Blind and Deaf Citizens Gain Access to Municipal Information for the First Time

There are over 240,000 persons in Tunisia with disabilities. In 2008, Tunisia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, requiring the State to provide public information in accessible formats. However, TADAEEM’s Annual Investment Plan (PAI) municipal awareness campaigns were not reaching all Tunisians until the implementation of two groundbreaking initiatives.

The project worked with local CSOs and disabled associations to make municipal plenary information accessible to blind and deaf citizens. More importantly, they were provided a means to read information first-hand and express their needs directly to local leaders. This inclusive and participatory approach will be replicated in future TADAEEM outreach activities.

Sign language for the deaf in Agareb

On November 25, 2018 in Agareb, twelve deaf persons participated in municipal plenary discussions with the aid of a sign language translator provided by the deaf association in Sfax. During the session, they were able to express their concerns regarding the accessibility of municipal services. This joint effort of local CSOs was facilitated by TADAEEM.

Outreach to the blind in Gabes

On November 26, 2018, the Mayor of Gabes distributed the first braille invitation to citizens during the Annual Investment Plan (PAI) awareness campaign at the Blind High School of Gabes. Later, braille awareness campaigns were launched at the Regional Union of the Blind with the participation of elected municipal counselors.

Mr Azer Ghnounou, a member of TADAEEM’s partner CSO “Soutcom”, translated the materials into braille. He said, “I am honored to participate in writing the first braille PAI materials in Tunisia. I will attend the PAI sessions to speak on behalf of visually impaired persons to defend their rights to an accessible municipality and better life conditions.”