THE PORTUGUESE association dedicated to helping the visually impaired, ACAPO, is donating a guide dog to a Portuguese teenager today(Friday) to mark the International Braille Day.
There are 45 million visually impaired people in the world, with 163,000 of them living in Portugal, and the donation of the guide dog is made under the campaign Touch & Act, which was launched in March last year as a partnership between Alain Mikli International and InstitutoOptico.
ACAPO vice-president Ana Sofia Antunes said: “This campaign has great merit since it demonstrates that not only the adults have the capacity to get a guide dog. At the moment in Portugal, the training is exclusively given to adults, since it is believed that teenagers haven’t got enough capacities to benefit from this kind of support.”
The teenager benefiting from this donation will be selected by ACAPO and a technical team from the Canadian Mira Inc Foundation will travel to Portugal to help with mobility issues and provide training in the use of a white cane, which is mandatory.
Providing a guide dog costs about 20,000 euros. This includes initial training for both the teenager and the dog plus travelling expenses and the follow-up of the training by therapists from Mira Inc. Foundation.
The campaign is being supported by a special line of frames and sunglasses from the Mikli Touch brand.
To know more about the Mira Inc. Foundation, please visit http://www.mira.ca/ (site available in English).
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