In line with UNESCO`s shared vision IITE aims to promote equal access to education and inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of society by means of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
In order to reduce the extensive gap that exists in access to, and the use of, digital technologies by people with disabilities policy changes along with consolidated efforts of governments and civil society have to take place. As a tool that can ease an individual’s access to life-long learning, ICTs can also contribute to new career and business opportunities. Social inequalities can be resolved by means of ICTs that grant vulnerable groups and individuals access to political, economic, scientific and cultural activities of the society.
Following the UNESCO initiative to promote a broader view of the concept of inclusive education, IITE provides support to the policy dialogue and initiates the development of national e-inclusive strategies aimed at the following:
increasing disadvantaged and excluded groups` access to ICT infrastructure;
promoting basic ICT literacy and vocational training programs targeted specifically at the most vulnerable segments of society;
supporting regional, sub-regional and inter-country cooperation and good practice exchange on the extension of ICT usage to excluded groups.
ICTs offer great potential to support lifelong learning for all groups of learners, including those with disabilities. The application of ICTs can compensate for the lack of natural functions, thus contributing to appropriate learning environments being created for students with disabilities.
IITE has strived to improve the access and quality of education for disabled persons by means of ICTs since 1999. Within this framework the Institute has held a number of international expert meetings and workshops in partnership with well-known experts from various countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia and the USA. This experience enabled the Institute to develop a specialized training course named: "ICTs in Education for People with Special Needs". The course was developed by a team of international experts from Italy, the Russian Federation, Australia, Denmark, etc., and was headed by Dr Edwards (United Kingdom). The course presents the best international experience in the field of general and specific ICT application in education for a wide range of people with special educational needs, as well as policy advice in this sphere.
The direct beneficiaries of the activities in this field are policy and decision-makers who are responsible for, or involved in the development of educational policies and plans; experts in teacher training and vocational development; and last but not least teachers themselves.