferences that were faithfully interpreted and published in electronic and print media.