Last year, the Union of Visually Impaired and Purblind of Slovakia (UNSS) organised a nation-wide charitable public collection called The White Pencil, aimed at supporting programmes for visually impaired and purblind citizens. Its leitmotif is a white pencil as the symbol of a world of visually handicapped people. On September 26, at SNP Square in Bratislava, contests in walking with a white stick were organised. People could find out how the tools for the visually handicapped work, or they could learn a lot about the training of seeing-eye dogs, the Sme daily wrote.
More than 200 volunteers sold white pencils in the city centre; secondary school students, scouts, as well as people who registered due to the ad on the Union's website. Until the end of the year, in addition to buying the pencil, Slovaks could help and contribute in other ways. Moreover, a public fund-raising campaign took place in 105 towns around Slovakia. "We presented also special specs, simulating blindness," Timea Holková of the Union said. "This does not necessarily mean total darkness, but rather some kind of mist. Another tool helping the visually impaired is the Braille typing machine, or a special PC. As children training in Braille writing, they are better off than people who became blind as adults: They have to learn new common skills like getting dressed, cooking" UNSS website wrote.
28. Jan 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports