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© VYSOKÁ ŠKOLA BÁŇSKÁ – TECHNICKÁ UNIVERZITA OSTRAVA Ostrava, 2010 ISBN 978-80-248-2245-7


VSB – Technical University, Ostrava, Czech Republic Faculty of Economics Innovation of Education Institute

ICT BRIDGES STORIES – HANDBOOK Project ICT BRIDGES "Information and Communication Technologies as a Force for Change" CZ/08/LLP-PS/LdV/001, Lifelong Learning Program International partnership of Leonardo da Vinci programme


Project coordinator: VŠB – Technical Univerzity, Faculty of Economics, Innovation of Education Institute, Ostrava, Czech Republic Associated partners: (1) Obchodní akademie, Orlová (2) Sdružení Kafira, Opava

Partners: Camera de Comert si Industrie si Bistrita Nasaud, Romania Associated partner: Scoala de Arte si Meserii, Bistrita

Lawton School S.L., Gijon, Spain Associated partner: ASTRO – Asociación para la Cooperación Astur Rumana

Berufsförderungsinstitut Steiermark, Graz, Austria Associated partner: Bundessozialamt – Landesstelle Steiermark

The main aim of the International Partnership of Leonardo da Vinci Program ICT BRIDGES, "Information and Communication Technologies as a Force for Change" is to share experiences and knowledge about how ICT can help to overcome barriers.


Dear Readers, You have in your hands a publication of ICT Bridges Stories, created in cooperation with partners from 4 countries. The Project title is ICT Bridges, Information and Communication Technologies as a Force for Change. The title explains what the project is about - it means sharing experiences regarding how ICT can overcome barriers. This publication contains stories telling “how ICT helped me to overcome my barrier whether I am an educator or a trainee”. The main aim is to collect stories and examples of individual persons, to show with concrete examples how ICT can help to overcome obstacles in the field of learning (written by students) and teaching (written by trainers). The aim of the collection is to foster communication among people with disabilities. By reading, writing and participating in the development of the stories both learners and trainers learn. The stories are collected on the web, and are publicly accessible online ICT Bridges Stories – Database (http://StudiumBezBarier.eu/ICTBridges), where “passers-by” are encouraged to contribute their own stories. As well as the stories, individual tricks (for example better “gadgets”) are a part of the website. Online mutual feedback, communication, sharing difficulties but also help when solving them, are of utmost value. It is an open virtual space, an ongoing process whereby partners and users can make further contributions, providing the element of sustainability. Students can express interest in direct communication with other participants; this adds a new dimension to the project and motivates them to develop their knowledge of English as a means of communication. The participants’ activities are Peer Learning. In this part of the project learners achieve a common understanding of how to confront and overcome barriers. Through the stories and involvement with peer learners they try to gain awareness of common difficulties and tips to overcome them, building bridges to social integration, personal satisfaction and self-esteem. Tutors gain an insight into a personal world through the exchange of best practices. Part of this project was the personal presentation of stories and tricks at the International conference ICT Bridges (http://handicap.vsb.cz), held in Čeladná in the Czech Republic in November 2009. The stories and tricks have been collected and published in printed form as a book called ICT Bridges Stories – Handbook, which you now hold in your hands.

Danuše Bauerová


Content Austria ........................................................................................................................................ 9 Sebastian G., Austria .............................................................................................................. 9 Claudia K., Austria ............................................................................................................... 12 Simone Klinkan, Austria ...................................................................................................... 14 C. Koch, Austria ................................................................................................................... 16 Olga Lenz, Austria ............................................................................................................... 18 Suzana Marinkovic, Austria ................................................................................................. 20 Julia Nogler, Austria ............................................................................................................ 22 Dietmar Ogris, Austria ......................................................................................................... 25 Austrian Participant, Austria ................................................................................................ 30 Hans-Peter Schaar, Austria .................................................................................................. 32 Kerstin Schwarz, Austria...................................................................................................... 35 Czech Republic ........................................................................................................................ 38 Petra Helebrantová, Czech Republic .................................................................................... 38 Lucie Hilscherová, Czech Republic ..................................................................................... 47 Kateřina Pešková, Czech Republic ...................................................................................... 51 Michal Procházka, Czech Republic ..................................................................................... 59 Miroslav Sedláček, Czech Republic..................................................................................... 63 Markéta Sidková, Czech Republic ....................................................................................... 68 Ivana Sikorová, Czech Republic .......................................................................................... 73 Dana Švarcová, Czech Republic .......................................................................................... 76 Vladislav Ryška, Czech Republic ........................................................................................ 80 Petr Klimša, Czech Republic ............................................................................................... 84 Zdeňka Telnarová, Czech Republic ..................................................................................... 86 Romania ................................................................................................................................... 90 Raul Arcalean, Romania ...................................................................................................... 90 Alexandru Augustin Berbecar, Romania ............................................................................. 93 Camelius Campean, Romania .............................................................................................. 97 Maria Cocos, Romania ....................................................................................................... 100 Paula Farcas, Romania ....................................................................................................... 104 Alexandru Ghereb, Romania .............................................................................................. 107 Gabriela Elena Nimigean, Romania ................................................................................... 110 Marius Pop, Romania ......................................................................................................... 113 Mirela Ţuţura, Romania ..................................................................................................... 116 Silvia Veronica Adam , Romania ....................................................................................... 119 Dana Pralea, Romania ........................................................................................................ 122


Dana Găurean, Romania .................................................................................................... 127 Spain ....................................................................................................................................... 131 Francisco Pulido Berrocoso,Spain ..................................................................................... 131 Lester Suarez Corbelle, Spain ............................................................................................ 135 Pili Castellano Dacal, Spain ............................................................................................... 138 Francisco Javier Menendez Dopazo, Spain........................................................................ 142 Ana Rosa Luisa Hevia García, Spain ................................................................................. 147 Violeta Úrsula Suárez García, Spain .................................................................................. 151 Amelia Fernández López, Spain ........................................................................................ 154 Vanesa Paleaz López, Spain............................................................................................... 159 Iván Pintado Martin, Spain ................................................................................................ 163 Manuel García Padilla, Spain ............................................................................................. 167 Miguel Ángel Becerra Pérez, Spain ................................................................................... 171 Soledad Liébana Pérez, Spain ............................................................................................ 174 Austria, Berufsförderungsinstitut Steiermark ........................................................................ 178 Czech Republic, VŠB – Technical University Ostrava .......................................................... 182 Romania, Camera de Comert si Industrie si Bistrita Nasaud ................................................. 184 Spain, Lawton School S. L. .................................................................................................... 187 Meetings ................................................................................................................................. 189 Author Index .......................................................................................................................... 191


Austria Sebastian G., Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Sebastian G. Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 23 years old, 2005 school leaving exam at commercial academy. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Austria, Little town called Bruck an der Mur, approx. 14.000 Inhabitants. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Retinitis pigmentosa, strong visual limitation, apart from that healthy.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. After primary school I went to grammar school. Following a job identification test in the fourth year of grammar school, I found out that my qualifications lie - at a rate of 98 % - in the economic, commercial area. Therefore, I changed into commercial academy, which I left with the school leaving exam in 2005. During all my school years I was supported by a ‚visual attendant‘, who organised everything - particularly at the beginning of my school career (texts in large print, more time when we had test, etc.). After my school leaving exam I started my business studies at University, but, due to a lack of intervention on my part, I failed after only one term. Then I entered the labour market. Now I work at bfi Steiermark and I am able to attend further trainings. I think that, with regard to further education and training, visually impaired people have many opportunities if they (early enough) make the necessary agreements. Therefore, I have planned to attend a distance study course at a University Of Applied Studies that ensured full support for my „special requirements”. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Of course, my life was characterized by my eye disease with its smaller and bigger backlashes; on the whole, however, it has been very positive. So far, I have reached all my aims with regard to education and training. I think it is essential not to lose your motivation and to keep your aims in mind. Also, you must always be open for new things, since the „usual ways“ often don’t take you to your aims. On the private side, I have very well managed to build up a big circle of friends. That’s very important, since I often need other people’s help. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? For me it is important to get my learning material in an appropriate size; that’s a lot less exhausting for my eyes. I discuss the things I’ve learned with friends and acquaintances who are well versed in the topic. Of course, I need to plan a longer period of time because it takes me longer to capture the texts. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I have had good experiences with my fellow people. All my friends and the family support me with all their power. It i soften more difficult with people you don’t know because they lack some understanding. It’s an advantage of being disabled to have this personal attitude to be more open towards other or new things. It is important to openly and honestly approach the people around you to avoid misunderstandings. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Integration of disabled people is very important - both in the job and in the private life. I believe that it is very important to explain to people what a certain impairment means for the person herself/himself and the people around them. It’s important to know what’s possible and what’s impossible. It’s also important not to generally put people with handicaps down but to treat them normally. Can I participate in the integration? I can’t say how I would deal with disabled people if I were healthy because I’ve had my disease since I was born. I think, however, that most people who are temporary faced with an impairment quickly push the situation aside again and forget about it.

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. As far as special programmes are concerned, I only use ZoomText, since working at the PC is much more comfortable with a much bigger mouse than the normal one. At work I use programmes such as Lotus Notes for e-mails, diary etc. With these programmes, the available settings are sufficient for me to work with.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS It’s the most important thing to always be motivated and to never give up. There is always a way that leads to the desired aim. Always believe in yourself and in your skills. Always challenge and support your skills. Just always look ahead and never lose your courage.

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Claudia K., Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Claudia K. Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 30 years; 11 years ago - apprenticeship to be a retail saleswoman. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Austria/Province of Styria/Gleisdorf (city). What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Call centre agent Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I don’t feel disadvantaged because my visual impairment is not so bad. I think it’s all a matter of attitude. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. No, didn’t study at university. I passed an apprenticeship as a retail saleswoman in the field of electric devices, and a call centre training. But there are many things I still want to do… (e.g. ECDL) Only recently learning has become something I like again!

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I’ve had my visual impairment for three years. First I didn’t want to accept it, and I fell into a deep hole of self-pity. My family and my work in the call centre helped me to get out of that deep hole and gave me new courage. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? When I did my training, my eyesight was quite good. When I learn now: My very strong keratoconus makes reading (e.g. books) very difficult. My eyes soon start to flicker - that’s why I prefer audio books. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I don’t like most that I can’t see the people’s faces when they are too far away. It often happened to me that people asked me a few days later why I wouldn’t greet them anymore. Since I am a very sociable and friendly person that always hurt me deeply. On the other had, I now think that they can greet me first - I will always answer a greeting, whether I know the person or not. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? For me integration of disabled people means: a society without exclusion - a society that finds it normal if people are different. Can I participate in the integration? Before I had my eye surgery I wasn’t able to read a newspaper anymore; watching TV was also hardly possible - I was only listening to the TV. The worst thing, however, was that I couldn’t drive my care anymore. I sold my car and moved close to the railway station so I could move independently again (work, shopping, doctors, etc.). Now I have accepted it and know how to deal with it. It’s most important to think positively. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. E-Mail, Internet (I use everyday), applications for learning at the computer, Braille display…I find very useful! For me personally, Zoomtext is a big support.

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Simone Klinkan, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Simone Klinkan Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 21 years old and concluded my training three years ago. I passed the school-leaving exam, Matura. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Austria, region of Eastern Styria; I live in a village. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I work as a call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? On the whole, I don’t really feel discriminated. For me it’s ‚normal‘ the way it is. Also, my visual impairment is not so bad! STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. In 2006 I successfully passed the school leaving exam at a high-school. In 2007 and 2008 I did the ECDL. During my working time I also had the opportunity to do a call centre agent training. There are always keay course elements (or, at school, individual subjects) that you prefer more than others. You learn all your life, and if it is a topic I’m interested in I enjoy learning.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). When I was a baby I had an eye cataract (inherited from my grandfather), and therefore I lost my natural lenses. As a child I always had to wear glasses (I used to have glasses with about 20 dioptres). Unfortunately, I suffered from retinal detachment at the age of 12; I had five operations within a period of two years. Since that time my right eye has been blind. Then I attended high-school. At that time I didn’t know how many great opportunities (apart from zoomed photocopies) there are/were for visually impaired people. Basically, I can say that I passed school (and the school-leaving exam, Matura) just like any other „normally sighted“ student. And I am proud of that. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Here was always this nice teacher who used overhead transparencies when he was teaching. When the sun was shining into the classroom I had no chance anymore to read what he had written down. But, lucky me, I had nice colleagues who let me copy what they had written down. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I’m really lucky because people can’t see my disability (only when you look very closely you’ll notice that my right eye is a little smaller), and so people hardly mention it to me. When you meet people for the first time and you tell them, ‚well, actually I can’t see with one eye, and I don’t see a lot with my other eye too‘, they are often surprised about me not being able to see well! Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use information and communication technologies everyday because I need them in my job. Nowadays, there are great possibilities, such as magnifiying screen content (Zoomtext) or zooming on various Web pages. It’s also great that you can change the font size on some Web pages. For me, it’s often enough to have a somewhat bigger font size. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Accept your impairment just as it is because it makes you unique.

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C. Koch, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): C. Koch Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 31 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Austria, Styria, Mitterberg, village What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Many years of diabetes, and from that, damage to nerves at the eyes. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have successfully passed two apprenticeships. I was trained to be a painter. Because of my illness I had to do a re-training; so some years ago I did an abbreviated training to become a communication technician. I like reading and working with the Internet. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). In future, I would simply want to go to work normally and with joy to be able to make my own living. Despite many years of problems with my eyes, I have managed to find my way back to working life.

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What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I think integration is very important for disadvantaged people because you are very busy with yourself and your own self-doubts. Many people often need help but don’t recognize that themselves. If they do, it’s usually too late. Many people don’t view themselves as being DISABLED, and they just try to make the best of their lives. Can I participate in the integration? I am someone who likes to help other people, whether they are disabled or not. With my eye problems it’s been a steady up and down process. It was worst after a bleeding into the vitreous body; I wasn’t able to identify the people very close to me - not even in hospital. That makes you doubt about any further sense in your life. You NEVER forget something like that!

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Olga Lenz, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Lenz Olga Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 54 years old and I concluded my training 36 years ago. I did an apprenticeship to be an industrial business management assistant. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? It’s a small town in Austria. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? At the moment, I work in a call centre as a call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Yes, people disadvantage me. People don’t accept me the way they used to, they rather try to avoid me. Sometimes they shortchange my visual impairment, e.g. they give me wrong coins when I get back my change. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. Following my apprenticeship as an industrial business management assistant, I did the accountant training, then a chief accountant training and also a payroll accountant training. I also do trainings in my spare time. I attend Italian and French courses. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I only got my impairment when I was in my 40s. Due to the eye disease, my visual acuity quite

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quickly dropped from 100 % to 15 %. I found it very difficult to cope with that situation. Since you can also work if you are visually impaired I got some of my self-esteem back. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Due to my age, it was very difficult for me to learn how to use the aides for my visual impairment. However, I got used to that quite quickly and I was able to adapt to the new situation. With the reading device and the screen magnifier that I use now I was able to overcome my awe. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I don’t like people say that I would only pretend and that I would be able to see - because they can’t see my visual impairment from outside. I don’t like the way people act; they avoid me, don’t treat me the way they used to and obviously have a fear of contact when they meet me. It makes me happy that I can work again, and I am very satisfied with the performances I have achieved in my life so far. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Disabled people should, according to training and skills, be allowed to work together with „healthy people“, i.e. people that are not disabled. Visual impairment is usually something you can see; when people suffer from another disease or impairment, such as, for example, a weak heart or stomach, that’s not visible. I feel fine in my work group, when I can work at the same working speed. Can I participate in the integration? I always help other disabled people and find it easy to empathise with the people. When I remove my contact lense (15 dioptres) at night I don’t even find my way to the bathroom. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? No experiences. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I have a screen magnifier for the computer (ZoomText) and a screen reader to support me.

