Chance for the Blind Foundation was founded in 1992 by blind people and their sighted friends. In its almost 30 years of activity, the Foundation has helped hundreds of blind and partially sighted people. The Foundation helps visually impaired people at every stage of their lives. Families with blind children, schoolchildren, students, adults and those who have only become visually impaired in their old age ask our Foundation for support and help. The most important mission of our organization is professional and social activation appropriate to the reality and requirements of the 21st century, which we call „modern rehabilitation”. After passing the stage of acceptance of one’s disability and learning the basic principles according to which people with visual impairments function, including orientation & mobility skills, we focus on training in the use of modern technology: telephones, computers, all kinds of applications of both software and devices, thanks to which blind people can be accepted as desired employees. We also focus on shaping an active approach to social life among our beneficiaries, promoting education and self-improvement, as well as the principles of civil society. Our mission is to show that a well-rehabilitated blind person is able to perform all social roles: to be a competent employee or businessman, a good parent, an active citizen.
The Foundation employs more than 40 employees, half of whom are visually impaired.
Activities and projects of the foundation
Every year the Foundation runs several or several dozen regional and national projects. The most important one is, the REHA FOR THE BLIND IN POLAND Conference, organized annually. In 2020, we organized the 18th edition of this event. The 15th Conference, combined with the celebration of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary in 2017, was attended by over three thousand people.
The REHA conference is the only event of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. It is a meeting place for the blind and visually impaired not only from Poland, but also from other countries, which we call East-West meetings. A space for exchange of experience, knowledge and practice in the field of rehabilitation of blind and partially sighted people, a debate on our rights and demands towards authorities and society, a meeting with the latest technological solutions from Poland and the world, and most importantly, an exchange of different points of view and inspiration for further work. The REHA conference is a meeting of professionals in the field of rehabilitation in the broad sense of this term, as well as blind and partially sighted people who want to be up to date with the newest technological solutions.
Some facts of the REHA Conference:
- 62 exhibitors from all over the world
- 22 countries represented at the conference
- 3000 guests
- More than 2 million people finding out about the campaign promoting the event
The REHA conference is a huge organizational, financial, content-related and marketing challenge, which we have been successfully managing for many years. Each REHA Conference is larger, more interesting, but also more professional.
The REHA Conference in 2020 was a 4-day event, in 2021 it will be the same. During these days we organize all the major activities (opening session, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, shows), as well as entertainment (in 2017 there was a concert of famous Polish artists for the several thousand participants; in 2018 a trip to the Society for the Care of the Blind in Laski, the most famous center for the blind and visually impaired in Poland), we also provide transport, accommodation and meals for our participants. In 2020, due to the pandemic, we organized an online broadcast of the conference. Thanks to this, many blind and partially sighted persons from all over the world were able to get to know about our work and mission. Not only were the lectures and discussion panels broadcasted to the world. They were also interpreted into 9 languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Romanian, and others.
Year by year, more and more institutions that offer us their financial and organizational support are interested in cooperation in organizing the Conference. We cooperate with the authorities of the Capital City of Warsaw, the authorities of the Mazovian Voivodship where the capital city is located. The Central Authorities support us by being part of the Honorary Committee, e.g. Mr. Paweł Wdówik, Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled Persons and through the honorary patronage of the wife of the President of Poland, Agata Kornhauser Duda. We also cooperate with scientific institutions and NGOs which have appropriate know-how in the field of medical, social and professional rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired, including orientation & mobility skills (Society for the Care of the Blind in Laski, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University). The Foundation is perceived as a reliable partner.