Association for Intercultural Communication and Education for Blind People (Atrium e.V.)

National Network

Johanneshof 20a
35578 Wetzlar

0049 6441 20 49 347
Telephone (other)
0049 721 1328002
Mobile Phone
0049177 866 4473
Mobile Phone (other)
0049177 7423157
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. International/Cultural relations
General Information
The “Association for Intercultural Communication and Education for Blind People”, Atrium e.V., is a non-profit association with 11 members and one partner, the Adult Education Centre of Wetzlar. It was founded by Dr Ouertani who as a blind person had to struggle for his place in the Tunisian society. After spending the half of his life in Germany he has become acquainted with a democratic system which involves also disabled individuals. Against the background of these experiences he was decided to enable more people a self-determined life in his country of origin. Due to the fact, that in his opinion open-mindedness for other cultures is a precondition for civil society, the association offers beside education for blind also cross-cultural training, which encompasses workshops, educational journeys and youth exchanges. The association members are all volunteers. The only budgetary resources are an annual 30€ fee, the chair’s small funds and private donations.
Mission and Objectives

The association’s work is based on three pillars: education to blind people, political education and cross-cultural competencies. The first one’s mission is to help blind people to find their place in society, to help them to cope self-confidently with their duties and to give them prospects for a self-determined future and to integrate them into society. Moreover, political education is in the opinion of the chair Mr Ouertani, one of the most important pillars of a democratic society. Political education in combination with intercultural awareness lay the foundations for a-with regards to politics- open-minded civil society and offers the key for socio-economic progress. This should be achieved by debates on norms, ethics and world views and by training for intercultural interaction and communication in form of seminars, presentations, workshops and an exchange between Tunisia and Germany for young persons in particular to prevent future conflicts and establish a sound cooperation.

Main Projects / Activities

Education for blind people means we practice exceptional methods for training, like games and other practical approaches in groups which help blind people to manage their everyday life including shopping, chores, personal hygiene and leisure activities like sport and music. Therefore we convey skills like orientation, scan strategies, money identification, meal preparation and body care. Moreover the association offers vocational training as office worker and courses in all operating systems, touch typing, internet research, software tools, phonographs, the Braille-display and in “Job access with speech” a programme which enables blind persons to listen to their incoming written messages or to read them in braille. In the area of political education we host public debates and seminars concerning multiculturalism, religion, philosophy and the current state of politics. These two areas should also be treated under the umbrella of a huge intercultural meeting place in Kairouan, Tunisia which is still under development.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

We offer expert knowledge of the Muslim culture and are able to build bridges between Europe and the Middle East, in particular between Tunisia and Germany. Our staff -coming from various professional contexts - speaks several languages, in the first place Arabic, French and German and shows intercultural awareness and a capability of adapting to multicultural environments and new frameworks. We are looking forward to share this expertise with our German network-colleagues. Due to our experience in teamwork our work evinces a successful mediation aptitude and a high interest in an interpersonal exchange. We hope to find partners for cooperation and interdisciplinary approaches to actual topics and are willing to work on common conferences and presentations. Beside this we hope to arouse interest on the situation of disabled persons and foster their integration in the euro-Mediterranean policy. For conferences and meetings abroad we provide a huge working space in Tunisia.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

Our association wants to gain further insights into the proceedings of the European Union, especially in the Euromed region and the policy projects implemented there. Thus we see the ALF Network as a common denominator and as a meeting point, where we can contribute together with other organisations and their staff to overarching aims like enabling members of the civil society to participate in politics and thereby preventing and resolving conflict. The ALF offers us the possibility to communicate and to network with a community of like-minded people so that we can exchange our knowledge. Further the ALF provides the chance to learn from the experiences and difficulties of its (inter-)national member networks, so we can gather experiences on an (inter-)national level. Finally, being surrounded by fast-paced activities of politics and working at the core heart of Euro- Mediterranean politics and background debates would greatly benefit our professional future plans.

Contact (1) Full Name
Dr. Mustapha Ouertani
Head of the organisation
Dr. Mustapha Ouertani
Contact (2) Full Name
Katharina Sophia Burlafinger