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Suzana Marinkovic, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Suzana Marinkovic Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 20 years old; training concluded on July 10, 2009; weaver. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Graz What is your mother language? Bosnian, Serbian and German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Student Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Visually impaired, almost blind. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I am a weaver and I always enjoy learning; but I would like to do something else than I was trained to do. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). When I was three, I had seven surgeries and they removed the lens - therefore, I have no lenses in my eyes anymore. Until I was 13 years old my visual acuity was 30 %, then I got a glaucoma. When I got the glaucoma I got a headache, which has been there every day and never stopped. That’s why I lost my 30 % and now it’s only 5 % anymore. At the age of 18 I had three surgeries, but that didn’t help; my body didn’t accept the thing they implanted, and then they said to me they would try

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with drops, but… The drops didn’t change anything - that was very bad and so the doctors said I should wait to become blind - there is nothing else they could do. Now I’ve been living with this headache for two years - I‘ll probably always have them. Well, I live in a very happy relationship - my boy-friend is fully blind. We’ve been together for almost three years, and now we would like to move into a flat together, and then, in about three or four years, we would like to have a child. I think that I am independent because I can go shopping on my own and I can cook, also do the washing and cleaning; and whatever else there is to do in the household I can also do, and therefore I am very proud of me because I am good at it. Everybody can manage if they want - even if you are blind. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I’ve always found learning very easy; I only need good light and two programmes. There’s nothing else I need. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. Some people are afraid and don’t know how to deal with me. And when they want to help me they should ask me whether I want them to help. It has happened that people just took me somewhere - and that’s wrong! If they asked me I would tell them wheter I needed help or not. I am human and I am very well able to speak. When small children ask their parents, ‚Why has she got a stick?‘, and when they are interested in my impairment - that makes me happy. That has often happened to me that I heard that - on the tram it has happened very often. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Actually, I don’t find that good at all when people are divided into disabled and not disabled - one is still normal! Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. It was a very big help for me because I can work at the computer. The Zoomtext also helped me a lot and for my mobile phone I use a programme called Togs. That gave me much independence, and the also the talking devices you use in the household helped me to become more independent.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „Trick“ 1: 1. When you have difficulties, just ask. 2. When there’s something you can’t find just ask and don’t be afraid to ask. 3. I can recommend the training flats; there you learn to be independent.

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Julia Nogler, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Julia Nogler Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 26 years old. I left school seven years ago; my highest level of education is office management assistant. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? No, the Province of Styria and the city of Graz are both small. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? At the moment, I am working as a call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Sometimes I feel disadvantaged because of my visual impairment, but most of the time I feel strong. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. When I was 14 I got to Graz, to a home economics school. There I was trained to be an office management assistant. Then I did the ECDL Core and attended the call centre agent training. That’s also the job I work in at the moment. I still want to continue my trainings because, as people say, you never stop learning. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). When I was a small child I was never seriously affected by my impairment, and I didn’t really recognize it. When I became a young adult, the problems occurred; the others used to pick on me and/or to exclude me. By and by, I became stronger and stronger and had other people no longer make

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me responsible for my visual impairment. Today, I wouldn’t want to miss the experiences I have made due to my impairment; they really shaped me a lot. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I need aides (reading device, Zoom-Text) in order to learn properly. The best way for me to learn is to walk up and down the room and to speak out to me loudly the things I have to learn. When I went to school I didn’t have any aides, which made learning very difficult. Now that’s no problem anymore since I have become a lot more active. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. When you act in a very self-confident way the people, initially, are confused. Most of the think that you can’t be happy with and no way accept such a kind of impairment. After they have overcome their initial shock they start to ask interested questions. I like this phase very much because I have the possibility to emphasize my strengths and because I can, at the same time, take their fears away. When the people understand and, particularly, can accept all of that they start to treat me like a completely normal person. And, basically, that’s exactly what I am. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? When the people treat me just normally that’s integration for me. I don’t like at all when people think they need to handle me with kid gloves. Can I participate in the integration? Integration starts with oneself; you must be prepared to accept help and let your counterpart make the odd mistake. Don’t forget that other people also need to make mistakes - not just yourself. Sometimes, however, you also need to accept that a person with the same impairment does not want any help - and react accordingly. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I have never had these experiences. I had classmates who were, just like me, visually impaired, but, generally, they had the same needs like me. Maybe, however, I just didn’t recognize any differences since it was not my job to prepare the lessons. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Sorry, I can’t give any examples.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 5) 6) 7) 8)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „Trick“ 1: 1. When I was a child I used to have the problem that I liked reading a lot, but most books - apart from those for beginners - were written in very small print.

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2. That’s how, not only for me but also for my parents, the problem occurred to do something. 3. At the beginning, my mother just read out the books to me or bought books in large print. After some time, I was too old to have someone read books out to me, and I felt embarrassed to have - at the age of 11 - my mother sitting by my bed in the evening (the only time of the day when we both were free) and reading to me. Furthermore, books in large print are quite expensive and, as I have already mentioned, usually for smaller children. So we found a first solution, and I worked with a magnifying glass. That worked quite well, as long as I wouldn’t work more than half an hour without a break; after that period the letter would become blurred and my back would start aching because I had to bend forward. When I was 14 years old I got a reading device, which I still like to work with today. This device solved all my problems, now I can read not only half an hour but several hours without a break and both my eyes and my back won’t hurt. 4. When I purchased the device my parents helped me and also advisors who work in supporting institutions.

Your „Trick“ 2: 1. Work at the computer. 2. The same as above, the print was too small. 3. The solution was really simple. I got ZoomText so I could adjust the print on the screen according to my needs. Recently, I’ve bought an Apple, which made everything even more simple. ZoomText is already integrated in these devices, and you don’t need to buy any additional software, which then might not be compatible with the devices. 4. When I bought ZoomText my teachers supported me. My partner advised me to buy the Apple - because of the above-mentioned reason.

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Dietmar Ogris, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): I am 45 years old and a I’ve been blind since I was 30. My wife is visually impaired and we have 4 healthy children. I earn my money as a sales representative. Are you male or female? Male. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 45. Last education 12 years ago. Highest education entrepreneur academy. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Lannach. About 2.700 inhabitants near the provincial capital Graz in the province of Styria. What is your mother language? German. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Sales rep; and sometimes I hold awareness raising workshops as a trainer. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I was suffered from heavy visual impairment and got blind when I was 30 because of Retinopathia Pigmentosa. I learned to live well with my blindness. I’ve got more problems with my disorders in the musculoskeletal system, herniated discs and muscular dystrophy.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. 4 years of primary school in the Odilien institute for the blind, 1 year of normal primary school without integration assistance, 4 years of secondary modern school without integration assistance. 3 years apprenticeship for trained retail salesman and, in addition, vocational school Graz-St. Peter. Later, because of getting blind, 1 year masseur course and afterwards ½ a year of entrepreneur academy with trade licence. 1 year of training course for late-blind people at Odilien institute, and then ECDL. Because there was no integration assistance during secondary modern school and vocational school, or I didn’t know any, learning was always negative connotated, and it was all about just getting through. Therefore, I associate learning mostly with the fear of failing. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I can hardly remember the time until I was 10; people say when I was 4 I was in hospital for a year because of retinal detachment. Before that I was with foster families and then, until I was 10, in the Odilien institute for the blind - as a heavily shortsighted and socially conspicuous boy. Then I met my mother and lived with her. Being heavily shortsighted, I went to school wearing social security glasses, my mother didn’t know how to deal with my visual impairment; difficult at school, too - I could hardly read from the blackboard and the books and there weren’t any aides. Psychosocial deficits in education. At 17 away from my parents’ home and on my own. Difficult to find a job after my apprenticeship to become a trained retail salesman, also because of my disability. Various unskilled jobs, no integration projects at that time; due to my experiences I tried, more and more, to create projects to integrate visually impaired people, and, again and again, found promoters who supported me. At 30 I got blind, and after my training to become a masseur I had 2 herniated disc incidents; then muscular dystrophy in the left leg - therefore hobbling. Despite the many difficulties in my life I’ve always tried to take the positive and to help others. In the end, this brought many good experiences and developments for me, as well. In order to inform well-sighted people on the every-day life of blind people, I would like to hold awareness trainings as a main job and to educate myself in a creative way. Musics and, probably, English basics. I have successfully handled many difficult situations in life without any assistance; from the deficits I have felt, I have tried - together with other people - to develop projects that would not let something like that happen again in the future. Still, I have stayed socially compliant, and I have learned to appreciate my illnesses and to develop mayself. From the visually impaired unskilled salesperson to the project developer and a positive person with some entertainment qualities. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? From my time at school bad experiences with learning, since they didn’t show me any learning strategies, and there were no working aides at that time. Therefore, always afraid to fail with regard to learning. I tried to remember a lot by attentively listening to people. As an adult I gained knowledge about working aides in order to be well-equipped at other trainings. I also tried to learn things by heart and to remember the things for a long time. Need peace and time, well-prepared learning material and, probably, a coach who would support me in my learning activity. Getting to know suitable learning strategies related to my disability would be super!

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Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. To accept that - in your private and your professional life - you depend on other people in some areas, which means that you cannot act autonomously. When, at all, I find something disturbing this would be that it still takes time until all other people will be aware of how to deal with us; only then can prejudices be torn down. That I have learned to stand my ground in life - most of the time - and to be able to life a very normal life with my disability. Particularly important: my disability let me discover my potential! Humanity, willingness to learn and to change. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Integration is important and makes it possible for me to take part in the life of society in all situations in life. For me integration means job, spending my free-time, respect, appreciation, and personality development. The term integration is negative for me when the other people pretend that everybody has already been integrated and they move on to the next step although it is clear that still numerous measures are needed until real integration has taken place. This means that I don’t like the thoughtless and onesided way politics and the society are using this term. Up to when I was 25 I hadn‘t known integration and services connected with it; from then on I intensively dealt with it - through my own commitment and with the help of special institutions. First it was mainly in the area of professional integration for people with learning difficulties and mobility impairments, and after I got blind I focussed on education and profession for visually impaired and blind people. For me integration means equality for people with special needs in order for them to be able to take part in all processes of a society. Can I participate in the integration? Yes, based on my experiences I tried to create services to reach an improvement with regard to the educational and vocational integration. If the person wished for it, I would bring in my know-how and offer assistance for an autonomous life. In workshops I would introduce sighted people in different vocational areas to the situation of visually impaired people and also show them strategies and methods of my target group to live autonomously and self-determined. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? Yes, as someone who is affected himself, I passed on my knowledge in that way. Trainers must - methodically and didactically - be aware of and prepared for the target group to be trained. Good planning and preparation of measures, knowing the life and leaning situations of the target group, good training materials, and the coaching of the respective trainers and students are important aspects.

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the Braille display, speech output, a netbook, Braille printer, colour recognition device, and a special dictating machine. It’s particularly the small Braille display that removes barriers; well-sighted people often ask how it works - that way you get talking. Also, my customers are often surprised when they suddenly meet me - via e-mail they don’t see that the content comes from a blind person. Everything in connection with listening media and the Internet brings equality and removes barriers more and more. More and more audio books come onto the market and on the Internet barriers are more and more removed.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Always be informed on the times of public transport and have the contact data at your fingertips. Information on public transport with “Mailstone” on your dictating device for blind people who often need to cover long distances. Via Internet and with the screen reader, copy the information into a text file: arrival, departure. It’s important to have separate text files in a folder. “Place of arrival.txt”, “departure of means of transport.txt”, “arrival of means of transport.txt”, “possibilities to change.txt”, “taxi.txt”, “emergency number.txt”. The advantage is that, while I am walking, this special working aid “Mailstone” - from www.Bones.ch or www.tsb.co.at - lets me always quickly access the information; that way I am just as well informed as well-sighted people. Your „trick“ 2: The technical assistance of the ISIS project Map of Styria. As I am late blind I forgot the pictures in my head that go with the various maps in Austria, and I couldn’t just have a look how to get somewhere or where to meet my customers. Due to a special project of ISIS I can now - via a combination of graphics tablet and software, including voice output and with tactile and auditory elements - “see” my province. And that works again and again. The tests in the project testing phase of the product were very helpful.

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Your „trick“ 3: Choose the right colour of clothes. To be well-dressed at work, it’s important to wear a tie that would go with your shirt. First I bought an audio book on etiquette to get some basic knowledge on how to dress well. Then I researched the Internet for possible aides - from a sock suspender to marking systems and colour recognition devices. Then support from the working aides assistance and, together with the free-time coach, visit to the exhibition of working aides. Tested rental devices and adjusted them to my needs with the technical assistance. Consultation with authority regarding funding - and then bought the devices. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Courage to ask. Approach the people. Making absolutely clear what you want and need - point out your needs in time.

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Austrian Participant, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Xxx Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 29 years old and was trained to be an office management assistant. I concluded this training 11 years ago. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Graz What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a call centre agent. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am visually impaired. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I attended secondary school together with normally sighted students. I did my office management assistant training at Odilien Institute in Graz. Then I did the ECDL and a call centre training. I didn’t like learning very much.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Earlier, others used to laugh at me. Even if I am visually impaired I lead a normal life. I am an orderly person, and I need help if something is written in too small a print. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I have mixed feelings with regard to learning. When the print is too small I need a zoomed photocopy and a lot of light. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. In other people I most dislike that they can’t openly talk to me about my impairment. My most important values are my reliability and my empathy. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? People shouldn’t be divided up into disabled and healthy people. It’s definitively an enrichment to integrate disabled people. People can, for sure, learn a lot from each other. At the moment, I am satisfied with my position. Can I participate in the integration? I have often thought about helping others. I would, by all means, like to pass on my experiences to other people. If I were healthy and met someone with the kind of visual impairment I have I would help him. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? It’s very interesting to work with people who have a learning disability. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the PC and Internet everyday. I have a magnifying software; apart from that I work like every normally sighted person.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS I think you shouldn’t let your impairment get you down.

