Its impact on the initiatives of the Istituto F.Cavazza and the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted.
Alberto Borghi

The hope is that when these lines are read, they may resonate like an epitaph on the stone of memories of a natural phenomenon which we could have well done without: the SARS-Cov-2. Perhaps they will remain current in highlighting what has been and what could not have been, given the restrictions imposed by the "emergency" measures as well as by the rules of good hygiene regarding this new danger. The concept of social distancing, almost a contradiction in itself, will have for some time its consequences, which are not yet clear. If, on the one hand, self-care means moving away from the other, in the proper conduct prompted by any authority, whether moral, legal or spiritual; on the other hand, it means unwanted outcome, inevitable consequences of the spread of the virus since February 23, 2020. 

UICI campaign in favour of 5x1000 - communication poster

The interruption of our way of life has meant inconveniences and uncertainties for all. These feelings are common companions of people living with vision loss, even more affected by the measures that have necessarily been put in place in an attempt to ensure the availability of public services in the time of COVID-19. We only need to think about schools transformed into the immateriality of distance learning, with clear limitations imposed by the devices, which are not always ideal to ensure full learning by those who cannot rely on sight. But, aware of the absolute importance of teaching, both as a learning aid useful for continued schooling, and as an instrument somehow providing reassurance by confirming the presence of the more or less friendly teachers in one's lonely environment. The Istituto dei Ciechi F. Cavazza has made significant efforts and provided resources to maintain in place as long as possible the educational services and training supports which are an expression of its raison d'être. In compliance with the emergency measures, ensuring agile work for employees and collaborators, it has provided counselling in support of national teaching with particular attention to blind and visually impaired people, creating a special group of experts. As soon as it was possible, remote courses were reactivated and the course qualification exam for telephone operators took place in person, in compliance with the government's safety protocols. Starting from June 29th, the theoretical content of the new course for switchboard operators will begin, thanks to distance learning, until September, and the plan is to have practical content done in the classrooms on Via Castiglione (if conditions are favourable). 

Andrea Bocelli - concert

What Cavazza wanted was obtained through the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Impaired as the voice of blind citizens who had legitimate requests for Government and Parliament. This is how paragraph No. 2 was added to art. 9 of the Prime Ministerial Decree 17.5.2020, guaranteeing the right of a person who is not self-sufficient to be exempted from the obligation of distancing oneself one metre from their companion: a detail far from obvious but which would have resulted in really negative effects. Welfare structures were also reactivated, whose closure had had truly impacting consequences on users hoping for new special measures, as well as the extension of the right to leaves pursuant to Law No. 104/92 also in the months of May and June, with an increase in their number. UICI's commitment knows no bounds and, beginning with the most pressing needs of people living with vision loss, it aims to fill that sense of estrangement; it should be physical distancing and not social distancing. A request has also been made for the accessibility and usability by blind people of the signage about the obligation of maintaining a distance of one metre in public transport. It will also promote a culture of collaboration between blind and sighted citizens to ensure the respect of physical distancing without any further social gaps. Finally, UICI faced the COVID-19 difficulties "at home." Despite having to cancel the many initiatives taken, locally and nationally, to celebrate the centenary of its foundation (see the last issue of Vedere Oltre), it hopes to set dates in the summer and the fall, especially the concert by Andrea Bocelli in Genoa, and has reviewed the events that cannot be held in public, using virtual spaces and experiences. 

Previous | Next


Beyond Emergency

Current Events