New Braille equipment and materials for blind and visually impaired children help them to lead enriched and fulfilling lives
TBILISI. 16 February. 2010. Children in the boarding school # 202 for blind and visually impaired persons in Tbilisi, Georgia, will be able to increase their Braille literacy and to improve their reading and learning skills thanks to special education supplies and materials provided by the Ministry of Education and Science with the support of UNICEF.
The supplies include special Braille printers to re-produce publications and other materials for blind and visually impaired children as well as textbooks, notebooks, maps, blackboards, standardized tests, audio equipment and other educational resources to help children enhance their reading and educational proficiency.
“Every child has the right to quality education, including children with disabilities” - said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “UNICEF will continue working with the Government to fulfill its obligation towards all disabled children in Georgia, including those who are blind and visually impaired – prioritizing support in communities and families. Early Braille education is a small but important step on the path to ensuring the rights of all children are fulfilled.”
Trainings will also be organized for school teachers to educate them about the developmental needs of children and families who are blind and visually impaired and to acquire skills on how to work with new education and learning resources.
According to various studies those who learned braille at an early age did as well or better than their sighted peers in several areas, including vocabulary and comprehension. Reading proficiency provides an essential skill set that allows visually impaired children to compete with their sighted peers in a mainstreamed school environment.
The boarding school #202 in Tbilisi is the only school in Georgia for blind and visually impaired children and it caters for up to 50 children from 6 to 18 and more. Due to existing stigma parents are rather reluctant to take their blind and visually impaired children to schools and many children suffer from being isolated from the society that also hinders their learning and overall development.
UNICEF is on the ground in 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
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