12 April 2018, UNESCO IITE in partnership with the Library named after N.A. Nekrasov held a workshop «ICTs for an accessible library environment for people with visual imparements».The event was organized within the framework of the UNESCO IITE project «ICT in Education for People with Disabilities».
Natalia Amelina, Head of the Unit of Teacher Professional Development and Networking, addressed welcoming remarks to participants and presented an IITE project aimed at advancing the use of informational technologies by persons with disabilities.
Among the speakers of the event were representatives of the Cultural and Sports Rehabilitation Center of the All-Russian Association of the Blind: Sergei Pankin, Deputy Director, Svetlana Tsvetkova, Specialist of the Counselling and Analytical Department, Mikhail Oleynikov, Tutor of the Training Unit, Alexander Piven’, Head of the Counselling and Analytical Department, and Svetlana Botkina, Head of the Assistive Technologies Development and Integration Department.
The experts described the difficulties that persons with visual impairments face in libraries, reported on equipment and software needed to increase accessibility of library resources. On top of that, Svetlana Botkina and Alexander Piven told about those minimum steps to be implemented in order to attract people with visual impairments. For example, the experts recommended to make sure whether a library web-site page about the library address contains not only a photo of the map but a description with some distinct features of the way and an average time required to get to the library.
In their turn, Andrey Stepin и Sergey Fleytin, experts of the “Elite Group”, a company dealing with the promotion of hardware and software equipment for the blind and visually impaired, demonstrated specialized technologies for people with visual impairments: portable and stationary magnifier, reading devices, Braille displays, etc.
The workshop brought together about 50 staff members of Moscow and Moscow region libraries, who obtained certificates of participation at the end of the event.
With positive feedback from the participants, UNESCO IITE hopes to further promote inclusive libraries and is open for cooperation with different stakeholders.