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SIAE Awards 2015
General construction company POMGRAD d.d. from Murska Sobota

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2006

Awards to individuals for outstanding achievements in lifelong learning 

Sonja Pungertnik from Ljubljana

Proposer: The Society of Catholic Teachers of Slovenia


Living with blindness as a creative challenge

Through her rich personal and professional life, Sonja Pungertnik proves that living with blindness is full not only of obstacles but also of positive challenges and opportunities for learning and creativity! The award-winner has been blind since birth. She accumulated knowledge away from home, and even after completing her secondary education she added to her qualifications by taking exams. She studied defectology at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana, graduating in 1999. As well as studying, she developed many other talents and took part in various activities in Ljubljana (the music/recital group Moment of Light (Trenutek svetlobe) at the Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted, in a local cultural society and in the Faith and Light (Vera in luč) movement). Since beginning employment she has founded a self-help group for the parents of blind and partially-sighted people, led a therapeutic group for people who have gone blind in later life, organised literacy courses for blind adults, prepares and hosts a regular radio programme about and for blind people on Radio Ognjišče, etc. Her own experience has convinced her that the best person to help or advise a person with a handicap is someone who shares a similar lot to the person who needs help. Sonja Pungertnik is an ever-cheerful wife and mother and a dedicated and innovative professional in the Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted of Slovenia, brimming with positive vital energy. Her good mood is contagious and for this reason she is a welcome figure in many specialist teams and in the self-help groups she leads. She is constantly undergoing additional training for the new tasks she takes on. No challenge is too much for her and she feels completely equal to sighted people. She is happy that technology has advanced to the point where it is much easier for her to familiarise herself with the material that she has to keep up with in order to be successful in her work.

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