Development of a support system for the visually impaired and launch of a social center service

Period: 01.03.-30.06.2013

Funded by: NGO Fund of the Estonian-Swiss Cooperation Program and Civil Society Foundation

Overall objective of the project:
Creating an environment for people with visual disabilities and improving access to services for them. This includes developing support system services and launching a social center.

Brief summary: 
The project will prepare a business plan for NEBA, which will outline the course of action for the coming years. The big part of the project is the financial analysis. It will give an overview of the resources available and needed to achieve important goals. The project will help to develop an action center for the visually impaired. The building owned by NEBA at Tondi street could house different organizations. By that, bringing together a number of services for the target group into one place. Launching activity center requires help of a Comprehensive Business Plan.

With the implementation of the business plan a lot of things happen at the same time and place. Various rehabilitation services, job counseling and retraining, leisure opportunities, access to information and experience counseling would become more accessible. NEBA would become an important center of competence. And this, both fot all Estonian people who suffers from vision problems as well as for specialists working on state and local government level.

Maximum Program of the Social Center for Visually Impaired People in Tallinn:

1. Social counseling;
2. Psychological counseling and group work;
3. Counseling for supporters and family members;
Customization of information materials. (volunteer readers and scanning service), customization of electronic information;
4. Using a custom Internet class (computers are equipped with a screen reader and magnifier);
5. computer service at home;
6. rental of audio and Braille books;
7. Adaptation courses for the recently sighted;
8. Language courses (Estonian, English, etc.);
9. Computer and IT technology training. Both in the center and via the Internet;
10. Introducing and teaching aids;
11. Consumer training (consumer rights, new products, how to find the product you want, etc.);
Circles and development activities
12. Braille (introducing Braille, developing Braille skills);
13. Handicraft and carpet weaving;
14. Creative activities: card making, braiding, painting, leather and paperwork;
15. Ceramics;
16. Table Tennis for the Blind - Showdown;
17. General training, aerobic training (cycling, running, rowing, etc.);
18. Chess and Checkers training;
19. Self Defense: Oriental Melee - Wing-Shun;
20. Yoga gymnastics (or other forms of co-ordination and flexibility);
21. Vocal Ensemble;
22. Other musical activities: soloists, instrumentalists, etc .;
23. Brass Band;
24. Party dance;
25. Example circle;
Health and other services
26. Discount massage services;
27. Haircut, manicure and pedicure;
28. Coffee corner with catering machines (water, coffee, sandwiches;)
Club activities
29. Celebrations of birthdays and birthdays;
30. Memory Game Club;
31. Literary circle;
32. Travel Club (Other countries and what and where);
Training and seminars
33. Training (open day) for social workers and students, doctors;
34. Rehabilitation training and seminars for those working in the field;
35. Advice on accessibility issues.

In addition to the regular activities mentioned above, the social center:
Hosts lectures on various topics.
Hosts excursions to museums and other places of interest (Celebration of International White Stick Day, etc.).

In the future, our Activity Center could become a role-model social center. For example the training sessionsa dn courses for professionals working with people with disabilities could be hosted in our premises.

Project activities, results:

* On March 26, we participated in the extended session of the Social Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu. We introduced the important support system for the visually impaired and the problems related to it;
* On April 5, we organized an information day at the NEBA, where we introduced the members of the Society to the development of the social center service. More we gathered new ideas for the preparation of a business plan for the support system for the visually impaired.
* On May 13, we made a visit to Tallinn City Center Mayor to introduce the services provided by the NEBA to visually impaired people and to explore further co-operation;
* On June 1, we presented the business plan of the social center service to the participants of the general meeting of NEBA and collected additional proposals;
* On June 4, representatives of the Tallinn City Government around the Roundtable and specialists from the Tallinn Social and Health Care Board gathered to discuss the development of services for the visually impaired. Representatives of the Rehabilitation Center for the Visually Impaired and the Estonian Society of Blind Masseurs were also involved. We discussed opportunities for co-operation in the creation of a social center to be created in the NEBA building at Tondi 8a and reviewed existing activities and services.
* On June 19, we visited other organizations for the visually impaired at the Ministry of Social Affairs to clarify the needs for developing services for the visually impaired. We talked about Protected workplace service centers and Activity Center service.
In addition to the team members, we were able to get all the advice from Marek Rannala and Inga Kärg. These consultants helped us out to put the whole concept into full-fledged the business plan.

Project budget: EUR 2863.80 incl. Financing by NFCS 2534.80