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Please scroll down the page to read about people's experience of the INTERGEN workshops.

Photograph showing JuttaJutta is a 60 year old German woman. She attended the workshop held in Hannover on 25 April 2009 and learnt how to use a DAISY player (Daisy is an accessible multimedia format).

"It is very important to me that generations keep in touch with one another and share their knowledge and skills. I have a Daisy player myself, but I was never able to handle it. For instance how to insert a bookmark, or how to navigate from one chapter to a sub chapter. And this is what I learnt today ! I enjoyed the way this young man taught me the basics. Young people and old people did have something to share. I think this is really worth it and it gave me an impulse to continue to talk and interact with young people in a relaxed manner. I am also really happy to be part of a European project. I never expected this would happen to me, I was invited to attend and contribute and I really feel that I am a part of it all now".

 

Photograph showing FrancescoFrancesco is a 29 year old blind man from Italy. He participated in the workshop held in Rome on 5-6 June 2009.

I came here because I wanted to know new things and learn from other people’s experiences. I also wanted to show people what I achieved as a radar system analyst to let them know that visually impaired people can also have a successful career in “unconventional” fields such as engineering. I taught advanced mobile phone functions to two participants who already knew about basic functions. They are defined as “elderly” but in reality they are just “less young” persons ! I taught them about blue-tooth, file and folder management and such things. And I learned something curious : how to make paper boats. I learned this from a person who is already a grandparent. I will maybe take advantage of this knowledge with my grandchildren, or my children to begin with, of course. I liked that people were here to tell their experiences and were interested in learning from the experiences of others. It is not always easy to communicate at such level.

One Year Later...Francesco speaks about his memories of the workshop and its effect on him.

I learned  from people older than me how to cope with housework in everyday life.The impact of what I learned is not clearly perceptible for me yet, because I live with my parents, but at the end of this year I’m going to go to live alone and certainly  I will take advantage of all that I learned. I explained to older participants how to take advantage of a number of advanced functions of ordinary mobile phones (Bluetooth), how to transfer files, etc.
Certainly I would participate again, but I would like the next initiative to include more international elements, by organising meetings with people from other countries. Understanding how people from other countries cope with everyday problems has an educational value as well as knowing the various technology items or solutions that could be useful to tackle the problems we face in Italy and to which we have not found a solution yet.

  
 

Photograph showing ŞuleŞule is a Turkish education professional and a member of the Turkish Blind Union. She coordinated the workshops in Ankara.

I chose the topics after researching the needs of workshop participants, then I chose the facilitators. What was important to me was to concentrate on experiences and sharing. Today we had a workshop about housekeeping and raising a child. I was very happy that young men participated to this workshop because housekeeping and child care are often understood as women’s work in our society. It was great to hear their views and questions. Young people and older people have different experiences to share and it is easier to learn when it is interactive. The European dimension of the project appealed to me because I am interested in the experiences of blind people in other countries. Some experiences and problems change from country to country, but we also have universal problems as blind people.

 

Photograph showing FrancescoFrancesco is a 75 year old Italian man with low vision. He participated in the workshop held in Naples on 12-13 June 2009.

I have been severely partially sighted for 4 or 5 years now, but my sight is now rapidly deteriorating. At the workshop I had the opportunity to look at a number of aids for the blind which will be helpful, but establishing human relations was the most important thing to me.  The fact that we met and spent time together was an encouragement to everyone. I would not say that I taught something, I am not so ambitious ! But I could say that I transferred some of my experiences and I think that we all learnt something from each other today. I am proud to be a part of a European project, I am not sure I deserve such honour. The workshop was a very good initiative and I hope it is only the beginning. I hope that there will be more events like this in future !

One Year Later...Francesco speaks about his memories of the workshop and its effect on him.

I think that this experience was very important for me. I learnt to solve problems in a rational way.I shared with my partners the knowledge on aids for the blind and orientation and mobility, they are now my friends.

 

Photograph showing AylnAyln is a 46 year old Turkish woman. She attended a workshop held in Ankara on 16 May 2009 and learnt about easy cooking routines.

The best thing for me was the practical aspect. I learned many tips for cooking which will really help me. And I shared my experience of raising a child with others. Over the years I learned that sometimes what the doctor say does not work for us. Also doctor’s instructions can change over time. So it is important to believe in ourselves and in what we do. I enjoy having interactions with people of different ages. I also enjoy interactions with blind people : now that I have low vision, I think I have a lot to learn from them.

