Montenegrin actors ensure children with visual impairments access essential textbooks in Daisy format
PODGORICA, Montenegro, 7 February 2014 – The first textbook in the Daisy format, intended primarily for children with visual impairments, was produced in Montenegro. The textbook in the Daisy format can also be used as the most useful teaching and learning tool by all teachers, and children in elementary schools.
Andjela Dragović, student with visual impairments, spoke about the Daisy textbook - UNICEF Montenegro / 2014
Anđela Dragović, student with visual impairments, spoke about how this textbook will help children access information and learn much more easily: “For many of us, this will enable independent learning for the first time. I can only imagine how much easier and simpler will be the path to knowledge. I am sorry that my generation did not have the opportunity to acquire knowledge with the help of audio textbooks, apart from the traditional ways.”
The voices in the Daisy textbook were lent by the well-known Montenegrin actors and students of the Drama Academy who were engaged in this project on a voluntary basis. Their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work, along with the members of the Production team from the Resource Centre and the Textbooks Publishing Agency, were of crucial importance for the high quality of the textbook adapted into the Daisy format.
As a gesture of appreciation for their voluntary work on the Daisy textbook, UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks awarded certificates to the Dean of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Radmila Vojvodić, as well as to the actors and students of the Drama Academy.
“I hope that everyone will be satisfied, and that this project will be just the first one in a series to demonstrate what students from our faculty are capable to do when it comes to things like this, especially for the children, for whom this textbook will mean a lot,” said actress Dubravka Drakić.
Through this activity, children who are unable to read will have the possibility to acquire knowledge from the textbooks independently and without any restrictions. In this way, the education system in Montenegro becomes more inclusive, accessible and more stimulating for children with disabilities.
"We hope in the future, all primary school textbooks will become available in audio or Daisy format, as this is in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,“ UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks pointed out.
Within this project, six books in the Daisy format are planned to be produced, in order to make them accessible to children with visual impairments and other kinds of disabilities, as well as to their teachers and parents whose support in the learning process is extremely important. This is the beginning of the process that will ensure that children with disabilities at all levels of education are able to use textbooks in the Daisy format.
Presentation of the first textbook in the Daisy format in Montenegro - UNICEF Montenegro / 2014
“In this way, we work to ensure better access to education, equal schooling opportunities, as well as to ensure better quality of education for these children,” said Vesna Vučurović, Deputy Minister of Education.
The textbook is recorded in the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) format, which enables adaptation and production of reading materials in a way to make it easy to use, and which can have both audio and visually accessible materials.
International experts, engaged by UNICEF, provided Resource Centre’s employees with knowledge on how to use the DAISY format, in order to ensure that the production of the Daisy books is continued and conducted in accordance with the highest standards.
Production of the first textbook in the Daisy format, a Reader for the IVth grade of primary school authored by Nataša Borović and Sonja Ašanin, was organised by the Resource Centre for Children and Youth, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, the Textbooks Publishing Agency and Drama Academy, and with the great support from the textbook authors.