From August 4th to August 12th the Novi Sad School of Journalism and Center “Living Upright”, were hosts to Ms Rhonda Greenhaw, director of the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism at the Towson University from Maryland, USA. Her visit was a part of the professional exchange within the Empower Partnerships for Inclusive Communities Program administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
During the visit, meetings with the representatives of the Provincial Secretariat for Education, Administration and National Minorities and the Provincial Secretariat for Culture and Public Information were organized. On these meetings, it has once more been confirmed that Vojvodina is the region where coexistence of differences is traditionally fostered, but there are still a lot of difficulties and problems which need to be solved, and because of that, an agreement was reached on further cooperation between the Secretariats, Novi Sad School of Journalism and Center “Living Upright”.
In addition to meetings with the representatives of the provincial government, Ms. Greenhaw met with the project coordinators of the Novi Sad School of Journalism and the Centre “Living Upright” who informed her about the activities of these organizations, but she also had an opportunity to socialize and exchange experience with a group of parents of children with autism, a group of users of personal assistance service and with the group of training students who will work in a peer counseling service for children and youth with disabilities.
During the visit, representatives of all three partnering organizations, the Novi Sad School of Journalism, Centre “Living Upright” and Towson University, agreed that one of the main goals of their future cooperation should be the improvement the media image of persons with disabilities and development of their capacity for self-representation. In line with this, the first steps have been made. Meetings were organized with representatives of the media and guest appearances in the local media and the Radio Television of Vojvodina and Ms. Rhonda Greenhaw gave a lecture about self-advocacy of persons with disabilities.
Participation in this program was funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and managed by Mobility International USA (MIUSA). Neither of these organizations is responsible for the views expressed herein.