An expert meeting with the topic “Accessible Communications” which was organized by “Heror Media Pont” was held in Novi Sad on 26th October. The meeting was opened by Tamara Vlaškalin, counselor in the Commissioner’s Office for the Protection of Equality and on that occasion empowered citizens to report discrimination, because they do not only help to themselves, but also to a large number of other people who face similar life situations.
Marija Vrebalov, consultant for accessible comunications, gave an introductory lecture on accessible communications. She pointed out the importance of a social approach which recognizes the wide variety of functional needs and the recommendation of a systemic approach to communications through universal design. The ‘design for all’ thus allowing accessibility of services, information, education, goods and architectural accessibility to all people without discrimination.
Marta Varju, editor in chief of hungarian daily newspaper Magyar Szó, expressed her readiness to improve the accessibility of information to the media in a minority language that she is leading.
Tatjana Stojšić Petković, a psychologist, warned that there is still a separation of persons with disabilities and persons without any physical or mental disability in the society. She also said that the lack of compassion for each other is largely present. She also expressed willingness to engage in activities that the Accessible comunication’s platform dealing with the intends to deal with accessible communications.
Anđelka Ružin, secretary of the Association of blind and visually impaired people in Vojvodina, presented the significance of the Alliance that has exists for 70 years and emphasized the importance of systemic approach when it comes to stable financing of this civil society organization. It is very important that in the Strategy on Information, the information of blind and visually impaired people is equally included. There is a need for rehabilitation centers that will prepare people who have been visually impaired during their lifetime to help them overcome new life circumstances.
Jadranka Raletić, a representative of the Alliance of Deaf and Hard of the Voice of Vojvodina, which has been working continuously for over 70 years, through her presentation, provided information that the number of people in Vojvodina with some degree of hearing loss was around 30,000 and it was noted that only RTV Vojvodina and RTV Becej have news in sign language.
Dr. Mirjana Kovačević, PR of Foundation Novi Sad ECC 2021 agreed that raising awareness can only be achieved by system solutions and that the city of Novi Sad with the title of European Capital of Culture in 2021 has the chance to become a white flag city, which means it is absolutely accessible for all people without discrimination.
Natasa Heror, as a CEO of Heror Media Pont, stressed the importance of linking two social groups: national communities and people with disabilities through their work together to improve the visibility and presence of both social groups in public dialogue.
The conclusions and recommendations from this meeting are that the system must recognize the sign language as the mother tongue and to introduce the sign language into the education system, and that the role of national, local and minority media as the main actors in spreading the idea of affordable communication is crucial because the media are that meeting point that can communicate society progress as a whole.
Sponsor of the event were the Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad, supported by Foundation Novi Sad EPC 2021, sponsor of NLB Bank and friends Strauss Adriatic and Minaqua.