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Hans-Peter Schaar, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Hans-Peter Schaar Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 31 years old and I concluded my training 11 years ago. It was an apprenticeship to become an office management assistant. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Austria, Kammern im Liesingtal, a small town. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a supervisor in a call centre (TeleTrading House) for blind and visually impaired people in the ISIS project. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a high-grade visual impairment (retinitis pigmentosa). That’s an illness of the retina; the cones and rods die off and don’t grow again. My visual centre is battered and, therefore, I can’t see clearly and can hardly read anymore. The general visual field around that still works quite well. I already suffer from night blindness. Nevertheless, I don’t feel disadvantaged because of that, but I see it as a challenge and even feel healthy.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. When I went to school I usually felt tired. Because learning at commercial school was very difficult for me with my magnifying glasses I decided to leave school early. I then did an apprenticeship to be an office management assistant and successfully passed the exam in 1998. Since I can hardly read anymore I certainly find it very difficult to learn things (e.g. from a book); I need a reading device or my magnifying glasses as a support. With the magnifying glasses, however, it’s not always possible to read everything. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). When I started to work in 2001 I got a one-year contract at a company. This contract was prolongued for another year. Then I got no further contract. Five weeks later they called me and told me that they had tried everything that was possible to employ me for another year. I think that says a lot about me and my skills. Then I got the possibility to enter the ISIS project at bfi Steiermark. First it was only two months as a trainee, then for three years as a transit employee - as a call centre agent. In January 2006 my boss at that time asked me whether I could imagine to take on the internal supervision of our call centre in autumn 2006. Of course, I wanted to. At the beginning of 2008 I got a permanent job in the ISIS project, and now I am the supervisor of the TeleTrading House (call centre for blind and visually impaired people). As a call centre agent you can only stay in the project for 36 months; then they transfer you to the first labour market. I’ve been employed at the bfi Steiermark for four years now, and I like it a lot. At the moment, I supervise eight call centre agents, and everything works just as it should. What I would like to tell other visually impaired people is that, with engagement and a sense of duty towards a company, you can reach a lot, even if you are disabled. You shouldn’t assume that you know everything and that you have all the skills already. In my experience, some of the visually impaired people often assume that; therefore, they are not receptive. Of course, you also need a company to give you the chance to prove yourself; but when you set yourself targets and you want to work you shouldn’t give up. I am one of the few severely visual impaired people in the province of Styria that have managed it. Of course, you also need to accept your eye disease. Just accept it as it is and make the BEST out of it. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? In my training there weren’t any barriers to overcome. I passed the ECDL (Office 2003) at once. I had no difficulties because I had been working with the software for about 15 years. Last year I wanted to start with the ECDL advanced. Then, all of a sudden, there was a big barrier. The new Office 2007 is completely different from the previous version. Therefore, I decided to postpone the training for a year to be better able to prepare myself. Now I hope that everything will work out fine this year and I’ll pass the exams. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. Actually, all my friends and acquaintances treat me „normally“. My mother also takes me the way I am, and my girl-friend anyway. She often shows me the newspaper in the morning and then says, „Look, read that through.“ I always answer, „Sure!“ She then says that she keeps forgetting about my poor eyesight. I grew up like any normal child, and everything is just normal with me. Of course, I know that there are things I can’t or shouldn’t do myself. An example: When they diagnosed my disease when I was 16, the doctors told me not to do this and not to do that. I thought nothing of it. According to the doctors‘ advice I shouldn’t have done any cycling, skiing, or roller-skating. All things I had used to do - and, partly, still do today. I can very well judge for myself what I can do and what I can’t do. A

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doctor might see me for a few hours and only knows me from the examinations. Often, he then thinks he knows everything about me. What I can do and what I am not able to do. I don’t think that’s the way it works. You can’t just treat everyone the same - whether they are visually impaired or they are not disabled. And even when people suffer from the same disease. People are just different from each other. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Personally, I am very satisfied with my position. Today, integration is a topic that is always present. But as I have mentioned above, not all people should be treated the same. Among the visually impaired there are so-called „black sheep“ who shamelessly exploit the system in Austria. Either by taking sick-leaves or with other excuses in connection with their illnesses. That may sound quite hard now, but that’s the reality. Can I participate in the integration? Until I was ten years old I had normal vision. Then, by-and-by, my disease was developing. Therefore, I know both situations, the feeling to see „normally“ and the feeling not to see everything. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I attended a normal mainstream school (primary and secondary school); even without any technical aides. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. The PC, generally, is a big support already; mainly because you can adjust the font sizes according to your needs.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Everybody must accept their impairment and learn how to live and work with it; also, when there is something you are not able to do, you shouldn’t be ashamed in front of other people. You should honestly admit that there are things you are not able to do and you should accept help. I know it’s hard when you are affected yourself, but it makes life a lot easier and, especially, more worth living.

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Kerstin Schwarz, Austria ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Kerstin S. Sind Sie männlich oder weiblich? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 29 years old. I concluded my training to be an office management assistant eleven years ago. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Province of Styria, Graz. It’s a big city. What is your mother language? German What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Call centre agent. You learn every day. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Due to my visual impairment I am disadvantaged when I want to read small print or identify something at a long distances. I am severely shortsighted, and in 2005 they had to remove my right eye. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I did my office management assistant training in Graz. Then I attended the European Computer Driving License (ECDL), a call centre agent training and some office courses. I’ve been trying to constantly train myself. I haven’t always enjoyed life.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I have been visually impaired since I was born. I concluded an office management assistant training. In the future, I would like to work in a call centre and to do further office trainings. I successfully passed all my trainings. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? When I learn, I need to try out the things I learn and to apply them. In the training and in courses I sometimes had to enlarge the scripts by photocopying them because the print was too small. I prefer to have the material in a digital format or in large print. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I don’t like when people don’t ask but avoid me from the beginning and have prejudices. My most important values are reliability, patience and I am a good listener. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I think that impaired people shouldn’t be distinguished from healthy people. It’s good if there are more classes with impaired and healthy people and, in enterprises, if there are also impaired employees. The people complement one another and they learn from each other. Everyone should be able to work in an area where he/she thinks they can contribute to the whole. In primary and secondary school, I was the only one with a (visual) impairment. Can I participate in the integration? I have never thought about helping other people. If I got healthy and met a disabled person I would encourage this person and ask him/her how I could help. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? At school and at work I had colleagues with learning difficulties. At the beginning I found it very difficult to explain, to these people, things in a way so they could understand the things.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Ihr „Trick“ 1: 1. For books, magazines etc. in small print I use a reading device. 2. For my PC work I use a magnifying software. 3.Before I go to a job interview I look up the way in the Internet and I go there once before the interview. 4. On my mobile phone, I have - in addition to the names - a photograph; I can see that better than the name.

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Ihr „Trick“ 2: 1. Often, I look up difficult terms I don’t understand at wikipedia.at. 2. I prefer to have materials and scripts in a digital format since I can then adjust the font size according to my needs. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Never say good-bye when you still want to try it. Never give up when you think that you can still manage.

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Czech Republic Petra Helebrantová, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Petra Helebrantová. Are you male or female? I am female. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 24 years old and I am currently studying university. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I am living in the Czech republic, in a village near Prague. What is your mother language? My mother toung is Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am currently a student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a visual handicap - with only a small visual capability left. To be more specific, I am suffering from the visual impairment called tunnel vision along with decreased visual acuity and photodysphoria. This kind of eyesight handicap is classified as a severe visual impairment. However, I am able to live a normal life without bigger problems. I can study. I can do my hobbies etc. I do not feel particularly handicapped in comparison to others. I am able to do almost everything on my own. Of course, I need help in certain situations. However, I think I am able to offset my handicap quite well. Moreover, I am lucky since my handicap is not really noticeable. For instance, when I walk in a known environment, nobody recognizes that I have sight problems. It is worse in Prague where I have more problems with orientation. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process.

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Studying was always fun for me. Therefore I had no problems finishing grammar school. In those days,My eyesight was already worsening. I was not able to read small letters or writing on the board. Yet, I was still able to study without bigger problems. My schoolmates as well as the teachers were willing to assist me. Geography and all the other natural science subjects such as mathematics, physics and chemistry were then the biggest hassle for me because I was not able to work with maps, nor see enough to read from the board. Thus, I had to study these topics by myself at home. At the end of my fourth year in the grammar school my sight worsened again. Even so, I was still not recognizing it that much and mainly was not taking it too seriously. I got interested in a specialized pedagogy therefore, after I graduated from the grammar school, I enrolled myself for the study programme: Specialized pedagogy at the Faculty of Education in Charles University. I enjoyed it and I am still enjoying these studies (I am in my 5th year now). However, in spite of this, I was not fully satisfied and I still wanted to study something else as well. That is why I decided to study psychology. In the beginning I was quite sceptical about passing the entrance examination. The entrance examinations for these studies are someof the most challenging in the Czech Republic. After thorough self preparation I finally passed the entrance examination on the third attempt and got enrolled for this programme at the Faculty of Philosophy in Charles University in Prague. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I am currently in my second year and I am fully satisfied. Hence, at present I am studying at two universities. I hope that I will finish the Specialized pedagogy programme this year and from next year I will focus on psychology only. For now, I do not know what I would like to study further. Nevertheless, I know that I will definitely continue with further education - whether through various courses, self-study or pursuing PhD studies, it does not matter. As I wrote before, my visual impairment does not particularly restrict me in any way. My amazing classmates help me at school. They have no problems helping someone who is handicapped. I do not have any problems with the teachers either. They are also always willing and able to give me advice or help. The most important support I get is from my Mum. She is my physical (e.g. she is accompanying me to the doctor etc.) as well as my mental support. After the secondary school, I enrolled for the Specialized pedagogy at the Faculty of Education in Charles University, as I mentioned before. My dream, however, was to study psychology. I knew that there were minimal chances to pass the entrance examinations even for a healthy person - even less chance for a handicapped one. I had little or no hope to achieve such a big aim – enrolling at the Philosophical faculty of Charles University. I did have to sit for the entrance examination three times. With every attempt I moved a bit further. Each failure was quite harsh and I really felt bad about it. It did not paradoxically discourage me, but increased my optimism. I started to feel that I have to accomplish this longed-for goal. This in turn meant for me three years of on-going and thorough studies of psychology. I had almost no spare time and the only thing I was doing was studying. Besides studying there was every year also the problem with adjustment of the entrance exam to meet my abilities. Especially in the first year, it was very hard to ask for this adjustment and present concrete requirements how the exam should be adjusted. I did not know what the actual tests were about. That is why it was necessary for me to sit for the entrance examination at least once just to be able to define the terms of the exam adjustment next time. At this point I felt a bit handicapped in comparison to the healthy people who came to sit for the exam for the first time and had no problem with filling out the tests. On the other hand, I came to sit for my first adjusted entrance exam and at that time I found out that for instance one part of the exam is very inaccessible for me – i. e. unreadable pictures. The first attempt was not only about testing my knowledge, but mainly about finding out how the tests are designed so that I was able to ask next year for more specific adjustments. Moreover, I did not have enough time (I got only 25 % more than normal students). By the time I finished reading 1

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question, the healthy students had already finished far more. This meant that I had to be much better prepared than others. I finally passed my third attempt and took a 7th position. Based on this lovely result, I realized that even I am able to reach more than some healthy people. Another question was if I would be able to study at two universities simultaneously. I started my first year of Psychology and 4th year of Specialized pedagogy. I had tremendous worries about failing. Finally, I successfully finished both study years by the end of the normal term. I am now finishing my studies of Specialized pedagogy this year and also in my second year of Psychology. Despite it going to be e a tough task to accomplish, it will mean to me another step forward and move towards the finals examination at the Faculty of Education. I would like to work in the field of Specialized Pedagogy or Psychology in the future. I would like to link my theoretical knowledge and practical experience with my working tasks. It would be a pleasure if I could help people suffering from any kind of handicap and if I could pass on my experience. For example the area of the above mentioned entrance examinations for psychology. Even a single piece of information, from people who have the same problems or worse, can be very helpful. I personally think that people should help each other and pass the important information to each other. I would also like to continue in my further education and would like to work on my self improvement. I enjoy very much studying theoretical findings in the area of Psychology and Specialized pedagogy. I like reading professional publications and professional thesis. I already managed to publish my contribution in a professional publication. I am also trying to work on increasing people’s awareness of handicapped people. Therefore I have set up my web presentation where I write various articles and collect information - http://petrahele.webnode.cz/ What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? My way of studying is specific on the one hand and on the other it is just very normal as in the case of normal people. It is crucial to realize from which point of view you are looking. To be able to study on a high quality level, I need appropriate tools – the most important one is a personal computer. At the university, I am transferring my notes directly into my laptop. I read mainly literature in a digital form – most often from the libraries for the visualyl impaired. When being examined at the end of the term, I experience problems very rarely. I do not encounter any problems at a spoken examination. In case of a written one, I have to have an adjusted test. Some lecturers prefer the spoken examination to the written one and consider it to be an appropriate compensation for the written test. However, I do not share this opinion nor like this approach and think that even a person with specific needs has the right to choose the form of examination. I find it best, when the teacher is willing to bring the test on the USB drive and I am able to fill in the same test as my fellow colleagues - but via use of PC. The written test is most convenient to me because I can read through all the questions and, in turn, thoroughly consider each one of them. I have enough time and am not forced to answer immediately. During lectures, I feel my sight handicap mainly when the lecturer is too often writing on a board or using a projector. Nowadays, it is also very popular to use powerpoint presentations. These might be very fancy for most of the students because of the design and graphics used. However, they are not of much use for the visually impaired people. This kind of lecture is one of the worst for me because the lecturers are sometimes too bound to the presentation. The lecturers express themselves far worse than when talking without use of the presentation. They very often rely on the presentation itself (presentation is meant to be self explanatory) and do omit some of the things in their speech because students can just read it themselves. Then we learn that “this author”, “remember this”, “at this point” – students with no visual handicap have no problems with understanding the given topic. On the other hand, a student suffering from a visual impairment is lost within a few minutes. Such students then do not know what the lecturer is talking about and become very confused. From a high quality lecture for the seeing students it becomes a very poor lecture for the visually handicapped ones. The presented graphs, pictures and

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tables are a significant cause of the problems with understanding the content. Meanwhile these represent only an additional piece of information for the normal students because they facilitate understanding of the larger issue. These elements can be the cause of misunderstanding among the handicapped ones. Other inconveniences, which make my studies more complicated, are rather of the theoretical kind. The sticky notice papers on the doors notifying of a sudden change in consultation hours etc. Luckily, the universities are now trying to share this information via an electronic form. During my studies, I am able to use the help of various centres dedicated to a university education support – such as the Tereza Centre. I can be in this centre any time I need – for instance when I have nothing to do and no place to be - like in case of a cancelled lecture. I am able to work here on my homework, seminar papers etc. I work here on my notebook but I can also use the available computers. These computers are equipped with special software: including sound output and a software magnifier. There are also Braille lines next to the computers. The centre is further equipped with a scanner; copy machine; black & white printer; Braille printer and a “fuser”. Furthermore, there are assistants who are willing to help any time an issue arises. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. Most people have no trouble communicating with me. However there are some (even the highly educated ones) who do not know how to talk to a visually impaired person. Various embarrassing situations then follow. Sometimes these become even degrading ones (e .g. the conversation with the guide instead of with the actual student). I believe that the public should be educated in the area of communication. I have never encountered a situation where somebody would consider me inferior. I usually feel an equal partner in a mutual relationship. In most cases I do tolerate mistakes which are made by the seeing person and I do not take these personally because I know that nobody knows everything and that the communication failings are only a result of such unfamiliarity. On the other hand, this way people might very often negatively perceive the visually handicapped. Unfortunately, I have to say that even people who should be educated in communication with handicapped individuals frequently do not know how to behave or deal with a handicapped person. When it is too complex for them, they just pretend like there is no handicapped person there. This can be demonstrated for instance on the lecture where the lecturer is aware of the handicapped person being present, however he/she is not able to do the minimum to make it easier for a handicapped person to understand his/her lecturing. The minimum concerns focusing more on the verbal aspect of lecturing and avoiding referencing too much the texts of the presentation. Sometimes it is just very little details that could make things easier for the handicapped person and would cause no harm to the common students. Tolerance and willingness is the key. I am always pleased when somebody is able to appreciate the fact that I know something or that I can handle something well. I am glad when someone is able to realize that my exam preparation or writing of a seminar paper means much more work for me and is much more time consuming than it is for normal students. In my case, studying for an exam does not mean to take a book and start reading it. First, I have to get the book and scan it. I need to complete my lecture notes which were related to the visual sensing (e. g. texts presented on a board or in a powerpoint presentation) and many other things. Every time I get such an acknowledgment, I feel like studying even more. A handicapped individual has to dedicate much more time to the exam preparation. It is very often very tough and exhausting. In most cases, the public is very tolerant to visually impaired people. People often ask if the handicapped needs some help. However, they do often help in the wrong way – e. g. helping when crossing the road etc. This way they cause more harm thangood. The good thing is that society is willing and ready to help. There are always ways of improving society’s awareness. Health is one of my highest personal values. Social relationships take second position – it is amazing to know that there is always somebody willing to help you to solve the issue or ready to support you when you get into troubles. Simply put, it is nice to know that you can always rely on someone. Another value of mine, which I reckon, is education.

