Established on April 1, 1961 as a branch of the Romanian Association of the Blind, the Brasov Association of the Blind is a non-governmental organization of public utility, with social-cultural, educational, sportive and humanitarian profile, based mainly on volunteering. Its work is carried out with the support of local and central authorities. Always promoting the principles of total freedom and democracy, the Brasov Association of the Blind acts for the integration of visually impaired people in the economic, social-professional, cultural-artistic and sportive life of the county.

Any member can be elected in the association’s governing bodies and functions, both at branch and national level. All members have the right to vote at these elections. This way the members can influence directly or through their elected representatives the actions and policies which will determine their fate, having in the same time the opportunity to belong to the country's only organization of its kind, an organization with over 81,000 members, managed by blind people for the blind people.

President Virgil Lazar in front of the branch's head office

The branch has three main categories of current activities for the benefit of its members, as follows:

The branch established Romania's first internet cafe for visually impaired people
  • Support activities – assistance and representation services, support for the acquisition of specific goods, professional improvement and reorientation courses;

  • Socialization activities – general knowledge, literary and sport competitions, meetings, social events, festivities, trips and experience sharing, all organized either by the branch or with its support;

  • Activities designed to provide access to information – free access to the branch’s library and internet café, procurement of publications adapted for the visually impaired people at minimal prices.

You can find below more details about each category of activities.

For other information and membership please get in touch with the branch using the contact information provided in the header of this page.

Support activities

The branch offers direct support, assistance and representation services for all its members, aiding them to obtain their legal rights, appropriate jobs, a better quality of life and the improvement of their social integration. It also contributes to the orientation of visually impaired children toward the special schools. Furthermore, the branch also provides, on request, psychological and legal counseling for its members and their families.

The members can acquire through the branch, at minimal prices, with no commercial fees and subsidized by the association, straight and folding white canes, talking watches and clocks, specially adapted chess and backgammon games. Also the branch assists its members in the procurement, installation and configuration of accessibility software for their personal computers.

At national level the association periodically organizes professional improvement and reorientation courses for the adult members, where the graduates can obtain nationwide acknowledged certificates. For the courses organized in other localities than the ones where the participants currently reside, the association provides board and lodging at minimal costs.

Socialization activities

Every year the association organizes general knowledge, literary and sport competitions. These are opened to all members, with no entrance fee.

The necessary bibliography to prepare for the general knowledge and literary competition is provided freely by the association, on audio tape, CD and in electronic formats, as well as the equipment required for the participation in the sport championships.

The individual competitions are organized in three phases (branch, regional and national), while the team competitions have two phases (regional and national).

The association covers the preparation, travel, board and lodging expenses for all the participants, also providing important prizes for the winners, at every phase in every competition.

Volunteers and visually impaired children at the branch's 2005 Christmas Celebration

The list of events includes the “On the world meridians” and “Friends of the braille books” general knowledge competitions, a new cosmetics and fashion competition for visually impaired women, two annual literary competitions for visually impaired writers and the national chess and bowling championships. The best chess players have the opportunity to be selected for the prestigious national team, which obtained the 7th place at the last Olympics and 5th place at the last World Cup.

The branch members or groups of members can have free access to the branch’s Blind Clubs in Brasov and Fagaras, on request, for the organization of meetings and social events. Also the branch organizes trips and experience sharing activities with other branches, depending on the request received from the members and their interest, keeping the costs for the participants at a minimal level through negotiations with the suppliers and by subsidizing them from donations.

Christmas, Easter and Children Day celebrations are organized each year by the branch, both for the member children and the children of the members. These celebrations are organized with the help of volunteers, while the branch covers the cost of presents, meals and beverages with the support of its sponsors and donors.

Activities designed to provide access to information

The branch members have free access to its 1,200 volume audio and 600 volume braille libraries, both expanded continuously. The braille volumes and those recorded on audio tape can be borrowed by the members with no charge, while those recorded in CDs can be listened in the branch’s internet café also free of charge or copied for the interested members at a minimal fee.

The branch also intermediates the members access to the association’s and its partners’ publications, including the monthly audio magazines “Impact” and “Radar” available on CD in mp3 format and the “Our letter” magazine, which is published monthly in braille and quarterly in regular writing. All magazines are made available at minimal, subsidized costs.

The branch’s internet café, equipped with computers with the latest innovations in access technology to allow their operation by visually impaired people, offers to the members a free high speed connection to the World Wide Web and access to browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and internet phone services.