Minutes of the Scientific Conference: Sports and culture – means of social integration of deaf-blind people

Attachment 1 to the official report

The First European Festival of Specific Abilities of Persons with Deafblindness.
Varna, Bulgaria, September 1-9, 2008

Minutes of the Scientific Conference “Sports and culture – means of social integration of deaf-blind people”,
Varna, Bulgaria, 08.09.2008, 08.30-16.00:

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20 participants from 5 European countries, Bulgaria, Russia, Norway, Croatia and England were present.

Mr. Dimitar Parapanov, President of the National Association of the Deafblind in Bulgaria welcomed the participants.

Mr. Sergey Sirotkin, Russia, the president of European Deafblind Union, was the Chairman and Scientific Adviser for the conference.

The scientific conference, titled “Sports and culture – means for social integration of deafblind people” was held within the framework of the First European Festival of Specific Abilities of Deafblind People, Varna, Bulgaria, September 1-9, 2008.

Mr. Parapanov’s presentation with the same title as the Conference, concerned its main subject. He pointed out that both sports and culture are of great importance for physical and spiritual advance of the persons with deaf-blindness and their integration in society. Mr. Parapanov shared with the audience that Bulgarians are very experienced in the field of chess, general physical, track-and-field branches, and amateur art, because NADbB has organized a lot of competitions and concourses. According to Mr. Parapanov, each participant has the ability to express themselves while their entire or partial disability is always kept in mind.

The social adaptation of people with complex sight and hearing loss and the importance of culture were the main points of Mr. Sergey Sirotkin’s presentation.

The Secretary General of EDbU, Mr. Geir Jensen brought forward the leading part of sports as means of integration of persons with deafblindness into social life.

Speech-language therapy and phonetic rhythmic as a possibility for culture integration was the theme, written up by Ms. Mimi Avramova, speech-language therapist in of the National Rehabilitation Centre for persons with deafblindness, Helen Keller.

The importance of media was the subject of Nathalia Kremneva’s research. Mrs. Kremneva is an editor of “Sabesednik” magazine, published by people with both visual and hearing handicap.

Right after the discussion was over, participants suggested Sergey Sirotkin to publish a booklet, which would contain all reports presented at the conference and he gladly accepted. Mr. Sirotkin is going to write the preface and epilogue. He shall organize its publishing in 100 copies – a bilingual issue in both English and Russian.

Varna, Bulgaria, 08.09.2008

Dimitar Parapanov
President, NaDbB

Geir Jensen
President, FNDB
Keeper of the minutes