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What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? It is crucial to distinguish who is to be classified as a handicapped person. This concerns various social benefits or allowances as well as easier employment of such handicapped individuals. There is a higher chance for a handicapped individual to integrate into a working environment and get better working conditions when a job vacancy is being subsidized by the state. Of course, these are ideal situations. In my opinion, this classification is thus rather necessary for legislation purposes to provide better access to education and job offers. Second question is the actual integration of handicapped people into the healthy population – accepting the handicapped ones by the healthy individuals. The handicapped individual should remember that he/she is not able to do everything on his/her own and that he/she is limited in a way. The general population should learn that it is normal to help handicapped people if needed. Healthy individuals should also learn that even a seriously impaired person can be well integrated into society provided that he/she has good conditions for it. It is important to respect the handicapped person and help him/her whenever it is needed. From time to time handicapped people are underestimated. which can s lead to them being slighted. Nowadays, the integration process is being forced rather than implemented. There is no doubt that it is appropriate to support the integration of physically handicapped people into society. Unfortunately, everything has to happen through the application of law and the integration does not happen naturally. As an example, I can present the struggle of parents who have handicapped children and are trying to integrate them into a school located in their neighbourhood. It is very often that schools “do not want” such kids. However, this should not be the case. Children grow up in an environment where they are used to their friends. Thus it should be normal so that they stay with these well known people when attending the basic school. The question is why the directors are unwilling to enrol a handicapped child? Why is there not a natural integration? On the other hand, it is often more suitable for a handicapped child to spend at least some time in a boarding school. There, they can learn the necessary skills which will enable them to have an easier integration into society. The integration of children in basic schools is not always fully possible. It is then very often that blind children do not learn how to be independent and self efficient, how not to get lost in the area around them. Such children are much more dependent on the people around them than pupils who attend a boarding school. Based on the above, the integrated education does not always guarantee that a child passes easily into society later. Now at the university, I am happy with the level of integration that is common here. Most of my school mates consider me to be a normal person and an equal student to them. They help me whenever I need. They often come to me for consultation, which tells me that I must know a bit more about that topic than they do.It might be quite difficult trying to define how the integration should look like. I believe that it should be natural. Healthy people should gradually get more and more used to living with handicapped ones. Despite this, getting used to each other will certainly be far longer than for instance in case of getting used to each other among healthy co-workers. In the end, it can be valuable for both parties - the impaired ones as well as the healthy ones. A lot of this depends also on the handicapped person him/herself. How he/she behaves in public. How he/she presents him/herself. The handicapped individual must present him/herself much better and show his/her potential and knowledge. Though it may be more difficult than in case of a healthy person, the effort will finally pay off. It has to be emphasized that a lot of this depends on the willingness of the public to accept the handicapped person and let him/her integrate. I think that another crucial fact is the level of impairment. There is a difference if the person to be integrated is mentally handicapped or a visually impaired one. Society reacts differently to different handicaps. Education of a handicapped person might represent an advantage when applying for a job position – a handicapped person with a university education will have better chances when being interviewed than a handicapped individual with the same level of impairment who only finished secondary school. There has to be a balance on both sides for the integration to be successful. It is obvious that we are only humans and everybody has to take the other person as a unique individual.

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Can I participace in the integration? Regarding my studies, personal interests and my own experience, I would be very glad if I could be of use to anyone. I myself have been helping my schoolmate for a long time. She is a foreigner and does not easily understand everything. Studying is very hard for her. She requires a lot of patience. I give her my lecture notes. I help her find what her study duties are. I assist at her exam preparations etc. In summary, I feel I can be useful despite my handicap. Of course, she is also always willing to help me whenever I need something and my handicap is an obstacle. We help each other mutually. It is hard to talk about what I would do if I was cured. I can only speculate and the end result could be completely different if it should happen. I really do not like to speculate about things which are not real. Moreover, there are always more factors included. What if I turned the question around and asked the healthy people: “What would you do if you became paralyzed and got stuck in a wheel chair?” They might say something; however they would behave differently if it really happened. What would I then do for such an impaired person? I would probably try to help him/her – mainly in the areas which I feel are most inaccessible to me. As a teacher I would be trying to lecture in such a way that even a severely visually impaired individual would find the lecture to be a quality one for him/her and not only a set of information relating to graphical representations. I would also help her/him with getting the study literature. I would try to establish co-operation between us. Support should also be in other places not only during the lecture. I would always ask in the corridor if she/he needs help. It happens sometimes that there is an announcement regarding a change of the room somewhere on the wall of the corridor and all the schoolmates run into that room. You are then left there alone and helpless. I would like others to learn how to help anytime it is needed. I will try to answer the question if I ever had any temporary issues which would cause my indisposition. I was never immobile so far (e. g. in terms of a broken leg). However, I remember very well how I got cold or had flu and was having problems with my ears. Besides that I did not see well, I had even problems to hear properly. When I have flu or get cold, It is hard for me to localize sounds and I understand badly the people around me. I tried to empathize into the situation of my grandfather because he has ear problems and hears very badly. I tried to think of the problems which a hearing impaired individual can have. Several times I had to talk to people who speak very quietly and with very bad articulation in a very noisy environment – such as a subway for instance. I was very nervous that I hardly understand that person. It was very embarrassing for me to state that he/she spoke quietly and I did not understand him/her. That is why I did not have any other choice than to pretend understanding and agreeing with his/her answers. Sometimes I answered something else than I was asked. Such situations have helped me to understand the hearing impaired people at least a bit. Communication with people and establishing social relationships represent very important factors. The hearing handicapped people have less access to these. I have to agree with the quotation by H. Keller: “Blindness separates people off things – deafness off the other people”. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I am experienced in the way people with specific needs learn – namely in the area of visually impaired ones or the combined impaired individual. I had to participate in several workshops with visually or combined handicapped people to get experience. I was mostly working with the visually impaired children. I believe I did not need to solve any specific issues. I was only solving problems which are common to non-handicapped children as well. Of course, teaching such impaired kids needs a specific approach. The only problem I encountered, if I can call it this, was the decreased awareness and imagination of the blind children. Some things and terms, which are obvious to seeing children, need to be explained to the blind ones. I was also working with children suffering from the combined handicap who were in the pre-school and school age. Almost all the children were mentally handicapped. I was working with them in a hobby club dealing with pottery. I gained lots of new experience in this club. I discovered how to work with people suffering from the autistic spectrum handicap etc. I encountered a couple of issues. The biggest problem was communication. I did not know how to approach these kids. I was not experienced enough

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in this area. I was limited a bit by my visual handicap. I was trying to apply my theoretical knowledge together with intuitive behaviour to children. Additionally, I also used the information which I got from the parents or the club leader. The end result was then very nice. In a few weeks we learned how to cooperate and everything went smoothly without any bigger complications. At the university, I have experience with helping my schoolmate who is foreigner. This involves consultations prior to an exam, helping with her study duties etc. We do not have any major issues in this area. I only had to learn to speak more clearly and slowly so that she was able to understand. She understands me quite well now and therefore our co-operation is excellent. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. My major offsetting tool, which guides me through studies as well as my normal life, is the computer. I have my own notebook specially adjusted for visually handicapped people. I use the computer every day and there are days when it runs from morning till late at night. I use it mainly for studying purposes. I take notes and save them during the class. I use it for reading professional literature. I can search for information on the internet. Thanks to my computer and internet knowledge, I am able to use the digital libraries for visual handicapped. I can then in turn download a particular book. Furthermore, I need additional equipment for my computer like a scanner a erson with visual impairment needs to convert the black & white texts into a digital form. You can easily scan the text and transform it into the digital form. I have my computer equipped with software magnifying glass with a voice output (screen reader). I use the voice output mainly when reading longer texts. The most important tools for me are: specially configured computer and a scanner. The internet is just an amazing source of information. Even a blind person is able to gain lots of information from the internet in one go. I use email. I can mail with whoever I want. Regarding this, I am not dependent on the people around me – nobody needs to read the black & white letters to me. I can meet lots of interesting people over the internet and get their contacts. Another cool thing, which assists me, is the university web pages which I often visit. All time schedule changes, all the important information, everything the teachers need to communicate to students, is presented on the electronic board. The visually impaired person is then independent from the healthy seeing schoolmates. Thus, the handicapped person does not need to be stressed from being afraid to come in front of an empty classroom, with no people around to ask what is happening, where there is only a short notice on the door which he/she is not able to see nor read. The Internet makes handicapped people more independent. They have easier access to information. All of this is improving his/her conditions for integration into a good life, for better studies job vacancy possibilities. Another cool feature is calling via internet. I do not use the various blogs or forums because I lack time for that. I already stated the examples of ICT helping visually impaired people. I would like to add one more to make this complete. Imagine you need to deal with an official body. You do not know how to get there exactly. Moreover, you do not exactly know to which civil servant to ask for the specific problem solution. Another problem is that you do not know the opening office hours. How would you possibly try to solve this situation without a computer and internet? Most probably, you would have to find out somebody who would help you looking for the telephone number of the official authority. This person would have to find out what the opening office hours were. He/she would have to accompany you to the address of the official authority and finally help you solve your issue. It is far easier with a computer because even a blind person is able to solve many things on his/her own. Sucha person is able to find out the web pages of the particular official authority where he/she can find out the opening office hours. He/she can find the appropriate department and contact the responsible civil servant via email to find a solution for his/her problem. The handicapped person might get an immediate response and set off to go to the official authority. He/she already knows when it is open and which person to see. His/her time will be used well. To get help with accompaniment she/he can ask her closest friends or relatives and/or the volunteer based centers – either via phone or internet. The brave one can try to get there on his/her own. He/she can use the service of Navigation centre with which he/she can communicate via e-mail as well. However, the blind person will definitely need assistance in some matters. Nevertheless, thanks to the internet, he/she can be quite independent in many ways. Computer

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can contribute even to a better state of mind because it gives you a feeling that you can manage many things. Computer can increase self-confidence and self image.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. When my sight got worse, I was not able to work with a common computer. Working with it was very hard and I got exhausted easily. It took me too much time to solve something. I was not able to see the icons. The system font was too small for me. I got lost on the screen. I needed at least some software magnifying glass which would enable me to be able to work with the computer further. I encountered another problem when I tried to get some information on prices of the software for visually impaired people. Such software is quite costly. I was not sure how much would I get from the social union. I did not even know how much time it would take to process my application. I wanted to be able to work on my computer further without problems. I needed to fulfil my study duties for instance writing my seminar papers. 2. Any visual impaired person can encounter this issue. It affects mainly the following categories of people: - individuals who got blind later in life - socially weak individuals - visually impaired people who are still willing to learn something new - visually impaired people who are interested in ICT I have learned that there is help even for these people. Visually impaired persons can work with the operation system Vinux which is based on the Linux platform. You can install the software magnifying glass and the screen reader Orca – which is similar to the commercial products. The advantage lies in the fact that the operating system including the software magnifying glass and the screen reader Orca are totally free of charge. The only initial investment is the computer itself. This operating system as well as the Orca screen reader is being developed by volunteers. Orca is suitable for blind users, users with small visual capability left but even for the amblyopic ones. The blind people use only the screen reader. The users with small visual capability left can use both the magnifying glass and the screen reader. The amblyopic people work mostly with the magnifying glass. The combination of screen reader and magnifying glass is suitable mostly for individuals who are still able to see a bit. In case of high zoom (approximately already when zoomed 5 times), you get lost on the desktop screen and therefore it is better to use the screen reader as an additional tool. I think it is important to mention that even in this environment it is possible to work with the Braille line. Mildly and medium visually impaired user can work in the linux environment even without the use of magnifying glass Orca. The user can set up the desktop according to his/her needs – e. g. the size of the system font, the icon size, the colour of the desktop background, inversion settings etc. – the variety of settings is relatively huge. The magnifying glass Orca also represents a high-quality tool. It enables the visually impaired individual to use specific settings accustomed to his/her needs – eg. various levels of zooming, size and colour of cursor, inversion settings etc. My brother who is familiar with IT technologies helped me to solve this issue. He helped me with the installation of the operating system including the installation of the screen reader and the magnifying glass Orca. He also helped me with solving various problems which I encountered from time to time. He was mainly looking for information on various forums which are created just for the users of this

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software. The visually impaired individuals who are using this software are the main contributors to these forums. The only barrier for someone can be the fact that these forums are in English. A knowledge of English is then vital. Another headache for visually impaired people who are not very familiar with computers might be the installation of the system itself and the on-going installation of regular patches. Should this be the case, then the visually handicapped person needs someone to help out with this. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever�. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Do not underestimate yourselves! A person with special needs is very often confronted with the public opinion that he/she is able to handle much less than the others. Despite the fact that, in most cases it requires a tremendous effort, you are often able to handle much more than non-handiapped people. It requires endurance, open future, optimism and higher self-esteem. Prove to the healthy people that you can achieve a very high set of objectives.

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Lucie Hilscherová, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Lucie Hilscherová Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 24, this year I have finished bachelor study and I continue in magisterial study.

The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Czech Republic. I am changing my stays, when I have more free time I am spending a time at my parents ‘ house in small city Hranice, during the school year I live in Ostrava. What is your mother language? Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am still a student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am dyslexic so it gives me a lot of barriers but I fight them successfully. I also have others medical disabilities but I do not want to speak about them because I try to throw it over my head. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have studied at VSB-TU Ostrava (Faculty of Economics) and in 2009 I graduated from bachelor study. I have decided to continue my education and obtain new knowledge which I could practice in my working life. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). As I mentioned above I am dyslexic which made problems to me since elementary school. The first experience was unlikable and crucial. Instead of understanding I was facing humiliation and calling me stupid right from the teacher who made a big effort to transfer me to a special school. Thanks god

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she was not successful in that because my parents fight for me so I was only transferred to other “normal” elementary school. There the situation was completely different. Teachers were very pleasant and helpful and gave me a space to learn according to my needs. For example I was not forced to write the dictations in language lessons but instead they gave me supplementary tests and if not needed they would not ask me to read aloud in order not to make me feel bad in front of my schoolmates because telling the truth my reading was really really horrible. ☺ Then the high school came which I went through practically without any problems. I belonged to average students, I had the friends and I lived happiness and worries as every other teenager. After that I decided to go to university. The significant reason to do so was that I wanted to show all those who humiliated me and called me stupid that I am not like that and that I am intelligent person having own goals and dreams. So I started my study at University VSB in 2005. The beginning was very crucial, no understanding, many barriers. Problems gathered. Fortunately I found Center Sunflower and my problems disappeared. The biggest help was Martina Vahalíková. She helped me as for formal part of my study and also as for psychological part. Her enthusiasm and diligent she put in everything she does is great! At the same time she is nice and she transferred her optimism to me even I was not in a mood. Simply the right person at the right place☺ I started to like learning so even I already achieved a “small” title I will try not to stop my endeavour but achieve the magister graduation. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I learn as every other student. Only my reading takes more time so I have to dedicate my learning more time. One fact is that if lectures and study materials would be recorded it would make my learning easier. I better remember what I hear than what I read. PC makes my education easier because I can modify materials to my needs and on the other hand it can correct my mistakes when I am writing (I often omit the letters or even words). Basically I do not need any help kit. I only need more time to read or eventually write. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. My handicap is not visible and people around me either do not know about it or there is no need to know. So people´s approach towards me is completely normal. Maybe I am happy to have good people around. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I think that differing people to the handicapped and the healthy is very sick. With small understanding and considerateness these people can study and work together and there is no need to divide them. It could be even advantage because we can learn from each other. Sometimes I consider the effort to make a handicap visible irritating. Pointing at “this is this handicapped student needing this and that” is discomforting, simply I am a student and schoolmate, colleague… Integration can be simply practicing by not differing students to “normal” and “special schools” but by giving them possibility to study together. At my present study I see the integration of “the handicapped” among other students and I consider it very successful and going in good path. And… I do not feel the handicapped, I am a normal student and this is the best I can do.

