Integration through fencing
Fencing for the blind is suitable for both, children and adults as well as for men and women. This year we had the opportunity to implement activities with different groups, such as children with visual impairments and people with different disabilities and we saw that fencing is a sport that strengthens the individual and that is practiced with joy because it’s fun.
We want to promote group learning of fencing. We also intend to support and promote quality of life, equal opportunities, and integration and independence of the participants with blind or low vision. But we mainly focus our activity as an integration project. Our participants are Swedish and Non-Swedish sighted and blind or with low vision people. All of them practice fencing together and wear an eyeshade during training, this way they learn on equal terms. The use of the eyeshade also allows sighted participants become aware of what it feels like while they occupy the place of the ”other”, understand in practice what to lose vision means, and how to get oriented in space works for them, developing other senses such as hearing.
One of our goals in the longer term aims to establish â€œfencing for the blind and low visionâ€ in Sweden not only as a part of the rehabilitation usually offered to people with visual disabilities, but also as a recognized sport. And in that direction it is we are working. Four of our fencers are training to participate in a competition in Portugal.
Hereby we will continue to report on our achievements.
A description of the project
The project aims to support and promote measures for a better quality of life, equality of opportunities, inclusion and independence of the blind / visually impaired participants. As part of the learning group, the interested participants are encouraged to attend workshops to learn all the tasks and functions related to the project. The purpose of this is to train the target group so that participants can take over the project when funding ends.
Primarily the project focuses on the blind/visually impaired people. Through information meetings, we want to generate interest in fencing with the previously named group which includes adults and children. Secondly, the project considers relatives, rehabilitation staff, specialists in orientation and mobility, physical therapists, etc., as a secondary audience.
A participatory method is used in the project. By this we mean that the project’s target group has from the beginning guaranteed an active participation in the planning, project design, decision-making throughout the project, as well as in the evaluation and informative activities to disseminate the results.
In the long term the project aims to establish fencing for the blind in Sweden, not only as part of the rehabilitation of the visually impaired/blind, but also as a sport where they can compete in.
The project team of Fencing for the blind/visually impaired is supported by FÃ¤ktfÃ¶rbund Stockholm and different Stockholm’s clubs in the Stockholm area.
Syd i Fokus is a political and religious independent non-profit association working for the inclusion of people with various foreign backgrounds through culture and education. Syd i fokus is registered as an association (802441-5732) since 2008. Among its members are a number of visually impaired therefore it organizes popular educational activities (e.g. distance workshops) for the visually impaired.
LatiCe is a nonprofit association with org. nr.802440-4512 that since 2008 is conducting information activities and publishing a digital magazine (www.latice.org). One of LatiCeÂ´s area in their information work is about the disabled. LatiCe published a thematic publication on the subject and has sent aid to people with disabilities in developing countries.
As well as Syd i Fokus, LatiCe works with people education by, in a democratic way, support collective learning in group. In both associations there are members who fully understand the situation of people with disabilities, either because they themselves have a disability or they are related to political movements in behalf of the disabled and/or because they themselves are working as personal assistants or other healthcare professionals.