1. Equal opportunity for people with visual impairments RC Plovdiv,RC Plovdiv-Phlippopol,RC Plovdiv- Puldin Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2. RATIONALE• A majority of Europes people with disabilities (PwD) are unemployed (ENAD figures state over 60%), because they lack a number of skills (basic ICT skills being one of them) that are needed for todays working environment. Only 13% of people with disabilities (among 16-64) are employed in Bulgaria (NSI, 2011). There is no specific statistics for the group of blind and visually impaired people but the percentage is even much lower.• Recent studies conducted have highlighted that people with disabilities (PwD) can benefit enormously from digital competences which are core life and employability skills (see Lisbon Objectives). However, same and other studies revealed that the main barrier is the lack of specific training support and the expensiveness of assistive technologies. In addition to that, a number of other skills such as literacy and numeracy skills equally form a potential barrier towards employment of People with Disabilities (PwD).• Previous research reveals also that addressing numeracy and literacy skills, but especially focusing on basic ICT Skills, allow PwD to strengthen their position in the labor market, thus enhancing their employability.
3. Why?• The BG policy and legislation does not provide any ICT assistive technology, so this limits the access of people of disabilities as they cannot afford to buy their own assistive technology.• The majority of them mainly survive on extremely low income either from social benefits as a disabled or by the financial support of a family.• The social and mainly work integration of those people with lessen the social burden and increase the community understanding and equality.• The sight rehabilitation of children will be very beneficial both for the society and the beneficiaries as it is still widely believed that the remaining sight should be kept inactive instead of being further developed and trained to compensate the lost. It will change the future of those children who will have the chance to get to sight rehabilitation.• Neither of the proposed activities is supported by the government which makes it impossible and very expensive for the beneficiaries who usually belong to poor and disadvantaged families.
4. WHAT?(1)• Train 40-50 blind people and those with visual impairments in digital (ICT) skills , numeracy & literacy . Also in basic ICT skills first and then will be additionally trained to advance ICT skills including vocational ICT training and AT software for accessibility such as special computer software and hardware.• The vocational training will encompass (Windows, Office applications for advance users, other business programmmes, accounting software and ECDL ).For this training we plan to purchase and equip 10 working stations with 10 desktop machines, as well as specialized assistive technology software and hardware such as : digital color magnifying mouse, portable digital camera, portable screen reader converting text to mp3. (2 pieces of each)• The purchased assistive technology will be used also for eyesight rehabilitation of 30 children (aged 3-16) in addition to the 50 blind and adults with low vision .
5. WHAT? (2)• In addition to this we plan to purchase 7 more desktop machines respectively equipped with 7 pieces of each ICT assistive technology (AT) digital color magnifying mouse, portable digital camera, and portable screen reader converting text to mp3.• This equipment will be donated to the city library of Plovdiv and respectively to the libraries of 6 of the biggest Universities in Plovdiv,which will set up accessible study places for people with visual impairments.
6. IMPACT• In short term (one year) the project will give the unique opportunity to 80 blind people in total ( 50 adults and 30 children) to get a chance to change their life , teach them skills, educate them and lead l bring them to employment and social integration.• In a long term this project will enable hundreds of people with visual impairments to get access to the higher education institutions, get educated and qualified and make a better future being socially integrated , highly qualified and educated and hopefully employed.
7. SUSTAINABILITY• The project is sustainable as the Centre for Rehabilitation of blind will continue to train people with visual disabilities using the equipment purchased in this project. Their annual capacity is 50 adults and up to 30 children.• The Rotary clubs of Plovdiv engage to maintain and keep an eye on the equipped stations in the city library and in the libraries of the 6th Universities to make sure the donated equipment is used only by PwDs, that they are given access to it and can be used at any time. The Rotarians of Plovdiv dedicate to disseminate the availability of both ICT AT and training very intensively so the whole community is aware of the opportunities via mass media, face-to- face meetings, presentations, social media etc.• Rotaract clubs of Plovdiv as well as the Student Councils at the 6th Universities are also engaged in the project both raising awareness among students and peers and being gatekeepers of the objectives of this project.
8. DIGITAL COLOUR MAGNIFYING MOUSE
9. PORTABLE MAGNIFIER
10. PORTABLE SCREEN READER
11. BUDGET• 17 DESKTOP MACHINES• 9 COLOR MICE• 9 PORATBLE MAGNIFYIERS• 9 PORTABLE SCREEN READERS• TOTAL:51968$ TO BE DONATED TO:• CITY LIBRARY AND THE LIBRARIES OF 6TH UNIVERSITIES IN PLOVDIV + CENTRE FOR REHABILITATION OF BLIND IN PLOVDIV, BULGARIA• CASH CONTRIBUTION COLLECTED SO FAR:7 500$• DDF ALLOCATED UP TO NOW: 16500$• WE NEED 3859$ DDF OR DOUBLE IF IN CASH
12. CONTACT US• If willing to contribute or/and be a partner in this project please contact: Mariya Goranova,RC Plovdiv-Philippopol email@example.com skype:mgmariagoranova THANK YOU!