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Can I participace in the integration? I tried to help others who needed more help than I by doing study assistant. And because I know by my own experience how I appreciated others ‘help I made big effort to it. Two years ago I become ill with my legs and I could not walk so going to school was unthinkable. Unfortunately it ended badly because at that time nobody gave me a helping hand so I had to repeat a school year. At the end Sunflower helped me and now everything is good. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I did not experience teaching somebody. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I meet ICT on daily basis. A big part of study materials are accessible through internal information system as well as schedule and communication with pedagogues. As for private use I use calls, chat, emails etc. what virtual world offers.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. The basis for using ICT is knowledge. I was advantaged by learning a lot about ICT at elementary school which was focused on informatics. 2. This preparation helped me in my self-education and the truth is that I learned by trial and error. 3. Now I can say I can use ICT so I have no problem with it. 4. The only problem is that when I need to do something on school PC the net often fails so I have to spend a lot of time at PC. Your „trick“ 2: 1. To enroll myself to optional subject is every year a big problem. 2. I try to choose the most suitable time to log in. 3. If the page does not display I refresh it regularly waiting till it shows up. 4. I log in and enroll myself to the subjects. Your „trick“ 3: 1. Sometimes there is a need to send bigger value of dates (pictures, documents…) 2. I use winrar programme or winzip to make it smaller 3. Then it is not a problem to send it to anybody 4. As I said above I learned a lot by myself but I do not mind because I like it.

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YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Ones I met a man telling me: Success is not an accident, it is an attitude. And I learned from that – if I believe in what I tend to do it will come.

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Kateřina Pešková, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Kateřina Pešková Are you male or female? Female. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 29 years old. I finished my Bachelor’s degree 6 years ago. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I am from the Czech Republic, from Horní Suchá, which is a village 20km from Ostrava, where I studied. What is your mother language? Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? At the moment I am on maternity leave. After I finished my education, I worked in a non-profit organization for the visually impaired in the field of after work activities. Thanks to the ESF project, at the university where I studied, we were able to found The Center for Students with Special Needs. I worked at the Center from its inception. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a visual impairment almost to the stage of being blind. Being handicapped or feeling strong is a question of perception of my reality. Due to the fact that my visual impairment was diagnosed when I was seven, and progressed slowly, I had time to get used to it and learn to live with it. Now I don’t even think about it. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I was attending a regular grammar school when my eye condition manifested itself. Fortunately, I continued my education in an integrated setting. After my secondary education (roughly ages 15 to 18), I attended and graduated from a Technical University, where I majored in Economics with a focus in Finance.

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After finishing my university study, I have been participating in various educational activities because I want to continue building upon my education throughout my life. As an example: a course on how to work with a PC equipped with AT, mainly with special text to speech equipment. I like to study very much. In whatever subject I am studying, I like mainly the analytical aspects of it. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). As I already mentioned I have a visual impairment, I am practically blind. My eye condition became apparent at the age of 7 and was getting worse progressively. Since it was a gradual worsening, I learned how to live with it. I definitely don’t feel like a ZTP/P (Czech classification for severely physically handicapped, which requires a guide for transportation.) I am totally an ordinary person, one who is happy, just like anyone else could be. Maybe I appreciate things like health more than the average person. I have a husband, a son, a second child on the way, an education, work, good extended family and friends. I am leading a content life, so my handicap did not take away anything important from me. For the future, I would like for my life to continue in its harmonious flow. Presently, I am on maternity leave and I would like to give my children the most I can. It is one of the most important roles in my life. We are never going to influence anybody as much as we influence children in the first 3 years of their life. Family life is a very important part of my life. In my working life, I would like to contribute to the field of helping visually and otherwise impaired people. I think that is something I understand better than a person who does not have these kinds of problems. I would like to enlighten people in the area that is close to my heart. Most importantly, I have already been successful in achieving my own personal happiness and I believe that I have also had contributed to the happiness of the people closest to me. During my studies, I was achieving good results, which were a reward for my diligence and determination. I am glad that I have travelled and have seen the life of people in remote places of the world, for instance, in Cambodia, Laos, Guatemala, Mexico and other places. During my studies, I had personal contact and worked directly with the blind and the visually impaired. Under the tutelage of an experienced supervisor of a nonprofit organization, I was learning how to work on project proposals. As a result of these practical experiences, which are important to obtain after schooling, I found the courage to propose a project to the European Social Fund in the area of the Development of Human Resources. The project was accepted so I became a manager of a project entitled “Falco or Raising the Quality of Interaction of Academic Workers towards Medically Disadvantaged Students,” a project on which tens of people participated. I am glad that through this project, I was able to fulfill my dream that at my Alma Mater, a Center for Medically Disadvantaged Students was established and now functions. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I am not able to read standard text, I can’t see the blackboard or a projection screen, I can’t read from a regular computer monitor, etc. Regular tools for compensation, such as glasses cannot help me. For studying, it suites me best to have materials in electronic form, so I could transfer them into an auditory form. While people are describing and explaining what they see to me, I can picture it best when they give an in depth and detailed description. Express your opinion on people’s behaviour towards the handicapped. Most people behave nicely toward people with disabilities. Some people are overly helpful – for instance they almost carry a blind person across the road. On the other hand, other people pretend that they don’t see the problem because they don’t know how to behave. A couple times, I have encountered people who were not aware of multiple types of eye conditions

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and they advised me to wear glasses…otherwise I would damage my vision. I appreciate when somebody knows how to describe what they see. For instance, they describe a film, an aerobic exercise program or a graph, while they are being viewed. My highest values are family and health. I like it when people conduct themselves in accord with those values. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I think that it not possible to divide the world into people with disabilities and people who are “healthy;” everybody is in some way disadvantaged. Mutual contact teaches us tolerance. It opens our eyes. And what I don’t like about integration? Things should not be completely integrated. People who own dogs may want to join a club with other dog lovers because they can share stories and experiences. In the same way, people who are blind could also appreciate a group where they meet with other blind people who they can relate to with their experiences, their difficulties and how to overcome them, and their feelings. At my studies and at work I was fully integrated, but outside of work I am in contact with people who have visual ailments. Just as I am seeking a maternity club, now that I am pregnant once again, I belong to groups and clubs that are for people who have a visual ailment. The reason for these contacts is the same. Well, analogously the same. Can I participate in the integration? I am participating in integration with my work in the Center for Students with Special Needs. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? In the Center for Students with Special Needs, there is a wide spectrum of disabilities. The biggest problems students experience with the Center are the initial disorientation and not knowing what the possibilities are. A lightening of expectations for “unfortunate” people with disabilities is degrading. Not only is it degrading, but it does them a disservice, by not providing them with the same quality of education and difficulty of coursework as the rest of the students, for which they are at school in the first place. But some of the “kind people” do not understand that. Introduce your work with ICT. Write as a story; specific “how to’s” will be described later. I use ICT daily. I use a text to speech setup, together with the internet, to obtain information, to communicate, to shop. I also use text to speech to obtain text messages, to read the temperature from a thermometer, but also for less pleasant things like reading the weight from the bathroom scale ☺. Did you ever use ICT for shopping, to make reservations, to find music you like, etc.? Yes, it is the main way in which I shop and make reservations, and it is also the way I look for music, discussions, and fairytales for my son. For me, the most valuable new technology is voice output, which makes emails, text messages, shopping, restaurant menus, discussions on the internet, magazines, etc. accessible to me. Thanks to text to speech and enlarging equipment, in combination with the internet, I can use my tools even when I am in contact with other people.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Reading Normal Sized Text 1. Obstacle Just like everyone else, I want and need to be able to read books, magazines, and technical articles, as well as, cook books, or the inserts in the medicine for my little son. The path to this everyday need is arduous, sometimes impossible – as if bridges along the way were not even there. I am person with only remnants of vision, so reading without Assistive Technology (AT) is impossible for me. 2. Cause of the Obstacle The aforementioned obstacle is connected to my visual impairment. It is not caused by my unwillingness to wear glasses, as some “smartalecs” have informed me. There is wide spectrum of visual impairments, other than near and farsightedness. A person can have eye impairments that cannot be corrected by glasses, for instance, he can have a narrowing of the visual field, blind spots, night blindness, color blindness, distortion of proportion, temporary loss of vision, and many other problems, which manifest themselves in different ways so it is not wise to judge people’s vision if you are not looking through their eyes. 3. ICT in Action The first course of action, for a person with remnants of vision to obtain information without the help of others, is to enlarge text using a photocopier. I used this method up through grade 5, in the 90s of the last century, when it was impossible to obtain the electronic form of the text at my school. I wouldn’t wish for you to see, let alone carry, the mountain of books I dragged to school! From each textbook I created three or four that were twice the size. For select important information, I enlarged it on the paper double the size. The font size was larger, but I had created a new problem. On this large paper placed in front of me, I could not read the top. I had to fold the paper any way I could. On top of that, hard copies are expensive. 4. Where to turn to My first enlarged book was an English/Czech Dictionary, which I had enlarged in the USA. Nowadays, enlarging copying machines are available everywhere. This technology, however, is obsolete. Your „trick“ 2: Independence in Obtaining Current Information 1. Obstacle My vision was getting worse. For my undergraduate studies in economics, I needed to have up-to-date world information in the areas of economics and world financial markets. While writing my thesis, the study of economic analysis, tables and graphs, for instance following market trends in papers and magazines, was a big problem for me. The text in newspapers and magazines is small; its enlargement through the use of copiers or common magnifiers was not suitable for me. While I study, I prefer an auditory form of data, during which I gaze at the data table for spatial orientation only, which helps me to understand logical connections, though I cannot view the table as a whole with my eyes. Without ICT, I was able to obtain “auditory output” only from the mouth of my grandmother, mother and willing classmates. My grandma liked to study with me, that’s for sure – she could have obtained a diploma simultaneously with me ☺. Others also helped me gladly, but I was often concerned that I was taking up precious time they needed to use in some other way. This reading

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really took a lot of time, since they not only had to read it, but they also had to wait for me to note everything important in my gigantic handwriting. For the same reason, I did not have them reread the important passages, even though I knew it would have been beneficial. These cursory studies took away my confidence, since I always want to learn and do everything I need to do the best that I can. 2. Cause of the Obstacle People with disabilities yearn for a dignified self-sufficient life, they need to overcome barriers in obtaining current information. 3. ICT in Action Thanks to the development in Information Technologies for obtaining needed information, I am no longer as dependent on others, since newspapers, magazines and books are not available only in printed form. ICT makes information available in electronic form, and for me and others like me, the visually and otherwise impaired, some much more severely, it is a tremendous advantage! The first advantage of electronic text is the possibility of electronic enlargement by choosing a larger font. It is also possible to change the readability of the text, by choosing a font with less ornamentation, to change its color, and so on. This is a critical capability. Enlarged text can be read on the screen or you can print it out in its enlarged form. A disadvantage is a stack of printed paper. For example, one page of size 12 font becomes 12 pages of my optimal 40 point font. This method has an advantage over using a copier to enlarge text, since electronically enlarged text does not require enlarging of a paper, so people with remnants of their vision can read from the regular size pages. A much more important advantage of electronic text for me and, more importantly, for people who are completely blind, is the possibility of transferring written text into speech output. Electronically saved information allows me to use my AT – a text to speech program. The special software is installed on a regular PC, transforming it into a text reader and magnifier. As a result, I obtain information through hearing; occasionally, I look at graphical schematics. I, as a visually impaired person, but mainly blind people, obtain cutting edge technology, which for reading replaces the eyes. Obviously nothing can replace eyes, since people make connections in data visually, but IT IS POSSIBLE TO READ – even for those who cannot see at all. Additionally, the information obtained by the text to speech software is current. 4. Where to turn to Because of the high cost of a computer with an audio output, it is possible to receive financial aid. The application is processed by the Social Care division of the Town Council in the applicant’s place of residence. In the Czech Republic, for laptops, the AT is called an Electronic Notepad for People who Cannot See, and for desktops it is called an Electronic Reading Device. For people who still have remnants of their sight, it is possible to have the software for text enlargement. A large monitor, which could also be part of this device, is also desirable. Your „trick“ 3: How to change a millimeter sized letter into a quarter of a meter sized letter instantaneously 1. Obstacle Some materials are not easy to scan, because the result will contain mistakes. The culprit can be low quality text, decorative font, very small font, or color background. Enlargement using a magnifying glass (optical magnifier) is not sufficient since while reading small letters mistakes can be made, such as reading the wrong dosage of medication , which can have greatly adverse effects. 2. Cause of the Obstacle The problem is solvable for people who are not completely blind. 3. ICT in Action A suitable aid for people with remnants of vision, is a digital camera magnifier lens (TVi Color Print Magnifier) with a large LCD display on which enormous enlargement is possible. For instance, the

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letters on a medication insert, which are less than a millimeter high, can be magnified to 20cm. A magnifier such as this costs on the order of tens of thousands of Czech Crowns ($US600 at nextag.com) A cheaper alternative, but with a lesser degree of magnification, is an optical magnifier. The cost is on the order of hundreds of Czech Crowns up to about 1000 as a maximum price. 4. Where to turn to For the digital reading AT, you can receive a monetary contribution from the Social Care division of the Town Council in the applicant’s place of residence. For an optical magnifier, Health Insurance contributes to the cost, at the recommendation of your ophthalmologist. Your „trick“ 4: How to Get an Electronic Version of Printed Texts 1. Obstacle It can be a challenge to obtain an electronic version of texts. 2. Cause of the Obstacle Visual Impairment 3. ICT in Action The first method to obtain an electronic version of texts, and how ICT also helped me to read, is scanning of the text. For any text I wanted to read, I had to first scan it, in other words I had to transfer it to electronic form. When you scan a page of text you create a picture of the page, not a document. The images can be used for filing, but for the visually impaired, this format by itself is not useful, because it is not possible for the text to speech software to read it; you can only enlarge it. I could have achieved the same result by simply using a copier instead of the more time intensive scanner. The scanner’s software can have the ability of scanning a page of text and saving it as an editable word document instead of an image file. In the past, this conversion was only possible for English text and gradually other languages were added. When the text is saved in a word document form, many other ATs can be used with it. A significant disadvantage of scanning a page of text to a word document is that the resulting electronic text has a lot of spelling errors. Old books, handwritten notes, underlining, highlighting – these are all especially problematic, causing many errors or even an inability to scan that portion of the printed text. Decorative fonts can also be obstacles. The complexity of a page can also be an issue. For instance, in language and other text books, the page can be arranged with boxes surrounding text. These boxes can even be on angles or overlapping. There may also be pictures making the layout of the page even more complex. The scanner does not know how to handle these graphics. It can either try to read them as text, which will cause many errors so that the text will not make much sense anyway, or it can read that part of the page as an image, creating a hybrid text document, with part of the page electronic text and part of the original page saved as a picture inserted into the electronic document. The image part of the created document would then not be able to be read by the text to speech software. Either option gives you a portion of unreadable text. Besides scanning, there are other ways to obtain an electronic text. At school, I can ask my professors to give me study materials, which they are preparing for their students, in electronic form. Professors don’t always have their study materials prepared, and not all of them are willing to offer their materials electronically. Luckily, more and more professors, as well as publishers of newspapers, technical/trade magazines and journals, and even book publishers make them available electronically on the internet. Once I had obtained the information electronically, I could then consult with my thesis advisor over the internet right at my computer equipped with the AT that I needed – text to speech software, electronic and optical magnifiers, large and high resolution monitor, high contrast settings, and other optically friendly settings of the computer.

