Premantura ERKS Summer Holiday Camp for the Blind Renovated

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, located a mere twelve kilometres from the popular Istrian city of Pula in the municipality of Premantura is the Educational-Rehabilitation Camp for the Blind – ERKS. Inclusion is an extremely important topic, and this renovated camp, owned by the Croatian Association of the Blind and managed by Tiflotehna, makes the thought a reality.

The project to increase the energy efficiency and accessibility of the Premantura ERKS facility for people with disabilities was co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. The total value of the project stands at 5.2 million kuna, with a grant of 3.4 million.

Greater accessibility

Today, the Premantura ERKS camp has everything on hand for a relaxing and carefree holiday for people with visual impairments, but also for members of their families and sighted friends. Everyone is welcome, and as the president of the Croatian Association of the Blind, Vojin Peric, points out, this is an environment that gives blind and partially sighted people the opportunity to be independent and still be safe.

“I’m really happy and proud that one job was completed that required so much effort, the effort of the people who wrote and implemented the project, along with the people in charge of building it all to work. This is a place which has different purposes such as a resort, a hostel, a camp, an educational and rehabilitation centre and the ability for people to enjoy socialising and their hobbies,” added Peric.

The Premantura ERKS project was implemented in 24 months in three different parts: construction and craft measures, electrical measures and mechanical measures. Great attention has been being paid to the facility’s environmental sustainability, and inside the building, on the floor and walls, there are tactile surfaces, guide lines and tactile markings for the blind and visually impaired which allow for better orientation and more independent movement. In addition, there are tactile orientation maps and evacuation plans in all rooms and corridors.

“The implementation of these measures achieves energy savings of 39.34 percent per year and a reduction in CO2 emissions by 6.03 t/year, which, in addition to energy-efficient business and ensuring complete accessibility for people with visual impairments, will mean a reduction in operating costs for the facility, which enables the extension of the summer season and the maintenance of an affordable price for blind and partially sighted people of a lower financial status,” said the head of the energy renovation project of the Premantura ERKS Hostel, Petar Glavas.

Research and recreation

However, not everything was wasted on just the interior and exterior, and much more thought was given to other areas too. It is in this manner that the resort offers the possibility of renting tandem bicycles, all with the desire to enable blind people to enjoy additional recreation and exploration of Premantura in a dynamic and active way with a seeing companion.

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