Remembering Vasile Adamescu

3 December 2022

Vasile Adamescu sat at a table

Happy International Day of Persons with Disabilities!

Our colleagues in Romania are hosting a memorial in celebration of Vasile Adamescu this Tuesday 6th December.

Vasile Adamescu was a teacher and advocate for persons with deafblindness in Romania.

At age two he lost his sight and hearing after contracting meningitis. He received no schooling until age eleven, when his father brought him to the School for the Blind in Cluj.

“One day, while I was studying, it occurred to my teacher to teach me the letter F. She lit a match and handed it to me to make me understand that F is the first letter of the word fire. I got scared and dropped the match over the old carpets in the museum. I knew the idea of fire, but I didn’t know what word it was associated with. A story came to my mind from Borcea, my native village, when by mistake I set fire to the stable.

This was when I began to understand that every object has a name. From now on I was curious to know the name of each object around me.”

Vasile Adamescu

After this, Adamescu was committed to pursuing education, he graduated from Babeș-Bolyai University with almost full marks. Adamescu returned as a teacher to the School for the Blind in Cluj where he was committed to making education accessible for children with sensory impairments.

Adamescu advocated for people with deafblindness throughout his life, participating in international conferences, giving televised interviews, and consulting with educators and students. In 2015 he became a member of the Board of Directors of Sense International Romania where he provided expert advice and support.

Adamescu’s autobiography, Confronting Life, was the first book in Romania written by a person with deafblindness. In the book, he writes:

“Love is a peculiar feeling, hard to express in words… I don’t even know if there is a clear definition. I believe that love is like air. You cannot live without love”

Vasile Adamescu died peacefully on 6th December 2018. In the words of our colleagues from Sense International Romania:

“It is our duty to never forget Vasile Adamescu, the teacher, the mentor, the writer, the artist, the person who always surrounded us with warmth, smiling at us, giving us advice, loving us and using all his skills to educate children with disabilities in our country.”

We celebrate his amazing life this International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Vasile Adamescu with his interpreter, who is a man both wearing suits sat at a table.