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4. Where to turn to Centers for students with special needs at those individual schools that have established them and libraries for the visually impaired and for the blind are useful for your studies. Libraries have electronic texts, as well as books on tapes/CDs/MP3 players read by real people, which, by the way, is a pleasant variation after all of that electronic voice. Your „trick“ 5: 1. Obstacle Information and Communication obstacle 2. Cause of the Obstacle Loss of Acuity of the Senses 3. ICT in Action The largest and most critical obstacle to overcome for people with limited senses is an information barrier. People with a visual impairment can overcome it by obtaining the latest information from the internet with the aid of their AT. It is useful to communicate using email and Skype, because face to face meetings, for the visually impaired, are not as important as the capability of reviewing the discussed material, while using their AT on their computer, in real time. For example, I can simultaneously look at a table enlarged to 90X and communicate via email and Skype. Everything takes a long time. Someone who is blind or visually impaired has to perform more tasks than a person with mild or no visual impairments, in addition they can never see the whole of what they are working on. You Know - To hear is …; to see is …. 4. Where to turn to You can turn to the Social Care division of the Town Council in the applicant’s place of residence for financial contribution to acquire AT and to organizations that help those who have visual impairments to be trained to work with this AT. Your „trick“ 6: How to Handle Daily Personal Tasks 1. Obstacle I can’t read the display on small appliances and other digital tools. 2. Cause of the Obstacle Visual impairment 3. ICT in Action Audio tools for the blind and the visually impaired, for instance, talking kitchen and bathroom scales, talking thermometer, talking measuring tape, talking watch, talking calculator, talking cell phone, and a talking indicator of colors and light. There is an AT, The Sherlock Talking Label Identification Wand (independentliving.com), which can record a note and attach it or print and attach a Braille label for food/clothing/CD/document/object identification, notification of the expiration date for food, and which can provide a short or detailed description of the labeled item. Other ATs are tactile games. 4. Where to turn to You can turn to the Social Care division of the Town Council in the applicant’s place of residence for financial contribution to acquire AT and to organizations that help those who have visual impairments to be trained to work with this AT.

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Your „trick“ 7: Menu 1. Obstacle Meal selection from the menu at the restaurant 2. Cause of the Obstacle Visual impairment 3. ICT in Action Thanks to ICT it is possible to read the menu at home on the internet using your text to voice software before you ever go to the restaurant. 4. Where to turn to Today, most restaurants have their menu on the internet. Your „trick“ 8: Shopping 1. Obstacle Obtaining information about the product, such as price, size, targeted age demographic, etc., while shopping in a brick and mortar store. 2. Cause of the Obstacle Visual impairment 3. ICT in Action Shopping online lets you find out and compare information about the product in the comfort of your own home with the tools which you are used to, such as the text to speech software. 4. Where to turn to There is a plethora of virtual stores and on top of that, they are usually cheaper. The information about a product is more complete online, the features of multiple products can be compared side by side, and there is a greater selection of products and prices to choose from. Online you can also determine the location of the nearest store that has the product in stock so that you can view/try on the item before you buy it there or online. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! A person’s happiness is not determined by how easy his life is. There are a lot of unhappy successful millionaires. Life often sets us up with a burden so that we can realize what is important in life. A lot of people, because of the suffering they have endured, realize what is important in life. As if they had an epiphany, they appreciate the smaller things, which before passed without notice…happiness from movement, happiness from visual beauty, happiness from conversation, happiness from a caress, happiness that a child understands what I am telling him, enjoyment of food, enjoyment of fresh air, happiness that I am not in the hospital, happiness that I can tie my shoelaces, to get enough sleep, happiness from the closeness of the person which we were afraid for…. There is so much beauty during one ordinary, everyday day that I thank it for its ordinariness…. I deeply recall a beautiful description of the term “handicapped” The translation from English is that it is an obstacle, infliction, but also a leveling of the playing field. A handicap is also a weight, which riders put under their saddle in horse races as an “equalization of weight,” so the horse wouldn’t run too easily in comparison to others. It is the same with people who have mental disabilities. They are given a pure, for this world “quickly running”, soul, which has to be “limited somehow”, so their everyday experiences would be equalized.

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Michal Procházka, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Michal Procházka. Are you male or female? I am male. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 18 years old. I finished grammar school in 2006 and I am now attending a business academy. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in the Czech Republic, in Havířov (50, 000 inhabitants). What is your mother language? Czech What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am hearing impaired. I wear a hearing aid, I can not hear without it. I hear differently than healthy people. But from a young age I have been living among hearing people (preprimary, primary and high school). For communication I count on a hearing aid and lip-reading. Because in high school I was not able to manage two foreign languages, I now study sign language instead-I finished 1st year. Otherwise generally I feel healthy. I skate, ski, play squash, ride a bicycle, swim-! during which I can’t wear a hearing aid, so I am totally dependant on lip-reading and the help of others!. This year I even tried water sports-again without hearing aid.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING I am hearing impaired from birth. With the help of my parents, speech therapists, teachers, doctors and the Clinic for Hearing Impaired (SPC) in Ostrava I completed regular kindergarten (my mother is a teacher), grammar school and now I am attending high school – business academy in Orlová. I will graduate next year. From a very young age I had regular logopedic sessions at the Clinic for Hearing Impaired. At the beginning it was two times a month. I had to learn how to pronounce each letter. I think that it was quite demanding. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Most of the time I am comfortable with it. I have acquaintances, friends, lot of interests; I am even learning how to drive. Nevertheless sometimes I know that I am different – when I am not able to keep up with conversations (because I don’t hear everything, don’t understand some texts, I am asking for clarification and miss the next part of the conversation). When I swim –which I have to do without a hearing aid- I have a problem! I have to depend on lip-reading! But despite all of this, I can take care of myself. I’d been led to it from infancy. In the future I would like to get a driver’s license, graduate from high school with good grades and start my university studies. To obtain employment, to have my own apartment and a car. To start a family. My successes: I successfully finished grammar school. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances. I have multitude of interests, hobbies, including sports. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I have an ISP (Individual Study Plan). Teachers and professors are made aware of my handicap. I always sit in front. In grammar school I used a special tool for teacher-student listening device with radio transmission. Up to fifth grade I had only one teacher and she had a degree in a special education. My class had only fifteen students. I had an ISP. I studied at school and also at home with my mother. In sixth grade our class had over 25 students and we were taught by a multitude of teachers. We all tried hard, but it was not working well. I transferred to another school. The class had only 15 students, of which 4 had impairments – mine was hearing, one friend had a visual impairment and two friends were in wheelchairs. Study results were still good. In high school I did not want to be helped with my studies at home. I am self-reliant. My grades are little bit off, I have to study harder. However when I do not comprehend some things, I have to request an explanation of the text. At this time I need more time to study, tolerant educators, and myself I need to want to study harder. I know, I have to try harder. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. While communicating with strangers I sometimes encounter a reluctance to try to understand me. I have to try very hard to understand my friends during ordinary conversation, despite that, sometime I do not have enough time to follow everything. Other people smoking, drinking and doing drugs bothers me. But I suppose it bothers everybody. However intolerance and selfishness are perhaps the worst. And that is not only in relation of healthy people to afflicted, but also healthy to healthy.

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On the other hand there are kind people who want to help, who help, who understand and who explain. I have a lot of those around me, which makes me happy. Of cause most of all I would like to be healthy. At this point my hearing impediment is not reversible. Despite that I am trying to handle everything independently, I would even like to be a teacher of the hearing impaired and be helpful. But all that is still far ahead for me. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? There is definitely a difference between the healthy and the handicapped. That is an unchangeable fact. When handicapped lives together with healthy people from infancy, barriers are virtualy nonexistent. They get used to each other, no problems. But forced integration, when healthy or handicapped are not willing, is useless. And for some severely handicapped people it is better when they live together, since due to their special needs it is not possible any other way. So I think that everybody has to try for themselves and find out what works the best. It is important not to give up, to continue trying. Always something new. One has to be demanding of oneself. So far I am satisfied with my life. I hope that my hearing impairment is not going to get worse. Goals, I have lot of them. Can I participate in the integration? At school I was helping visually and physically impaired friends. I handed them something, put things away, I brought something, I even tried to explain things – that was in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9. After that I was in a summer camp for handicapped children. There I cooperated with everybody, I helped. And I would like to teach hearing impaired children, because I know myself how it is. If I would become totally healthy, I would still treat everybody the same. The handicapped for sure and the healthy? I would understand their every word, I would not have to ask to have things repeated, I would react immediately, I would be able to communicate in the dark. At this point I can hear with hearing aids, but I sleep without them, so when somebody wants to tell me something, I have to switch the light on, so I can at least read lips….. Every handicap has its disadvantages. If somebody claims - Oh yeah, this person is lucky, he has discounted transportation, has his own parking place, gets financial support from the state… - he is foolish. He should try it himself!!! Everyone who is healthy should be happy. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I had classmates, who were visually impaired and also those in wheelchairs. Everybody had something special to assist them. Visually impaired had special glasses for reading from blackboard, and individuals in wheelchairs had school adjusted to their needs – elevator – and they had their assistants. Imagine your work with PC. I have been using a computer from the age of ten. Now, at high school I study Information Technology in Economics – and all the classmates have their own laptops. Through the laptop we get our assignments, homework, study material…. So I work with it daily. At home I use it to communicate with friends, to order movie tickets to shop online…. I use computer-based learning applications, web pages, emails and search engines the most. I also listen to music through my computer.I also have a cell phone – I use it mainly to text and listen to music.I am hearing impaired, so a desktop and laptop helps me mainly to clarify unknown words using on line dictionaries, and to communicate with friends. I also search for movie subtitles, because when I watch movies I definitely need subtitles.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I have difficulties with understanding voices on a telephone. 2. This problem is specific to the hearing impaired. 3. I arranged with my friends, to communicate with me by texting. 4. I solved this myself without help from other people. Your „trick“ 2: 1. I am at home by myself and I do not understand some words in some text (book, magazine, article, study text). 2. I am hearing impaired, and because of that my vocabulary is limited. 3. I use dictionary on line (Wikipedia). 4. Internet connection helped me. Your „trick“ 3: 1. For high school I needed a laptop. A good one costs quite a bit. 2. Everybody can have this problem. 3. I connected to internet and researched various laptops. I obtained my brother and father’s advise. 4. I was helped by the internet, my family and friends. (When my family is not available, I can ask directly in the store or online.) YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Don’t dwell on you past, focus on your future.

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Miroslav Sedláček, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Miroslav Sedláček Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 19. I finished grammar school three years ago. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in the Czech Republic, town Orlová – it is a small town. What is your mother language? Czech What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Student Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have serious medical disabilities? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a serious physical disability – infantile paralysis – poliomyelitis. I walk using two forearm crutches. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I still study at the Business Academy in Orlová in the field of Economic Information, which I hope I will graduate from this year. It is a field that includes Economic subjects, but focuses on computer based and Information Technology subjects (i.e. computer nets, graphic design on PC.) After a preparatory course, I participated in a three week program in the European Volunteer Service in the Netherlands in the town of Ommen. It was an outstanding life experience and an excellent form of informal education. To live in such a large group of totally varied people (languages, customs, traditions, etc.) and to get to know each other, participate in different recreational activities, or work in the forest. I would like to continue and further develop this experience in the seminar called First Step. This seminar should be led in a similar spirit, but with a larger resonance, and should give me the

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ability to become a leader for similar projects. I myself am very curious about it. I have been learning all my life, by constantly discovering new traps and I am trying to overcome traps. A tremendous education for me was (and still is) the opening of the Information Center for Young People in my hometown of Orlová. I discovered that to establish an organization, to lead and strive for it, to create it, to build it and to give sense to it is extremely difficult, but simultaneously beautiful. I am very thankful for this experience, regardless of the outcome of the whole project. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I suffer from infantile paralysis – poliomyelitis, because of that I was born months prematurely. My legs were not fully developed. And so I had to undergo several operations, rehabilitation exercises, and spas. First, I learned how to walk with a walker, later with forearm crutches, which I have walked with ever since. As my abilities have allowed me, I have strived to better my health through exercise and sports (hiking, biking, and swimming.) I’ve participated in many extracurricular activities. One of my current main activities is working at the Information Center for Young People in Orlová, of which I am the director, which is managed according to the regulations of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education. Furthermore, I have participated in the following projects: The Orlová Theater Festival, a Charity Theater Performance of PANDORA, the “Handicapped in Stories” Project at VSB – Technical University, Ostrava; I participated in a trip to Strasburg to visit the European Parliament, to which I was personally invited to by Euro Representatives L. Rouček and R. Falber, I participated in an international exchange to Scotland, and the European Voluntary Services in the Netherlands. I was also at many competitions and conferences. It is true that I have participated in many activities, which explains why I have received recognition as one of the best students in the Moravskoslezský region for extracurricular activities. I am very active (sometimes maybe too active,) but I really like to overcome my body’s limitations. In the near future, I would like to graduate from high school and be accepted into university. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? At my school, I have to climb stairs to my class daily, which I manage successfully. Moreover, for my studies I need my laptop, which helps me to take notes, jot down my comments and everything needed for my studies. It is a big help because, before I had it, I had problems, for example, with taking dictations. Sometimes I need help with moving from classroom to classroom, and also, for instance, with getting my lunch, etc. In these situations, I depend on the kindness of my classmates. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. What bothers me most is a situation in which I find out that I am not able to do something the same way as others. That is a direct result of my handicap. When it comes to the behavior of others, I am most affected by ridicule and things like that, which, luckily, I do not experience often. On the other hand, what makes me happy is when somebody behaves in a friendly way towards me and tries to help me under any circumstances. When they regard me as a totally normal person without considering the handicap. This is the best way to approach a person with a disability. Not regarding them as someone different. I regard friendliness, openness and truthfulness as the most important values. Qualities that are also very important to me are a sense of humor and responsibility.

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What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I am not in favor of a division between people with disabilities and “healthy people”. I think that when these groups intermingle, it helps them achieve a better mutual understanding and, mainly from the side of the “healthy”, to understand their life and their problems, values, thinking, etc. In my opinion, this integration should be supported to the utmost because it is necessary. It bothers me when people with disabilities are placed in institutions, that is, in my opinion, a very wrong approach. I personally was very lucky, that from my primary grades I was integrated into regular classes among “healthy people” and this dynamic worked well and our group was excellent. In the sixth grade, unfortunately, I had to switch to a bigger school and there integration was not that easy anymore, but despite that, in the end, everything worked out well. Now I am attending a smaller high school, and again I am integrated very well into a group of “healthy people” and in it I do not see any problem. Rather, I hope that it enriches this class and makes it something exceptional. This is why I support integration very much. Can I participate in the integration? I am trying to promote and work towards integration. I do not want to brag, but most of the time I am the one at any given school who breaks down barriers and the misgivings of the teachers and classmates. Most of the time they did not have any experience with how to approach people with disabilities; as a result, they had certain concerns, which I try to alleviate. I try to explain to them that a person with disabilities can do what others can do, even though it might be a little bit slower. Personally, I helped one of my friends, who also uses forearm crutches and attended from the same school that I am attending. After graduation, he did not continue on to university, and now he works with me at the Center for Young People in Orlová. I think that it helped that person a lot. He is engaging in activities, and now uses his free time meaningfully; I do not want to talk for him, but I hope that he feels more engaged with other people and to be more important to society. A second project, which is pertinent to the integration of people with disabilities, at my school was “A Day without Injuries”, which focused on the “healthy students” at our school trying out different kinds of situations that simulated different disabilities. They tried to walk using crutches on stairs with their legs tied, to walk blindfolded or play the game “Luggage”. I think that this experience was a big contribution and education at the same time.

Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use ICT in my everyday studies, because I study in the field of Economic Information, where I need a laptop for my studies in order to take notes and for its various learning programs. In our program, we also use e-learning software, such as Moodle, to hand in our assignments, to take tests or to study. It really helps me a lot when I study at home, when I am unable to attend school. Furthermore, I use different forms of communication over the internet, whether it is ICQ to communicate with classmates, or the social net Facebook to communicate with people from all over the world, whom I have met during my whole life on my travels. It is a big help for me, in order to stay in contact with them, because I do not know how I would otherwise be able to stay in contact with people, for instance, from Turkey, etc. I also use calling over the internet, when I am not at home and I want to contact my family. Otherwise, I use the computer for things like listening to music, ordering things over the internet, or for making reservations, etc. I even use the internet to watch television and follow the news. For instance, when I am abroad, I can follow what is happening at home. It is a big help, because I do not have to go anywhere and I can secure everything from the comfort of my own home. Sending emails is commonplace today, which makes communication and taking care of tasks easier, which otherwise

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would have to be solved through the regular mail, which is, of course, more expensive and slower. The internet is really a big help; today I cannot imagine a life without it.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I was not able to keep up during dictation tests. 2. It is caused by my disability and problems with writing speed. 3. I started to type with all ten fingers. First on a typewriter and then on a PC. 4. The Business Academy in Orlová and specifically Ms. Pavlína Pálová, who started to teach me to type on a PC regularely, helped me tremendously. Your „trick“ 2: 1. To purchase some Assistive Technology devices (e.g. laptop) I had to travel to Ostrava. 2. The reason for this is that I live in a small town where the merchandise selection is not broad enough. 3.Now I can shop online and my purchases are delivered right to my door. 4.My friend, who had good experiences with it, recommended it to me.

