This time we chose Liepāja to host the guides’ for their third training session – the city which has been acknowledged to be the most accessible tourism destination in Europe in 2013. Liepāja serves as a good example on how the city can be developed to be friendly for persons with disabilities and provide for accessible nature tourism prospects because of common efforts – the cooperation between non-governmental organisations, municipalities and entrepreneurs. Māris Ceirulis – the Head of Liepāja Society of the Blind – admits that the keyword to what has been achieved so far is common efforts. Improvement of accessibility is a continuous process, but it can only be achieved by involving the local municipalities and entrepreneurs and by enlighting the society – speaking of problems which disabled persons meet every day.
The thematic focus of the training session in Liepāja: nature interpretation to people with disabilities (movement, vision, speech, hearing and cognitive impairment). Over the three days’ session from 22 till 24 March the nature guides learned on how to build communication with  groups of disabled persons, listened to recommendations and conclusions provided by Liepāja Society of the Blind on introducing the universal design to make the urban environment and nature tourism accessible to all. As part of the practical workshops, the guides took part in two excursions lead by the training course participants – the guides of Liepāja city – Īrisa Otrupe and the blind guide Artūrs Līvmanis – in order to see what has been practically realised in the city in terms of accessibility – special adapted stands, signs, guiding lines and other objects. In addition, the guides learned on how to better work with mass media, how to attract the interest of journalists and promote the nature tourism.
The training is organised by Kurzeme Planning Region in cooperation with the “Nature Guides Association” under the Interreg V-A Latvia-Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 project No.LLI-010 “Nature Tourism for All” (UniGreen). The training runs from October 2017 till November 2018 and it provides for 6 training sessions. The next training session will take place on 10-12 May in Valdemārpils and it will focus on planning, organisation and hosting of nature events.
Information prepared by:
Alise Lūse
UniGreen Project Manager
Kurzeme Planning Region
Tel.: + 371 26567874,