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Beyond Barriers and Borders: first training in Warsaw


My name is Laurence Michel and I am 27 years old. I am from Belgium. I have participated in a lot of projects with Views International, mostly youth exchanges. This project “Beyond Barriers and Borders“ was very special for me, because it was the first project I participated in with my guide dog Luna. Besides, it was different from all the others I attended, because it was an intergenerational project, consisting of a training about new technologies and text comprehension (e.g. Braille).

The first training of this Erasmus+ project was in Warsaw and lasted 5 days. Participants came from Poland, Austria and Belgium. The project will continue with a training in Liège (November 2017) and another in Austria (March 2018).

I think that this training's programme was well balanced between the training itself and the cultural visits. My favourite one was the visit to the National Museum, adapted for the blind and with a very good guide. Warsaw is an extremely interesting city, easy for disabled people. There are also a lot of parks, which was great considering the wonderful weather.

As for the training, I was delighted to discover new apps for household activities and for GPS navigation. Besides, I really I liked what they showed us about Braille, with tactile books and maps. In streets and parks there were a lot of tactile scale models, which was great for us visually impaired persons! And the guides had tactile maps for every visit, which was great too.

I was really glad to have the opportunity to practise my English. Luna helped me a lot to get in contact with the other participants, who were very friendly! The interpreters were extremely helpful as well!

All in all, I'd say that the hosting association did a very good job! For a first time, it was a real success! I'm really looking forward to seeing the very nice Belgian group in the following trainings. Luna, too, is eager to meet her friend Etna (the other guide dog attending the training) again soon.