Impact of the conference on future developments
Solveig Sjostedt, Finland

(retired principal of the school of Swedish-speaking visually impaired in Helsinki, Finland)

Plenary session 4, Thursday 13 July 2000, 14.00 - 15.30

Dear Friends,

As I was asked to give my comments on this conference late yesterday evening, I have had the pleasure of participating in the conference as a "free spirit". I have enjoyed the deep thoughts of the key-note speaker, I have enjoyed the plenary sessions, gone from parallel session to parallel session only listening and admiring the work done in all European countries without a thought of having to discuss it later on.

And, like all of us, I was absolutely enchanted by the dance and music performance by the students of the schools for the visually impaired here in Poland. (Where did you hide the mannerisms???)

So now I have decided to draw a parallel between our work and their performance. I have been thinking how wonderful it would be if we, like the children and young performers, would have a chance to work together and form an orchestra of special education for the VI during a couple of years. With our Keynoter speaker Renate Walthes, and the Plenary speakers like
Grazyna Walczak, Eberhard Fuchs and Marianna Buultjens playing first violin, with the Early Intervention teams playing the piccolo flute, the people working with Multi-Handicapped playing the percussion instruments, Low Vision playing the base, Social Integration the cello and New Technology forming the trumpet section.

And the audience would form the most perfect choir where in turn people would come out and perform a beautiful solo. And the conductor of this wonderful performance would be our chairman Herman Gresnigt with Maria turning the sheets of music.

As many of you know I will retire from my post as the principal of the Swedish School for the Visually Impaired in Helsinki. This makes the rest of my life into a "tabula rasa", an unwritten sheet. I do, however, know that I can write five letters as a letterhead on this sheet. And the five letters are ICEVI.

Solveig Sjostedt
Skepparegatan 39 A3
00150 Helsingfors, Finland

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