Your „trick“ 3: 1. I had a problem locating a special adult sized tricycle when I was in Holland. 2. This was caused by my disability. 3. I tried to contact my family via Skype and arrange for them to send a tricycle from the Czech Republic. In the end, it was possible to obtain, partially thanks to the Internet, a special tricycle locally. 4. It was a leader of the team in Holland who helped me. Your „trick“ 4: 1. Every time I am sick or I am absent from school, I have a difficult time catching up. 2. This is caused by my disability. 3. I try to catch up with my class work via an e-learning program Moodle, which is used by our school, where it is possible to take exams, and where current study material is posted. 4. My school and its approach to me help me a lot.

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YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! You can do it!!!

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Markéta Sidková, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Markéta Sidková. Are you male or female? I am female. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 22 years old and this year I finished my studies of the Russian language in the sphere of business at the Ostrava University. I obtained my Baccalaureate degree, but I am continuing my education at the same institution majoring in Philology of the English and Russian languages with literature. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in the Czech Republic in the larger city of Ostrava. What is your mother language? My native language is Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am healthy, but, when I was thirteen, all of a sudden and from unknown causes, I became paralyzed and, from that time, I have been confined to a wheelchair, which I have to use all of the time; therefore, every day, I have to solve diverse situations and overcome various obstacles.

STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I attended primary school in Ostrava and I dedicated myself to music and visual arts at clubs, but at the end of the 7th grade my health situation changed. I was hospitalized for a long time, and then I spent the whole 8th and part of the 9th grade in a Rehabilitation Institute in Chuchelná, where I attended school, studied, wrote tests and was given examinations by teachers from my primary school in Ostrava; thanks to that I did not have to repeat any grades.

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After that I passed the entrance exams for the humanities specialized high school Hladnov in Ostrava, where I graduated from in the year 2006 and in the same year I passed the entrance exams for Ostrava University, for the “Russian Language in the Sphere of Business” major. This year I passed my degree examination and received my Baccalaureate degree. At the same time, I went through the entrance examinations in English and Russian and I am once again commencing my studies at Ostrava University. I am studying Philology (English Language and Literature and Russian Language and Literature). So far I have liked everything, but some exceptions exist, for instance high school mathematics were not among my favorite subjects. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Life with a handicap requires inner strength and determination, but mainly the support of those closest to you. Luckily, I have this in my family and friends. My health changed very suddenly and unexpectedly. I was completely healthy, I did not suffer from anything, I was not ill and I did not have any infections. One morning at the end of 7th grade in the year 2000, I got up and I was getting ready for school. Suddenly, from the knees down my legs started to hurt. The pain was getting stronger, and I was trying to get back to bed where I would stretch out and wait for it to be over. That short, very demanding, painful and incomprehensible trip through the apartment was my last. I wanted to walk as I always had, but it was not possible. Gradually, I was losing control over my extremities and I could not place my leg where I wanted; the connection did not work. After two hours of tremendous pain, I could not move my legs at all. They transported me to the hospital for lots of tests, which lasted several days, but they did not find anything. To this day, physicians are unable to determine the cause of my paralysis. Gradually, I became familiar with this handicap and with the reality of being confined to a wheelchair, and gradually I accepted the reality that recovery would not be simple, but would be very long, and on top of that without any guarantees. I did not want to stay stuck in a rehabilitation facility, separated from my family and my living environment, which I liked most. After a year and a half, I got home, back to my primary school and among my classmates. I started to attend the movies and the theater. From February 2002, I have dedicated myself to archery. I came to this sport thanks to a convergence of different coincidences. The initial impulse came after seeing the first movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which reminded me of my aspiration, from the time of my childhood, to shoot a bow. I took my mother into my confidence and she arranged the rest – through the internet she identified a contact and by phone she arranged with Dana Masárová from the athletic club TJ Mariánské Hory my first training session (meeting). The shooting range in Mariánské Hory has been an excellent home base throughout my entire archery career for me. My coach is Jan Dřevjaný , who is also a product of the TJ Mariánské Hory archery club. Besides my high school studies, I dedicated myself to my athletic life. Among my biggest successes are: World Championship in Archery Madrid 2003 – 9th place individual competition, 4th place team competition International Invitational Competition in Archery Nové Město n. Metují 2003 – 1st place Paralympics Athens 2004 – 7th place individual competition, 6th place team competition World Championship in Archery Massa Carrarra 2005 – 2nd place individual competition, 2nd place team competition European Championship in Archery Nymburk – 2nd place team competition International Invitational Competition in Archery in Nové Město n. Metují 2007 – 3rd place Champion of the Republic in Archery of the handicapped in the category of Spastic Handicapped for all seasons 2002 – 2008 – Target Archery (outdoors), 2009 – 2nd place (combined category with men) Champion of the Republic in Archery of the handicapped Spastic Handicapped in the years 2002 – 2009, indoor archery

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Championship of the Czech Republic of the Czech Archery Association, indoor archery, Nymburk 2008 – team women competition – 3rd place (Championship of healthy people) Academic Champion of the Czech Republic 2008 (Brno), team competition 2nd place (Championship of healthy people) Champion of the Republic the Czech Association of Physically Handicapped Athletes (ČATHS) – August 2008, Nové Město nad Metují Paralympics Beijing 2008 – 3rd place team competition Championship of the Czech Republic of the Czech Archery Association, indoor archery, Brno 2009 – individual women competition – 2nd place, team women competition – 1st place (Championship of healthy people) World Championship in archery Nymburk 2009 – 2nd place individual competition, 2nd place team competition Championship of the Czech Republic of the Czech Archery Association, outdoors –target archery, Rokycany 2009 – team women competition – 3rd place (Championship of healthy people) During the Beijing Paralympics, I was a candidate for the Czech Republic for the Athlete’s Advisory Committee of the International Paralympic Committee. It is an advising body for the International Paralympic Committee. I was elected with the 2nd highest number of votes. For “summer sports” 6 candidates are elected by the athletes – participants of the Paralympic Games (the other athletes elected were Spanish swimmer Teresa Perales, Chinese fencer Yu Chui Yee, Swiss athlete Heinz Frei, US athlete Robert Balk and French swimmer David Smetanine). The other three representatives are elected by participants of the Winter Paralympic Games. They are elected for a period of four years, until the next games. From the year 2003 until now, I have been a member of the Czech National Archery Team of the Handicapped. I participate regularly in competitions in the Czech Republic (1st League, Czech Championship, Zlatý Kylof in Ostrava) with healthy people, where I mostly place better than 10th place. Last year, the culmination of the season was the Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing, for which I was nominated on the basis of my results in the year 2007 (the determining factor was placement in the World Standings of equally disabled female archers). During the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games, I was honoured to be the flag bearer of the Czech Delegation. In the spring of last year, I was placed into the Center of Individual Sports Ostrava (CISO, website www.ciso.cz, Director Taťána Netoličková). The Center was established by the regional and city governments to support young athletes, so they would not leave Ostrava for other Centers and so they would represent Ostrava and the Moravskoslezský region. Thanks to CISO, I have better conditions for training and preparation for this year’s summer season and cooperation is going to continue in the future. It is a big help for me. All this, in combination with my studies, takes a lot out of me, but it surely enriches my life, I get to know many interesting people, I get a new view of life and I feel more confident. I want to continue to study and participate in my sport, but I also would welcome more time for my other interests. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? At grade school, my teachers, classmates and family members helped me continually to get into the building, since it did not have an elevator. I had to find a high school in which I could get around by myself. At the humanities specialized high school Hladnov, there was the possibility to use an elevator, so I had to successfully undergo the entrance exams. The following search for a suitable university and major, which I would like and in which I could have a fulfilling career, was quite complicated. I wanted to stay in Ostrava where I have all of my support: family, rehabilitation, coach and the opportunity to train. At Ostrava University, they recommended several majors, which I could study, even though I am in a wheelchair. I was interested in languages. Unfortunately, due to a great number of stairs and buildings,

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it was not possible to study English or German. The required equipment would be financially exorbinant and impossible. Russian, which I only studied for a short time at primary school (I wanted to continue at high school, but there were no teachers so I studied English and German), was the only one left. It was a nice idea, but to pass the demanding exams, which were strictly in Russian (reading and translation of text, conversation in Russian on any topic and answering a variety of questions about Russian current events), in which success was required for me to study my desired major, I took a preparatory course and I had to study very hard on my own at home. Luckily, everything went occording to plan. During my studies, with the help of forthcoming classmates, I was able to overcome steps (large classes, which were taught to us together with other majors, were not possible to relocate into classrooms on the ground floor because of their capacity). Last year, in the Department of British and American Language, Ostrava University installed two stairway lifts. Thanks to that, I was able to plan further continuation of my studies: English Language and Literature and Russian Language and Literature. At the same time, the Centrum Pyramida, which provides, among other services, assistance to the students of OU, was opened. When I was 18, I obtained my driver’s license and thanks to the financial help of my parents, I can drive anywhere by myself, by which I gained a tremendous freedom and independence. In many cases, in the past, I could not do without the help of others and this remains true to today. Depending on various circumstances, I have to think about my trips and needs and according to that I have to carefully organize my time and coordinate it with the availability of others. Sometimes it is very demanding, but the technical advancements of today help. Irreplaceable help is the computer, internet, cell phone and GPS. Express your opinion on people’s behaviour towards the handicapped. A lot of people do not have an idea of how to approach handicapped people, I am thinking mainly with regard to people in wheelchairs, and they are afraid of such contact. After “ogling and poking”, they find out that it is not anything terrible, that he is a totally normal person. Both sides have to approach each other with respect and try to understand the other and help the other in understanding. Maybe I am lucky, but until now I have not met any mean people, who would curse me, laugh at me or spite me. We always manage somehow. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Such division is going to be there always that perhaps is not possible to erase. Integration cannot be forced or unnatural, but gradual. Every person copes with everything at a different pace, due to their experiences and their habits. It is important for small children to see, while they are still young, that there are not only healthy people, but there are people with various disabilities, and that they do not have to be afraid of them and distance themselves from them, so they would know, which values they should esteem. In some places, they have events, where children that are healthy together with ones with some kind of handicap, meet, get to know each other and learn. That is, in my opinion, very useful and needed. Can I participate in the integration? When I want to, I can. Personally, I participate, because I know a lot of people, who, in regard to health and also psychologically, are much worse. I try to help verbally and what I can manage I do, I bring and I organize. It always depends on the willingness of a person – to give help and to know how to accept it and ask for it. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? Teaching people with specific needs requires an internally strong and willing staff. Depending on the disability, the demands on the staff increase and it is not easy to perform such work long term. I

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admire such people; I admire those who do not slip into indifference and abrasiveness, even though they may have to overcome a lot of their own problems. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the computer, internet, cell phone and a lot of other conveniences every day. I use them to study, to communicate with people, who I am not able to see often and who are from faraway places, for the quick arrangement of anything. I shop over the internet because I cannot get into a lot of stores because of stairs and bad access. I travel a lot; my GPS helps me to plan the best and most time efficient route, though I do not rely solely upon it. To save time, I do not use Facebook and I appear only occasionally on ICQ. Thanks to the communication through Skype, I was able to communicate easily with my classmates and with my thesis advisor, which eliminated many unnecessary kilometers of driving to resolve a trivial matter. For Driver’s Ed, I used an educational program.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I needed to buy something and I was not able to get to the store; I needed to find a contact and a way to get to the product. 2. This can happen to anybody (because of a sickness, injury, age, long distance). 3. ICT helped me to save time and find what I needed. It is enough to use key words, keep your head and do not panic and you will be successful. 4. In this case, it was the internet that helped me, but really it was the person whom I called who then replied to me by email. Your „trick“ 2: 1. I needed to get somewhere and I needed help with heavy objects. 2. Anybody can find themselves in that situation; we are not always able to orient ourselves and have the means for it. 3. A simple use of GPS helped me to find the destination and other required locations; after that it is enough not to be afraid to ask some stranger for help. 4. GPS, my wisdom and courage supported me. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Do not be afraid to assess and accept a situation, use your head and help – oneself or someone else ;-).

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Ivana Sikorová, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Ivana Sikorová Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 21. I graduated from the high school last year. Now I am studying at the university. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? The Czech Republic. Havířov – it is small city. What is your mother language? Czech What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Student Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Yes, my handicap is called Asperger syndrome. This handicap limits me as for communication, orientation, social skills and interpersonal relations. And above that I am disgraphic (writing and grammar disorder). My handicap is not hard but rare. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have studied business academy in Karvina with closer specialization of library science and informatics. Now I study informatics at the Ostrava University, Faculty of Science. I have not attended any training yet but within my entire life I educate myself by reading the professional books and searching for new information on the internet. I have been enjoying the study very much. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Yes, my handicap is called Asperger syndrome. This handicap limits me as for communication, orientation, social skills and interpersonal relations. I have been diagnosed when I was 20, until then I was considered healthy by the neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrics. I was able to face chicane at

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the elementary and high school, successfully graduate, pass the application tests for the university and pass first school year there. My life is not easy but I try to fight all the barriers coming because I am the strong person alias fighter. I plan to finish the university and after that find good job being useful for me within the PC world. I would like to work as healthy people. I represented company Mittal Ostrava in table tennis and also I play chess through the PC as well as I represented my prestigious high school in floorball; our school ended up at the wonderful second place. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? My study is going quite well. I had to overcome some problems with math during the winter semester and at present time with English. With help I passed both exams. I only need more time when passing exams. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. What makes me sad the most is that I cannot obtain the driving license because of the lack of orientation in an unknown environment. What bothers me at people´s behavior is their selfishness and carelessness towards the handicapped. Even small thing makes me happy as for example smile of passing person. My biggest value is the justice, honor and the helping hand. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? In my opinion the handicapped should be the part of the healthy community. It is advantageous for both parts – the handicapped can learn from their coevals and the healthy can learn to give the helping hand to the handicapped so both parts can exist as a whole and equal. As for integration – the handicapped child can attend the normal school with the healthy ones and only the advantage would be individual plan of study. He/she should not be evaluated orally just in written. I attended a normal school and I have not had any advantages. I was and I am satisfied with my position. Can I participate in the integration? Yes I am thinking about it. I would act very nicely and carelessly, I would do my best to help, for example I would teach the person how to be independent. I would know how to integrate him/her into the community. But I have not faced situation like this yet. I even tried to put my glasses down and spread butter on bread. I found out that the life of the blind people must be very hard. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? Yes, it was my schoolmate being hearing disabled. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use ICT every day. I use it as a tool for 24 hors per day. I used it to find music, films etc. PC learning applications I consider the most useful tools, for example online study web pages, enabling make calls through the internet, chat, videoconferences, ICQ, Skype, virtual world, emails, SMSs, blogs, forums, Facebook, My space, Hi5, Badoo. Being handicapped I use technology as the healthy people.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I had a problem with internet because of not being paid for. 2. Because I am a part of socially weak group. The same problem can have anybody eho doe not have money to pay for it. 3.If you have internet working through the home line and modem call operator to discuss the process telling him that you would pay as soon as you have money. Because this is the fast kind how to obtain the new connection to the internet. 4.It was only me who could solve the problem and I have not had anybody for help. Your „trick“ 2: 1. The problem was when operating system break down being cancelled out of PC by accident. 2. I did it unconsciously. 3.To make Windows work again, must be booted from the installation CD and run. When being installed, all programmes and applications must be installed again. It is really simple. 4.I did it by myself. Your „trick“ 3: 1. The problem was that the base burnt out as it was old. 2. This base contained many hardware faults because of PC age, I had the really old one. 3.I suggest to buy the new PC. It is the best solution. 4.I was alone. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS We can do it together!

