“Theatre without Obstacles” is a project the Association XY implements in partnership with Municipality Centar, association Novis and Chamber Theatre 55 in the scope of #ReLOaD programme, which contributes to creating an environment for a safe, healthy and creative living with a high level of social inclusion of blind and partially sighted residents in Municipality Centar. Namely, thanks to the support of the European Union and UNDP in BiH, the Chamber Theatre 55 repertoire will apply audio description during the performance of plays. Audio description in the theatre means adapting the content of the production for the purpose of experiencing the play in the best possible way and creating equal conditions for following the story like the rest of the audience have.
A member of the Association of the Blind of Canton Sarajevo, Senija Okić, points out that she, as well as other blind people, has gone to the theatre despite all the difficulties and was often not aware of what was going on stage. Now, she says, scenes are described to her via headphones and she can enjoy the play. She notes this is one of the first major projects intended for her population. “I feel like everything is so well adapted that it seems like my eyesight is coming back,” said Okić.
Other persons who spoke about the significance of the project included Representative of Municipality Centar Jasmina Fazlić, Director of Association XY Emina Osmanagić, EU Delegation Programme Manager Vladimir Pandurević and ReLOaD Project Manager for BiH Sanja Bokun. They stressed the importance of connections between local communities and NGOs as a form of support to this and similar projects.
The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans – ReLOaD is a programme of the European Union and UNDP, whose activities focus on strengthening the cooperation between local authorities and civil society organisations. The total budget of the project is EUR 10 million, out of which EUR 8.5 million is funded by the European Union and the remaining EUR 1.5 million will be co-funded by the UNDP and local governments involved in ReLOaD. A total of 200 small projects planned in accordance with local priorities will be carried out within the programme. These projects are implemented by civil society organisations in cooperation with local governments in around 50 towns and municipalities in six Western Balkan countries.