Miljan Otasevic showing school book in Braille and talking about the significance of the Braille alphabet for children with visual impairment
Within the It’s about ability campaign, school parliaments in Kolasin and Mojkovac discuss about access to information for children with visual impairment in Montenegro
KOLASIN AND MOJKOVAC, May 23, 2012 – Within the It’s about ability campaign, members of school parliaments in Kolasin and Mojkovac learned about the Braille alphabet from their peers with visual impairment. Miljan Otasevic and Andjela Dragovic, students of the “Resource Centre for Children and Youth Podgorica”, showed some of their school books in Braille and talked to the school parliaments about the significance of the Braille alphabet for participation of children with visual impairment in the society. Miljan Otašević explained the importance of Braille alphabet for persons with visual impairment. “The Braille alphabet allows us to go to school and have all the information that other children receive with the help of pencil and pape, so that we can have equal access to information,’’ Miljan pointed out. Children in the primary school “Risto Manojlovic” in Kolasin and “Aleksa Beco Djilas” in Mojkovac typed on the Braille type-writer and asked various questions about the everyday life of children with visual impairment. “I wanted to know how children with visual impairment use cell phones and I learned that they use them with audio support.” said Ksenija Bukilić, member of the school parliament in Kolašin. Her friend Mitar Luka Cetkovic wanted to know how children with visual impairment play sports. " They explained that they skied and went swimming with support and instructions of the coach. I learned about Marijana Goranović, an athlete with disability, the best one in the shot put.’’ Radovan Peric was wondering if it was possible for a child with visual impairment to take written exams in school. ‘”They said they take written exams in Braille alphabet.’’ Jana Rakocevic, another member of the school parliament in Kolasin, wanted to know “if they were studying a foreign language and how. They told me that they study Italian and English with the help of Braille alphabet and different CDs.’’ Tamara Ivanovic wanted to become friends on Facebook with Miljan and Andjela, but she did not know if they could use Facebook. ‘’They explained that their friends set up facebook profiles for them and they use them with audio-support.’’
Andjela Dragovic explains typing on the Braille type-writer to a student in Kolasin's primary school „Risto Manojlovic“
Within the It’s about ability campaign, similar discussions about the access to information and education of children with disability will be organized in another 10 primary schools all over the country. “With UNICEF’s support and in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sports, Centre for Child Rights will organize promotions of Braille alphabet and sign language in school parliaments in 12 municipalities this year and these are: Ulcinj, Bar, Danilovgrad, Plužine, Šavnik, Žabljak, Mojkovac, Kolašin, Plav, Rožaje, Berane and Andrijevica.” said Cica Perović, Director of the NGO „Centre for Child Rights” in Montenegro. Within the It’s about ability campaign, Montenegro became the first country in the Balkans to provide children with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in Braille alphabet, audio version and sign language. School parliaments sessions are a continuation of the campaign activities that promote inclusion of children with disabilities. According to the UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks, “what is really important is that every child with visual impairment in society has a chance to learn in school. By young people sitting together in school parliaments addressing this means that we can begin to really address the exclusion of young people with visual impairment in schools, both now and for future generations.’’ Both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability state that people have right to get information in the form in which they can understand and use it.