A mobile school in Luhansk, Ukraine is bridging gaps by teaching basic computer literacy to students with special needs.
Local librarians, who have served different clients, understand how important it is to make ICT accessible to people with disabilities. Many of these people are sheltered at home and lack communication with the rest of the world. In Ukraine building and public transportation entrances equipped for people with special needs are still rare. This is why many clients cannot get to the centre.
The program Bibliomist provides help to local libraries by gifting software and hardware as well as training staff. The public can learn about computers and other related technologies at these centres. However, for people with special needs it is still a challenge to get to these centres. This is why the centre has come to its students.
Librarians in Luhansk united with local organizations of people with disabilities (visually handicapped and issues of musculoskeletal system). This is how Mobile School of Computer and Internet Literacy appeared in Luhansk.
Classes take place in the locations convenient for the students: at home, in the parks and in community centres equipped for people with special needs. Some students come to these classes from suburbs and villages.
Certain students had already possessed personal computers before they enrolled in this school, but they did not know how to use them. After graduating from the course they are now able to continue studies online in other schools, find new friends and keep in touch with relatives.
Nataliya Chizhik has not left her apartment for 11 years. The mobile telecentre helped her find new contacts to communicate with. Volodymyr Zuyev, a fifty-eight-year-old Ukrainian, has 1st group disability (polio). After studies he was able to find his adult children abroad, where they had been living for twenty years.
The project became possible through funding of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)/United Nations Development Program and Bibliomist.