"Blind" children in Greece

Advice for the education of blind children

Under current legal regulations in Greece

"Blind is one who is devoid of any perception of light or whose visual acuity is less than one twentieth (1/20) of physiological standard, and whose visual acuity is not improved by corrective aids and their treatment is not possible with surgery ".

The first institution in Greece established to protect the blind was the "Blind House" in Kallithea, founded in 1906. Up until 1979, it was a charitable organization chaired by the Archbishop of Athens; but after strenuous efforts and hard struggles from the blind, in 1980 it was converted into a public government body and renamed CERB (Centre for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind).

The main purpose of CERB is to provide the best possible and most complete training and education of blind children and their smooth integration in society.


Advice for the education of blind children

(Information from brochure of Centre for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind to develop the skills of the blind child)

  • Teach them to walk alone, at the same age as you would a child with normal vision.
  • Let them gradually get to know every area throughout the house and teach your child to move in every space with ease. Train him to distinguish by touch the textures of objects (cloth, paper etc.), their size and weight.
  • Sensitise his hearing so that he recognizes sounds Eg. animal noises, bird calls, sounds of the city, the countryside, etc.
  • Let him get to know his body and teach him to dress and undress, put on his shoes, tie his shoe-laces, wash himself, etc.
  • Explain in detail how to correctly use a spoon, fork, eventually a knife, so he can eat unaided.
  • Monitor his posture carefully posture and demand he has the same posture as the sighted. Remember that you need to explain and to demonstrate the right way, since the blind child has no capability of observation and imitation. Do not allow him to make strange movements, because he is much more vulnerable to acquiring bad habits than others would be.
  • Be careful therefore, that he does not shake his head left-right, does not rock back and forth, does not stoop, sit curled up like a ball, lie across a desk or table and learn to turn and face whoever is speaking to him.
  • Motivate him to walk a lot. Sensory impairment predisposes him to occupy the same position without moving, or moving very slowly. Create the conditions that will allow him participation in team games or sports with other children who have visual impairment (dance, football, judo, swimming, horse riding).
  • His participation in housework is required. Motivate him from a very young age to store his personal belongings in drawers and shelves, to hang clothes on hangers in the wardrobe. Initially set out a space exclusively his own and demand he keeps it clean and tidy. As he gets older, the same care should be taken with the rest of the home.
  • Help develop hand skills with easy crafts, paper cutting, knitting, clay-plastecine, construction with building blocks.
  • Do not leave him in silence. Communicating with you is primarily through words. From your voice he will feel tenderness, affection and grief or anger. When he learns to speak, ask him about what he can hear and about his surroundings. Do not tire of replying to his questions.
  • Be careful with any discussions taking place in his presence. The blind child, in the absence of other data, focuses his attention on sounds and commits to memory far more than the sighted and this can become the subject of his thoughts for a long time.
  • It is important he is constantly kept occupied either in play or work.
  • Hone his memory. Growing up will need to use it a lot. Encourage him to narrate stories you had previously read to him.
  • The blind child is destined to live among the sighted. Prepare him well, so he is able to achieve as far as possible, equal treatment as those who are sighted so he does not feel any inferiority because of his lack of vision or its problems!