The Technical University of Moldova (UTM) has announced the DANOVA project – innovatory transport services for blind persons and persons with visual impairments from the Danube Region. This is described as a transnational cooperation project financed by the INTERREG Danube Transnational Program, which is one of the European Territorial Cooperation Programs financed by the EU. The goal of DANOVA is to improve accessibility for blind persons and persons with visual impairments in airports, ports, train and bus stations by developing a set of new services and skills so as to enable these persons to have full access to transport services and information.
In a news conference at IPN, project manager Ilie Bricicaru said that UTM undertook to implement this transfrontier project in the Republic of Moldova. “It is an important project for us as projects intended for persons with special needs have been implemented at social level, while on the technical side not much was done. We didn’t excel much in this area,” stated the manager.
There are nine main partners of the project, including the Technical University of Moldova, and four associated partners, including the Civil Aviation Authority. The budget totals over €2 million. Moldova’s contribution is over €90,000. UTM will contribute 15% of the sum.
“The relevance of the project is the infrastructure for blind persons and persons with visual impairments, with common facilities for all the countries in Europe, for a person to enjoy the same conditions, the same concessions in transport infrastructure. Initially, there will be carried out an assessment for the Chisinau International Airport. Later, the team of UTM aims to perform also other activities that will center on the dissemination of the audit results, to stage training seminars for personnel of the transport infrastructure of the airport, who need richer knowledge in the interaction with visually-impaired persons.
“It goes to a new concept of mobility in urban infrastructure so that the persons with special needs feel safe in the daily life,” stated Ilie Bricicaru.
There are over 30 million blind persons and persons with visual impairments in Europe. They cannot travel independently as more than 96% of the European transport system, especially in the Danube region, is not yet fully accessible to these persons.
The project will last until December 2022.