The project is “Center for Mutual Assistance, Integration and Support”

From January 1, 2013, the National Rehabilitation for the Blind Center starts working on a new project, under the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” – the Commitment programme, with Agency for Social Assistance under the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy as a negotiating body. The project is named “Center for Mutual Assistance, Integration and Support” – MAIS Center - Plovdiv, but part of its activities will be accomplished in Sofia.

All activities of the MAIS Center are directed to fulfill the programme’s goals, which include prevention of social exclusion of people in disadvantaged position.

The MAIS Center will offer a great variety of activities to stimulate the active participation of visually impaired people in society. The project ranges over not one or two regions only, as its essential part is addressed to all people with impaired vision, who can use a computer and Internet – about 2300 visually impaired people in the country. For them, an Internet web for mutual help, discussions and professional advice will be created under the project. People, dealing with a problem will get an access to a useful experience, information and answers to a certain question.

Main activities under the project include:

  • Creating an Internet web for mutual assistance, information and consulting – an online forum “Ask the professional”, and holding an information campaign “Preserve your sight”;

  • Launching an information campaign “Children with impaired sight – how to communicate with them”’;

  • Holding thematic workshops and conferences with the participation of Dr. Ernst Muldashev’s team of professionals;

  •  Assisting the integrated education of children with visual disability and cooperation with resource centers and schools;

  • Assisting the integration of visually impaired adults– cooperation with Labor Offices, employers and social services;

  • Organizing trainings, aiming at enhancing the personal potential of people with visual impairments – job mediation, motivation training, language competence, physical culture; work and art therapy; cooperation with families of visually impaired people.

The project is addressed to people with impaired sight from the whole country – representatives of different communities; visually impaired people from Plovdiv and Sofia in need of social integration; visually impaired people from Plovdiv and Sofia in an active search for a job; integrated students and their families from Plovdiv and Sofia.

The project MAIS Center is meant to support the social integration of people with visual impairments. Those include people at economically active age – through enhancing their capabilities for a successful realization at the labour market; and also children and young people, part of integrated education. The accomplishment of this project will be a significant step in diminishing discrimination of visually impaired people in their social integration on the basis of disabilities