Visually impaired students get help through technology

Aurel Dragan 12/09/2018 | 13:37

Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, all visually impaired students can learn Romania’s history by methods adapted to a modern, digital and interactive or sensory education. Thus, pupils from all 7 special schools for visually impaired people in the country (Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Arad, Targu Frumos and Buzau) and all pupils with visual impairments enrolled in mass education will benefit from the material accessed through the ” History by sound and touch by the Tandem Association. The value of the project amounts to 47,000 euros, of which EUR 40,000 have been won through the Orange Foundation’s “World of Sound Foundation” funding fund.

The project provides students and teachers with access to the online educational platform www.idea-isa.ro and a tailor-made educational material (digital and tactile) created by specialists from the Constanta Museum of History and Archeology, together with 12 history teachers from the country and 12 visually impaired students, to adapt all study materials to their needs.

The educational platform contains 80 lessons of national history, 45 audio materials from the chroniclers’ texts and testimonies of the soldiers in the wars, passages from the texts of the historian Neagu Djuvara, short documentary films accessible and military art and technique presentations specific to the Romanian countries. The “Sound and Touch History” experience is completed with 120 tactile and 3D materials, representing maps and reliefs. In this way, the project proposes that the history of Romanians become an exciting science for pupils with visual impairments.

The initiators of the Sound and Touch History Project will go to a sensational platform and sensory caravan to visit all 7 visually impaired schools in September to deliver the Sound and Color History package – training course, platform access and multi-sensory materials.

“We collaborated with specialists, blind students and history teachers to create and develop this project, because we needed a modern and tailor-made approach to teaching history for those children who can not read the standard textbooks and see the illustrations or maps. As soon as they reveal the secrets of the platform, the students become, in turn, discovers of historical stories,” says Mihai Leoveanu, the youngest history teacher involved in the project.

“In an information and information society, it is vital to ensure that access to education is easy for everyone. Regardless of disability, people have an incredible curiosity about the world around us, and sometimes we need to take into account their specific learning needs to ensure all the prerequisites for development,” says Andreia Bruckner, project coordinator.

“We estimate that, thanks to this project, each school year, 100 students enrolled in special education will be able to learn history using technology. EUR 1.8 million has been invested to support projects for the integration of people with hearing or vision disabilities from Romania in the six years since launching the World of Color and Sound funding fund,” says Amalia Fodor, Director of the Orange Foundation.

On the occasion of the centennial year, the Tandem Association and the Orange Foundation donate to the Union Museum in Alba Iulia 120 tactile and 3D materials created in the “Sound and Touch History” program so that blind visitors can have the history, maps or other materials represented by tactile diagrams or 3D replicas.

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