Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Inproving Library Services for Visually Impaired People

On October 4th, the Gasprinskiy Library hosted a seminar, “Improving Library Services for Visually Impaired People,” funded by our third Peace Corps Small Program Assistance (SPA) grant.  We partnered on this grant with KrimTIZ, a local NGO that advocates for visually impaired people and UTOS, which is a Ukrainian-wide organization that provides jobs and rehabilitation for visually impaired people.

Librarians from the central libraries across Crimea attended the seminar, along with librarians from the libraries at the UTOS centers in seven Crimean cities. The participants heard from experts on the topic of working with visually impaired people and also had a chance to see the adaptive software JAWS for Windows which is a screen reading program and Magic Windows which magnifies the display. Through the SPA grant, we were able to purchase these programs and also computers with oversize monitors for our internet center and the newly created internet center (funded by our project) at KrimTIZ. 

At the end of the seminar, the participants decided to prepare an appeal to the Crimean government and the private sector to provide practical help to people with visual impairment. A great success!

Here are some photos from the seminar:
From left to right: Ivan Lutov, Deputy Director of UTOS, Leonid Jigalo, Director of KrimTIZ, and Gulnara Yagyaeva, Director of the Gasprinskiy Library, welcome the participants to the seminar.

Lilya Emirova, Head of Information Technology at Gasprinskiy, talks about Gasprinskiy Library programs for the visually impaired and the recent conference in Kherson.

Elena Brova, head librarian at the UTOS center in Simferopol, shows some of the information available at the library.

Psychologist from the Simferopol School for the Visually Impaired, Natalia Chechel, gives pointers on working with visually impaired children and adults.

Seminar participants enjoy a coffee break on the library's veranda.

Constantin Benimovich, teacher at the School for the Visually Impaired,

Andrei Ermolenko, teacher of computer literacy at UTOS, provides information on computer access for the visually impaired.

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