The Museum of Special Education in Levoča presents an original exhibition. It dedicates to the largest production cooperative in the region.
The production cooperative offered job opportunities for people who were blind and for partially sighted people. People with disabilities could find a job and find self-realization in the production cooperative. The largest production cooperative in the Spiš region is now a thing of the past in its significant form. However, an exhibition at the Museum of Special Education in Levoča reminds it.
Levoča is rightly considered the center of partially sighted people and people who are blind in Slovakia. The former production cooperative (called OBZOR) was of great help caring for people with health disabilities.
“The cooperative was established to give priority to employing people with altered working ability, e.g., people who are blind and partially sighted people. People produced upholstery, basketry products, and brushes here. Cooperation work functioned there, too. The Levoča cooperative employed up to 364 workers during the period of its highest prosperity. In 1982, a comprehensive investment plan was introduced. It aimed, in addition to workspaces, to build the entire complex. The complex could contain work and social centres for people who were blind and for partially sighted people. The center was to include, among other things, an indoor pool, gym, outdoor sports ground, kindergarten and nursery, accommodation facilities, cultural and social center, library, indoor pedestrian roads and more, ” Michaela Tomčofčíková, the curator of the exhibition explains the history.
The former OBZOR ceased to exist; moreover, in 2000 it was replaced by UNIVERSAL, a production cooperative for people with health disabilities. Another production cooperative, UNIVERSAL, was established in 2005. There was a production cooperative for people who were blind. Today, both of these cooperatives operate. They situate in the building of the former OBZOR.
The aim of the exhibition Production Cooperative OBZOR (1965 – 2000) is to document the development of the largest production cooperative in the region. Chronologically organize the most important events and collect three-dimensional material. The exhibition runs until February 15, 2019.
Visitors who are blind can also get acquainted with the exhibition. An audio guide is available for them. There is an oversize floor plan of the project of completion work and social center as a part of the exposition.