Fondazione Carisbo Delegation Visiting Cavazza

by the Editorial Staff

Reaffirming solidarity with the Institution and the collaboration to Project C.I.F.R.A.

On a rainy September morning, an official delegation from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Bologna visited our Institute. It was composed of Vice-President Hon. Virgiliangelo Marabini, Secretary General Chiara Segafredo, and the Secretary of the Commission for Social Interventions, Francesco Santini. Logo - Fondazione Carisbo
The goal of the visit was primarily to demonstrate a tangible sign of solidarity and an affectionate tribute to an Institute that, for 125 years now, has occupied a very important place among the city's greater institutions and, most of all, in the heart of the people of Bologna.
Secondly, the delegation wished to understand and receive a direct update on the implementation of the many activities carried out by Cavazza as far as Project C.I.F.R.A. is concerned
(Centre for Integration, Training, Rehabilitation, and Autonomy of Persons who are Blind and Visually Impaired). This project, in fact, was put together over five years ago under the initiative of Cavazza. It continues to grow and develop, thanks to the generous and outstanding contribution of Fondazione CARISBO. Logo - Istituto dei ciechi Francesco Cavazza
The eminent guests were welcomed in the Institute's lobby by President Pier Michele Borra, Director Mario Barbuto, Counsellor Ernesto Dini, who also holds the position of member of the college of orientation of the Fondazione, Management Secretary Maura De Angelis, and other collaborators. First stop of the visit: the Anteros Museum which holds masterpieces of paintings reproduced in relief, from the Mona Lisa to the Birth of Venus, The Sorrowing Mary Magdalen to the Saint George and the Dragon, among others. In the studio of Art History, museum coordinator Loretta Secchi explained that pictorial representation has always been difficult for those who do not see.
For a few years now, a group of researchers and art professionals has been attempting to stimulate and encourage blind persons' interest for paintings and education to images, guiding them in the tactile exploration of forms, perspectives, the thousand chromatic tones created through an appropriate modelling of the material used for the reproduction in raised lines and shapes (a face, colours in the sky, waves on the sea, etc.). Visitors showed inquisitiveness and interest for this new initiative which is particulary effective from the educational point of view, not only for people living with vision loss, but also for the increasing number of students visiting the museum.
The delegation went on to the classes where professional training courses take place: a few weeks ago, around twenty young people have begun a course for switchboard operation and those interested in call centres. Their teacher, Egidio Sosio, introduced his students and explained the course's curriculum. Hon. Marabini had a friendly chat with the students and urged them to study well in order to secure employment in the future.
Foto - Visita al Cavazza - Da sinistra: Maura De Angelis, Pier Michele Borra, Francesco Santini, Chiara Segafredo, Virgiliangelo Marabini, Ernesto Dini
Last stop of the visit: the
Technology Help Centre Augusto Romagnoli which represents, in a sense, the heart or the central focus of the Institute's activities. The Technology Help Centre holds all the educational and technological material that Cavazza develops and distributes in order to facilitate integration, training, rehabilitation and independence of blind people, from very young to older children, to teenagers, adults and older adults. The Technology Help Centre offers an opportunity to see and experiment with the educational material as well as the technology and computer science products: from old slates for writing Braille to geographical maps, from computers with the various aids allowing its use (Braille display and voice synthesis) to the CCTVs which allows persons with low vision to read enlarged regular print. The professionals working at the Technology Help Centre presented the use and operation of the various products. They also introduced the most recent realizations researched and developed by Cavazza's technicians and experts, for example, the application of special voice synthesis for Smartphones, the ultimate generation in mobile phones which can be used by people living with vision loss for surfing the Web, managing electronic mail, video texting, as well as newspaper, magazine and digital book reading, etc. or tools that allow orientation and mobility with a GPS system. Cavazza focuses largely on such leading-edge products and technologies as they increase access to information, communication, and culture and the enjoyment of free time.
The visit concluded with a cordial meeting between the representatives of the Foundation and the friends of Cavazza, during which the Hon. Marabini, after having expressed his intense satisfaction for the work
done with rare ability and commitment by the Institute,declared that the Foundation will continue to offer its solid and concrete support.