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From Germany to Belgium, by Linda

Four months of EVS

Linda Hausmann aged 29 is doing her EVS in Liège Belgium. She is working at IRHOV an elementary school for children with visual or hearing impairment.

My name is Linda Hausmann and I come from Heidelberg Germany where I study to become a teacher for persons with visual impairment. Except German French is my second major. Since a while I was looking for a possibility to spend some time in a French speaking country. I heard about the possibility to do an adapted EVS for visually impaired persons in Liège Belgium from a German Association for Visually impaird persons. After having searched some information about the project I sent in my request and I got a positive answer. DBSV wich is my sending organisation in the same time helped me with all administration. After a certain time of preparation I was ready to start my EVS.

The first weeks were dedicated to mobility sessions (learn the most important routes). And daily living (learn the most useful daily living skills). It is the organisation Views International who takes in charge all the adaptations of the project. After those two weeks me and my guide dog started to work at the school.

At school I work mostly with a primary class. They are five students who are profoundly visually impaired. My main task is to show the students the assistive technologies. In this framework I teach mostly how to use the computer with a screen reader and a Braille display. I also teach a student to read and write in Braille. I organise other extracurricular activities as well like for example a dinner in the dark. This activity will help students to gain abilities to be more independent as blind. I appreciate that my colleagues trust me and thus let me take the initiative to organise by myself the activities. What I also like is that when I need help my colleagues are always available for me. My work offers me the possibility to gain experience in working with the visually impaired students and I am sure that I will take profit of this experience in my future professional life.

Here in Liège I live with two other visually impaired volunteers who come from Poland and Romania. This means that we have to organise our daily life using French. Once per week I take also French classes.

What I really like here in Belgium is that people are much more open towards people with an impairment. We can always ask for help because here to help is something usual.

To summarise I can say that I gained a lot of experience during my EVS and I would really recommend to everyone to make such an experience to spend some time abroad. In my opinion this experience is very useful for our life and our personality.