Our Work

The Situation

In the state of Ceará, there are 24,224 blind people (2010 census). They live mainly in urban settings, where most of the services for the blind are concentrated. In the state capital, there is a primary school, a support center for inclusive education, a Braille library and an association of the blind, but there are hardly any services are available in rural areas. As a consequence, rural blind people move to the city or resort to their comfort zone without perspectives for a productive future.

Often, problems for blind people start in their early childhood, especially in families and schools. In Brazil, children with disabilities attend mainstream schools. They are assisted by resource teachers who have the task to teach them necessary skills and methods. However, many resource teachers lack qualification, for example in Braille, so that blind children do not learn what they need for successful participation in regular classroom activities.

In Sobral, the city government has the goal to include children with disabilities in mainstream education. Most schools have a resource room and a special teacher to support students with disabilities. Currently, there are about 20 blind students enrolled in regular schools. Interviews with some students and their families showed that they do not have sufficient training in special techniques, such as Braille or independent mobility. There are reasons to assume that by far not all blind children go to school. In addition, many parents have low expectations of the capacities of their blind children, and therefore, tend to over-protect them.