 

Photograph showing FiladelfioFiladelfio is a 55 year old partially sighted Italian man. He participated in the workshop held in Catania on 19-20 June 2009.

I learned about the great opportunities offered by technology that we can take advantage of to overcome many obstacles that seemed insurmountable in the past and I received support from others. I would not say that the workshop changed my conception of intergenerational dialogue, but it contributed to expand it. I work in the educational field where  intergenerational dialogue is ongoing between teachers and students. People in my age group can benefit from listening to the new generations, and this is returned to the younger generations by sharing the knowledge of our past experiences with them. Being involved in the process of creating a model of intergenerational learning is an extremely positive experience. It shows the younger generations that even though we are 30 or 40 years older than them, we also need to learn. The positive message is that you will never stop learning in your life.

One Year Later...Filadelfio speaks about his memories of the workshop and its effect on him.
I remember in particular the presentation of the DAISY player, I found this device very interesting because it allows access to a lot of information both in the cultural field and for everyday life. I teach physiotherapy at a vocational training school for the blind where I have 18 - 20 year old students who became blind  as a consequence of accidents or illnesses. I help them in that difficult time of their life when they have to find a way to feel that they can be active persons again. For their work integration and for their personal development, access to information is fundamental and if Braille is difficult, then a DAISY player can help a lot. I frequently tell my students that their sources of information should be multiple and that they should always have access to various information channels, more sources more opinions.
It is important the young generation learn how we got to today’s society.
I think it could be interesting to set up groups to test new products. They should be mixed groups with all categories represented (men, women, blind, partially sighted). These people should test the product for a month and then meet to share their experience with the device. It was a project with positive results. The idea of exchanging experiences between generations was good. Intergenerational dialogue is very important. Also associative life is important for both elderly and young people.

 

Marco is a 32 year old German man. He participated in the workshop held in Hannover on 25 April 2009, now, one year later, he reflects on his experience and the long-term benefits.

I have many happy memories from this series of workshops. I taught a number of elderly people how to use DAISY and write DAISY notes and encourage them to learn more, I was also happy to learn something useful myself. For instance, I never before had tried to peel asparagus but left that rather to my mother. Well, at this workshop I learnt how to do it, even with a knife.I think there is a real added value in it.  I moved out from my parents’ house just a couple of weeks ago. So I must be able now to provide for myself now, cook my own dinner and so on.  While I am a far cry from being perfect, this workshop has provided me with the motivation to become more independent. It may have started just with peeling asparagus and weighing quantities of foods, but there is more to learn. I met an elderly lady at the workshop and she comes round to my place once in a while to help me with this.
I think this international project is a remarkable one and I enjoyed and feel very privileged in taking part. I do very much hope the INTERGEN project will be continued. Also I am looking forward to receiving information about the results.

Ülkü is a 56 year old Turkish woman. She participated in the workshop held in Istanbul in 2009.

First, I am so happy that I took part in such a good activity. I shared with my friends how to grill meat balls. They repeated it and this made me feel very happy, I learnt about the devices for blind people thanks to my friends in the workshop. The most interesting of them was the luggage finder comprised of two components, one in your hand and the other in the luggage. I learnt how to use computer here. Now I can reach any people I want. I can contact my daughter. I have new friends. I contacted my blind friends in an easier way.
 
I am not blind from my birth, I became blind after. I had to improve myself as I had to take care of my husband and my daughter. One of my major problems was how to put oil in the meal. It was very difficult for me as there was no one around. I had to do it by myself. There was a mayonnaise bottle. This was with a mechanism with a pushing item on the bottom. I discovered this. Only pushing once, I was able to put the necessary oil for the meal. I could also find similar gadgets like a small water pump.  I was easily putting the oil without spilling, without controlling with your fingers and the amount was enough.  I found it by myself. I shared it with my friends. They were very happy to learn about it and they told us that they will put the oil in this way while cooking.

I am very happy to share with others what I know.
I also mentioned about how to peel fruits. One can easily develop some method by him/herself. For me, peeling fruits is very easy but I had friends who did not know about it.  We showed with one to one exercises how to take the knife, how to follow the knife with your fingers, how to clean it from grains. Today I learnt from them that they can know do it by themselves at home and I am so happy to hear about it.