IT center for persons with visual impairments was established in Yerevan, the Republic of Armenia, within the partnership project of IITE and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The main purpose of this project is promoting inclusive policies and creation of accessible information and education environment by means of ICTs for visually impaired persons. The center was equipped with standard and specialized soft- and hardware for people with visual disabilities.
The technological infrastructure of the center includes typical work places equipped with standard and specialized soft- and hardware for 2 groups of users: (1) blind persons; and (2) partially sighted persons. The center will not only serve as a platform for providing access to knowledge and information for persons with visual impairments, but will also become а point of networking and experience sharing among the specialists.
The project envisages the development of instruction and support materials on ICTs and accessibility for policy- and decision-makers, as well as for IT and educational specialists, involved in teaching and social rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
The opening ceremony of IT center for persons with visual impairments was carried out on 21 November with participation of high-level representatives of international and national organizations, including Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU deputy General Secretary; Mr Orozobek Kaiykov, Head of ITU Area Office for CIS; Mr Dendev Badarch, Director of the UNESCO Moscow office and IITE Director, a.i.; Mr Vahram Kazhoyan, General Secretary of the Armenian National Commission for UNESCO; Mr Manuk Vardanyan, the Minister of transport and communications; Ms Jemma Bagdasaryan, the vice minister of social affairs. Representatives of press and non-governmental organization also took part in this event.
The training seminar was held on 22 and 23 November 2011 in the IT-centre to introduce special features and main techniques of ICT application in education and social rehabilitation of visually impaired persons. The seminar programme was developed by IITE in cooperation with the Institute of professional rehabilitation “Rehacomp” and presented at the seminar. 20 representatives from educational, social and IT services organizations, including special schools and inclusive education settings, teacher training institutions, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, took part in this event. During the training seminar the participants got relevant information and knowledge on types and features of standard and specialized hard- and software for education and social rehabilitation of people with visual impairments.