The Cavazza to Come

A summary of the activities carried out in the past year by the Cavazza Institute in its various departments and a brief overview of the projects in the works. The underlying themes remain unchanged over time: autonomy and inclusion; creativity and work; imagination and knowledge; health and beauty.
Silvia Colombini

When a new year begins, we find ourselves looking forward to a future that we hope will be full of new events, experiences, emotions. To address it, it is best to plan activities that can make the days ahead full of possibilities and perspectives, days that can make us feel useful and giving meaning to our lives. Throughout 2022, Cavazza organized tactile exhibitions, barrier-free libraries, multisensory workshops for visually impaired children, vocational paths for communication workers, seminars on work and disability, summer sports camps, inclusive paths in nature and many other initiatives. The year 2023 will also be filled with activities. Among other things: SENSIlibri–Communicative Codes in Dialogue in Landscape 2023, curated by ReMida Bologna Terre d’Acqua with the collaboration of the Tolomeo Museum of the F. Cavazza Institute for the Blind and the Selvatica Cultural Association. Aimed at students from schools of all levels in the provinces of Bologna and Ravenna, SENSIlibri includes meetings aimed at young people, as well as citizens and families. It is designed for story sharing about the landscape around us. Participants will explore the many ways we tell a story: voices, words, bodies that exist in the places around us and that include us all. 

Presentazione di "Sensilibri"- Bologna

Moving from creativity to work, the 20-year collaboration between the Institute and the CTC (Bologna Chamber of Commerce Training Centre) was renewed. Training courses are planned with labour inclusion reinforced by certified skills at the forefront. The agreement was signed with the Emilia-Romagna Region to expand the organization of libraries and archives to catalogue the Institute’s own collection in its library and archives in order to reach a wider public and the regional library network with all the expertise in the field of aids for the blind which was acquired over time. The aim is to ensure that people living with vision loss are provided with all the tools needed to increase their autonomy and inclusion in society. We will also continue with the workshops of Bloom Again, a project for which we produced five training video tutorials for facilitators and educators who will take part in the next summer camps organized by the project partners. Given the success of last year’s edition, the Limitless workshops dedicated to blind and visually impaired adults over 65 will continue to be held to facilitate their access to digital resources and thus reduce their exclusion from social life, determined by age and physical condition. And given that technology and knowledge are increasingly at the centre of our lives, representing a fundamental and essential tool for inclusion in every professional and social context, workshops for the reconditioning of electronic equipment and in-depth training for reading and writing in Braille will also be in place in 2023. 

Donatella Bellini Presidente CTC e Elio De Leo Presidente dell'Istituto Cavazza - firma del patto di collaborazione, BolognaHelen Keller, the great American deaf-blind writer and activist, whose story inspired the Oscar-winning film The Miracle Worker, said that “we differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond all senses.” These inspiring words for us all are the basis for a vision of 2023 where energy and health are fundamental. The Amgo project for the prevention of amblyopia, which affects young children, and the courses in the Technology Help Centre will continue to train specialized professionals (orthoptists, ophthalmologists, psychologists, educators, pedagogues, therapists, typhlologists, orientation and mobility practitioners, opticians and others). These professionals will expand their knowledge to better assist visually impaired persons, each in their own capacity. Beauty is also at the forefront to relieve the burden of our days and enlighten our lives as beauty does not always lie in the eye of the beholder. This is demonstrated by the project for the development of artistic sensitivity for blind people in the darkroom using the technique of rayography (a term coined by the great Dadaist artist and photographer Man Ray). The project called Clear Room also allows the visually impaired to have an experience with photographic images, thus helping them to develop photographs along with their own artistic sensitivity. In the end, the goal is always centred on sensitivity. Not included in the five traditional senses, it allows all of them to be magnified. It is the capacity that every human being possesses to perceive within oneself the condition of the other, understanding the other. Sensitivity allows us not only to understand the nature, the feelings, the suffering of other people, but to also imagine ways of reaching out to help. Perhaps that is precisely the sixth sense that we can develop by listening to our heart. This heightened sensitivity will no doubt guide us through a new year filled with surprises.

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