Union of the Blind of Vojvodina

The beginnings of the organization of the blind on the territory of Vojvodina are associated with the settlement of vision-impaired World War I veterans in Veternik, a suburban settlement of the city of Novi Sad, while the provincial association of the blind of Vojvodina was founded in 1949.

Union’s mission is to provide to its members all kinds of help to accomplish their interests and meet their needs, all with the aim of making the lives of blind and partially sighted people more meaningful, socially useful and worthy of human beings while overcoming the difficulties they are objectively exposed to. The office of the president of the Union of the Blind of Vojvodina is discharged by Velibor Pilic.

Within the Union of the Blind of Vojvodina, there is a library where blind people can satisfy their reading related needs, having at their disposal Braille books and CD audiobooks.

The Union was the founder of the first privately owned radio station in Novi Sad, “Pan radio”, which was also the first radio station in the Balkans founded by a disability organization. Its second work unit named “Louis Braille”, was a protective workshop, and its main goal was employment of the blind and their professional rehabilitation.

The origin of the Library dates back to 22 April 1979, when the then Provincial Conference of the Union of the Blind of Vojvodina issued a decision to set it up, in consideration of the fact that the blind and partially sighted have the same desires and need to read as other citizens. Today, the Library of the Union of the Blind of Vojvodina offers its readers over 5,500 titles, presented as Braille or audio books, comprising over 22,000 bibliographic units. The library also has a collection of audio books in the Hungarian language. Special attention is paid to younger readers, children and youth enrolled in the regular schools or special classes for the blind. Library services can be used by blind citizens of Vojvodina and other parts of Serbia, as well as by citizens of other countries who speak or understand the Serbian language.

In view of the increasing number of computer users among the visually impaired population, an online library was launched within the “Mr Omer Marinkov” Library, which enables its members to listen to Internet content. Also, a digital audio-reading room was launched, which provides readers the option to download selected books to external memory devices.

Over the past seven decades, the number of local organizations within the Union has varied, and today the Union has 3,500 members gathered in 13 local associations that, with the support of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs – Department for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, organize cultural, sports and educational activities, provide technical aids to the blind, teach braille to persons who became blind later, deliver to the blind and partially sighted computer, spatial orientation and independent movement trainings, and implement other activities aimed at improving the social and economic position and social security of the blind.

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