Since 1946, the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece offers a big hug to all adults with visual impairments.
The Lighthouse is a non-profit organisation, specially recognised as philanthropic, supervised by the Ministry of Labour and sponsored by the State through the Region of Attica. All social activities of the Lighthouse are offered free of charge (social service, computer classes, pottery classes, language lessons, talking book library, Braille book library, Braille courses for the blind, gym etc), yet many are the moments of recreation and socialisation (woven, macrame, theatrical groups etc.). More details on the provided services are listed hereafter:
- The Social Services Department aims to provide a set of support services (accompanying-advisory) to visually impaired people (newly blind or not) to ensure personal progress and welfare.
- The Braille Lending Library contains old and rare books in Braille print and copies of all the printing activity of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. There are also writings of ancient writers, scientific, literary, music, foreign languages etc. All scientific and literary books can be borrowed from the blind in Greece, Cyprus and the Greek Diaspora of America and Australia. It is the Only Historical Braille Library in Greece, containing over 3,500 titles and daily enriched with new titles.
- The Braille Printing Center produces Greek and Foreign Literature Books, Children books, Educational Books of all Grades, Foreign Language Books, Music and Byzantine Music Books as well as Books for the Universities such as Laws, Codes, etc. Apart from the Books, there are four monthly magazines in Braille also printed: a various content magazine, a children magazine, a magazine with Health articles and one magazine with articles for the blind. The magazines are distributed all over Greece and Cyprus.
- The Talking Books Lending Library has more than 3000 titles available in digital format, of both Greek and Foreign Literature. It covers the daily needs of blind students or readers in notes etc.
- Additional services include gymnastics, dances courses, and theatre, ceramics and sculpture, as well as macramé workshops.
For more information please visit the website of the organization:
Tactual Museum was founded in 1984 to give visually impaired people the opportunity to come in touch with ancient Greek Culture. At the same time, it was realized that the ability to touch and feel the exhibits was an excellent new way of approaching the ancient Greek civilization not only for blind, but for sighted people, too. It is one of 4-5 Museums of its kind in the world. In 1988, the museum was chosen among 70 European museums to receive the "Museum of the year" Award. The main difference between the Tactual Museum and other Museums is the opportunity for all visitors to touch all the Exhibits which are copies of the originals displayed in other Greek museums.
Role of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece in the MANTO project
The Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece provides important social offerings to people with visual impairments in Greece, Cyprus and in the Greek Diaspora worldwide. It offers a pivotal support to the blind and visually impaired towards professional acceleration, education, entertainment, social inclusion and quality of living. It contributes detailed blind and visually impaired user requirements to the MANTO project towards the implementation and validation of state-of-the-art reliable outdoor and indoor blind navigation applications, including access to its premises and the Tactual Museum during project development and validation. Furthermore, it contributes the specialized user requirement analysis for autonomous blind navigation in a tactual museum using a smartphone, so that a blind and visually impaired person can meet and feel the ancient Greek culture through a pleasant interactive cultural experience. Moreover, it aims at gaining significant expertise in the design and validation of smart guidance solutions for Greek museums addressing the blind and visually impaired, as well as towards training of museums’ personnel in the reception and guidance of blind and visually impaired visitors. The Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece is always keen on contributing efforts towards the availability of innovative accessibility applications which can improve the quality of living of blinds and visually impaired in Greece and all over the world.