According to the website rynekzdrowia.pl, in 2015 there were 1.8 million people in Poland with vision impairment, and this number is increasing. When talking to musicians with visual impairment, and their families and teachers, we were told that sighted people are afraid to teach and employ people with visual impairment, and blind/visually impaired people and their carers are convinced that they cannot be given music lessons. There are no teaching aids that help with the process of learning to play an instrument for people with visual impairment. There is practically no sheet music in braille for a basic teaching level.
We want to break down barriers stopping the teaching of music, promote music among people with visual impairment, and make them fully-fledged members of the music community.
We will produce and make available to music schools and culture centers that employ music teachers 30 lectures and workshops (tyflopedagogy, braille notation, music psychology, and blind teachers’ proprietary projects) and use them to provide training for which a certificate is earned. We will organize training on braille music and meetings with blind musicians and students. We will regularly provide people with visual impairment with podcasts, and invite them to do music quizzes. We are also planning a public campaign to change the way people with vision impairment are perceived and to support teaching of music with no obstacles.
In the project, we will provide training for 100 music teachers to work with children and young people with visual impairment, and activate the blind music community and people close to them (200 people).
People with vision impairment and teachers at music schools and cultural centers from all over Poland will take part in the project. The partners, the Chance for the Blind Foundation and Edward Kowalik Music Association will assist us in reaching people with vision impairment and in producing and testing materials.