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Dana Švarcová, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Dana Švarcová. Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 23. I am studying the second year of magisterial study at Faculty of Economics, VSB-TU Ostrava. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in the Czech Republic in very small village not far from Prerov in Moravia. When going to school I live in Ostrava. What is your mother language? Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am still a student of Marketing and Business. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I suffer from legs movement disorder. Now, after few operations I have artificial HIP replecement and I can walk without any pain. But I am still limited in movement. I feel partially healthy. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied Business Academy in Prerov. I liked studying very much so I did not have any problems. Right before graduation my medical problems started again and I felt that the only school is what includes me into normal (healthy) people environment. After high school I entered Faculty of Economics. I was interested in study and it gave me strengthens. Aside the study I have been attending English lesson and now I want to attend Russian. I have found out that a man has to educate himself all the time in order to keep up with life.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My medical problem started during my childhood when the doctors discovered hereditary defect of my HIP replecement. These problems disappeared for while coming back before my graduation. My hips hurt more and more as well as movement became harder and harder. I had to start using French canes to relieve my hips and make a pain weaker. After graduation I started to study in Ostrava which is little far away from Prerov so I had to find a living here. With stay and living in Ostrava my bigger problems were connected. Residential halls were 1 hour far from the school full of students as well as mass transport. During the day I felt I am only walking through the school buildings and at the end of the day back to residential halls. When the school year was ending I thought I am not able to go through next year. During the holidays I could not walk at all. I spent several weeks in bed and the rest of holidays in the spa. After 3 months I finally entered the second school year with little more strength. But my movement was still more and more limited. After the second school year I could not handle a pain any more so I went through my first operation. Doctors gave me an artificial HIP replecement in my right leg. The whole holiday I spent in hospital and at home curing. The next year was very hard. I was weakened after the operation thinking of next one. Above that it was the third year of my study and I had to write my bachelor thesis and go through state exams. Immediately after graduation I went back to the hospital for my second operation. Recovering from my second operation went very well and faster and I started to feel so good as I did not remember. No pain. It lasted half of year to walk again without French canes. Now I can walk without them and I feel great. Artificial coaxes have their disadvantages and I am still limited in movement but the feeling while walking is indescribable. For almost 4 years I needed the French canes and now I do not need them! I am in last year of my study looking forward to any work providing my independence. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Since the beginning of my university study I had a problem with study materials which were not to obtain or they were only in printed version often not having the level of university material. I think that materials being prepared well are the basis for good study. I often rewrite lectures and notes into the shape which fitted me better. During the study materials started to be accessible in electronical form more often and at present time I hope they are accessible on internet in each subject. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. The big part of my study I had moving problem. I only managed the way to school, back home and the rest of day I only relaxed. During the weekend I dedicated my time to school and gained the strength for next week. My school mates consider my daily coming to school obvious but for me it was horror. When I told people in the spa that I am going to Ostrava by train, I live alone there going to school, they would not believe but they admired me for that. They were very surprised that I can handle it with such a pain. My schoolmates helped me a lot and without them I would not go through. Sometimes they consider things obvious but it was just unmanageable for me. I think that peoples ‘approach to the handicapped becomes better and better. If they sometimes do a little mistake it does not matterâ˜ş. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I think people in society should not be differed from each other. We all are practically the same; we have the same needs, wishes, ambitions. It does not matter if the man is healthy or handicapped. The view can be little different but when thinking deeper we all want the same – happiness. As for studying it is very important to integrate the handicapped student into healthy ones. For me it was of the essence to go to school, to sit next to my schoolmates. If I would not study daily I would be

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staying among 4 walls at home with a few people around. Daily study made a big part of my life more fruitful right in time when I needed that. Contact with other people, not known people enabled me to be interested also in other things than my medical problem. Can I participace in the integration? Every man can participate in integration. Every man can help the handicapped fellow-citizen. I also tried to help. I rewrote study materials to electronic form in a special given form. Some materials I modify to make it more understandable and easier to me. These I offered to my schoolmates hoping they help them as well. The man can also help by a word. Support and understanding is in my opinion the most important thing. When two people with similar medical problem meet, it is just so good they can talk about them, share experience, happiness but also their suffering. Together they can complain of their destiny but also compliment the good thing they have met. I hope I still will meet my friends from the spa and that we will have a possibility to talk about our problems. I spent a lot of time in wheelchair during my childhood. I was completely depended on my parents who took great care of me trying to make things easier for me. On the other hand I like to do things myself but it was not always possible and then I cried. Now when I am able to walk I would like to pay back my parents, make them happy and make things easier for them. I like even ordinary home work to do because I know I can help people who helped me in the past. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I have met schoolmates having some educational disorder e.g. dyslexic. Learning is taking them much more time, the have to concentrate more and even concentrating is sometimes hard for them. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use ICT every day – to study and also to have fun. In the school I use virtual university Moodle where I can communicate with my schoolmates as well as with pedagogues. I find here study materials and any other tools. I also use Edison system working through the university to e.g. enter myself to exams. To make my English better I use some servers accessible on the internet to exercise vocabulary. I often use emails for school and private issues. To connect my friends I use calling through the internet, Skype, ICQ, QIP.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I was preparing myself for the exam and I found out I do not understand a part of lectures. I was home alone so nobody could help me. 2. I live in the village where none of my schoolmates live. I could not go to other city to my friend to ask for help. I wrote sms my friend begging for help. She told me to install programme Skype in order to call to each other for free so she could explain to me the things I did not understand.

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YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Everybody can have different medical problems but the family and friends are the most important. Regard them and make them happy.

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Vladislav Ryška, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Vladislav Ryška. Are you male or female? Male. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 24 years old and I still study. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in the small village of Bruzovice near Frýdek-Místek. What is your mother language? Czech. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Yes, I have a medical infliction. I went through infantile paralysis – the quadriplegic form. The main symptom of this infliction is a lowered mobility. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. First, I attended kindergarten and grammar school in Bruzovice (1992-1997) where some grade levels were combined. After that, I attended Jubilejní Masarykova’s combined kindergarten and grammar school Sedliště (1997-2001). In the year 2001, I was accepted to the private technical high school Frýdek-Místek, Ltd., where I studied the field of Public Administration Operations. I graduated from there in the year 2005. In that same year, I was accepted to the Ostrava University at Ostrava, in the Philosphy College, in the field of Management in the Non-Profit Sector, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in 2009. Presently, I also study at the Ostrava University at Ostrava, but in the College of Social Studies in the field of Management of Service Organizations for Social Work. It is possible to assume from the account mentioned above, that I like to learn.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I went through infantile paralysis – the quadriplegic form. It is a disease of the nervous system. The main symptom of this infliction is a lowered mobility. In the future, I would like to finish university, obtain a driver’s license, and certificate or degree in a foreign language, and also to find work, ideally as a project manager. What I consider to be my success is that am a university student, and also that I already learned how to walk three times after undergoing operations. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Preparation of study materials and trying to orient myself in my notes, takes up 80% of the time that I spend studying, which is unique to my studies. In my studies I encounter most often these obstacles: 1) An unwillingness to let me take exams orally (to compose written text takes me much longer). 2) In short episodes of my life, when I needed a personal assistant, I encountered the opinion that personal assistants would give their own input on written papers and therefore it is not desirable, which is not true – I speak from my own experience. We resolved this by additional sessions with the teacher where we worked on my written assignments. 3) The problem with some lectures and educational courses is that written material is distributed only at the end, so one does not have an idea of which thoughts to take down. 4) What would help me mainly at primary school and high school would be a PC, but there was the issue of moving it between classrooms and the teachers’ fear that it would be damaged. That will perhaps be taken care of in the continuing miniaturization of PCs. Express your opinion on people’s behaviour towards the handicapped. In connection with my handicap, my slowness and sometimes even clumsiness bother me most. What bothers me most about the behavior of other people is that they have the tendency to look for problems where there are none, or they have the tendency to help someone without asking if the help is welcomed. On the other hand, it pleases me most if, upon meeting me, a person asks me if I need something and at the same occasion gives me contact information and leaves the rest up to me. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? Integration of the handicapped is very important for me; it is not just a catchword to me. In my opinion, people should not be divided into healthy and sick, because lots of people have some kind of medical or other handicap, they are merely able to hide it better, simply because it is possible. An advantage of the integration of people with special needs is that people, who are not usually around these people, find out that they are regular people, and, many times, only small assistance is enough, and after that they are able to help themselves. Next time, they are not afraid to help these people right away, as soon as they appear. Healthy people learn how to live with people who have special needs and not beside them. A drawback of the integration of these people, for the general public, is that integration sometimes brings with it the interruption of traditional procedures. All of a sudden, there is somebody with a disability, who wants something and is even so arrogant that he suggests a solution. My Recommendations for Integration: - at the onset of integration, I would recommend giving him a contact, whom he can approach with any problem without the feeling that he is bothering them. - if some problem arises, do not be afraid to let the other person know, maybe the other person does

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not even realize there is a problem. - I also have a very good experience with individual plans, where the student and the teacher make it clear what, how, and until when is needed to obtain a goal. Do not forget the integrated students during any of their indispositions. Do not leave everything until the last moment; even being slightly ahead helps later. In my life, people around me always try to achieve maximum integration, sometimes with smaller, other times with larger success. At the present time, I am satisfied with my situation. Can I participate in the integration? Every person, during their life, participates in the integration of other people, and only the degree of the intensity of assistance differs, which is higher for integrated people. Everybody has, in the past, leant somebody his notes or helped another person to get someplace. During my life, I was bedridden several times. The experience, together with the following convalescences, resulted in a reevaluation of my values. I had a somewhat different spatial perception, because I spent several months in a wheelchair. If I all of a sudden became healthy, I would treat that person the same way as now. I would ask if he needs something; maybe I would share my experiences. My further behavior would depend upon the nature of the request. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I already described above some problems that I have encountered in my integration‌.Here, I would only add, that every person is unique, even in their needs, but every problem can be solved mainly by communication and that is communication of any kind. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use ICT technology daily. Most often, I use the internet for finding out the most current news from home or abroad. Further, for playing music, communication through ICQ, and writing of my seminar assignments or other documents. The use of the functions of the program Microsoft Word allowed me to give my documents an acceptable appearance.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. Because of my long term illness, I was not able to attend school regularly, and so I was missing notes from the classes. 2. This problem was also caused by the fact that I live in a village with bad public transportation, so it was difficult for my classmates to bring me the notes. 3. First, we tried to scan the materials and send them by regular email, but it did not work well because the sets of notes were too big and could not be sent. Eventually, one of my acquaintances let us know about the website www.úschovna.cz. On that site, you can upload files up to 100Mb. The addresee receives a notice at the email address he signed up with about the newly stored file. This website also contains a detailed description of how you can use its services. This service basically works as email, except that the file is held there for a limited time. 4. The solution to this problem came about from a serendipitous meeting of a friend, as I said above. Your „trick“ 2: 1. Because of my handicap it takes me a long time to find anything in reference materials. 2. I went through infantile paralysis – the quadriplegic form. The main symptom of this infliction is a lowered mobility. 3. On the internet, I have found several dictionaries, which I use when I write. The following are the dictionaries I use most - Internet Language Handbook (Czech language) - http://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/ and multilanguage dictionary - http://www.slovnik.cz/, which is mainly excellent as a supplement to the dictionary on the website www.seznam.cz. 4. This is my own method for speeding up my work pace. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Don’t be afraid to ask anything!!! Any communication is better than none.

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Petr Klimša, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Petr Klimša Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 30 The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? The Czech Republic, Orlová What is your mother language? Czech What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Teacher STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have studied VSB-Technical university Ostrava What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I think the handicapped should be integrated into the healthy as far as it is possible. Can I participate in the integration? I never considered myself the handicapped and I even would not have intent to say it. Just to contribute to this topic pushed me to think of it and put myself in the past. I started to wear glasses being 8 years old. Sure, today very common thing but always made me nervous when passing the check-up at the doctor´s not even seeing the biggest letter of the illuminated table. As a matter of fact you just suspect that this table is somewhere. Fortunately someone has invented glasses centuries ago so I could participate in everyday life. My impairment actually limited me at some sports. There is nothing better when during the skiing you are pressed to clean the glasses every five minutes having them misty. I also learned very fast not to play with ball in order to protect my glasses. Have you ever tried to cross the highway when everything is foggy?

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Few years ago I have decided to make my dream come true to undergo the eyes operation. This did not take long – maybe 15 minutes. After that everything sink even into deeper fog than before. This operation does not hurt. After that you only have closed eyes for 48 to 72 hours and you cannot touch it. All of the sudden I discovered how hard is to do simple things – go to the toilet, clean my teeth (where is that toothbrush?) etc. And I was moving in the known environment. But this was not the worst. Because I had enough sleeping all the time, I tried to employ my brain. What a surprise it was to discover that TV is not such an enjoyable companion without the picture – it looked like I mean it was heard as a mix of voices, strange noises and often just silence. To take the book and read was impossible! Oh, radio, that´s it! But after one day listening to the same news broadcasted by our local radio stations together with Radiožurnal I had enough. Even music I normally listened to became strange to me. Strange? It draw me up the wall! Suddenly one thing came to my mind – there is one radio station “for elderly” - Prague - broadcasting novels adaptations, stories and reportages. Thanks to this station I was able to survive these few days and now I really know what it is to be old or visually impaired. Within 3 next days I started to see as never before. After one week even letters stopped jumping in the newspaper. Only PC fought with me for maybe one month which is quite a long time. It was very interesting experience which helped me to realize that even the newest PC tools using so far are for nothing without additional adjustments. Today I can image I could find internet radios, copy MP3 with different stories and interviews etc. But I would have problem to use PC with just general equipment. So, one of the oldest technologies saved me and that is why we should not forget what we have.

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Zdeňka Telnarová, Czech Republic ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Zdeňka Telnarová Are you male or female? Female. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level?

The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Czech Republic What is your mother language? Czech What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? Pedagogue Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I do not feel neither healthy nor strong. I surely feel handicap or handicaps but they do not match this field. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I do not like people´s behavior towards handicapped because they are approached with prejudices and intolerance which often rises from laziness and unwillingness to devote the time to something new, which we have not done yet, we are not used to, are not ordered to do etc. When I notice negative approach to students with specific needs around me, it is usually because routines limit people and those are not willing to think of whether their behavior is proper. Whether they do not behave according to some wrong pattern, whether things they usually do – usual routine – taking them a lot of time can be changed. The first and the most important thing to do is to realize that. And then, and this is the hardest thing to do, to enforce the change. What really makes me happy is the situation when handicapped student tells me that he was helped by other schoolmate without being explained anything by me. another thing making me happy is when

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handicapped student writes me in order just to tell me something, or to air himself , to say thanks, etc. Also is nice when I speak about Centre of support with specific needs at Ostrava University and particular person knows the Centre and even knows what is the mission of it. The biggest value is the life, content life, purposeful life. But the life like this the man cannot pass by him/herself, he/she must have people around who he/she likes, he/she can give his/her love, devotion and care. To do things for the others not for me is only meaningful. Sometimes we should think about who are those others? Who needs us? Where to direct our devotion and care? And when any unusual demand comes, something we have not done yet, do not try to get rid of it! Think about it, isn´t it something what can make somebody´s or even my life more meaningful? What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I think that whenever the integration is possible to implement, it is better when it is realized. The question here is, in what situation we can say that integration is NOT possible. First of all the decision should come from the person with specific need or his/her parents. I think this is an ordinary practice and I hope I am right. It is different to integrate pupils at elementary schools, students at high schools and students at university. At university the integration is practically unavoidable because we can hardly imagine massive opening of study subjects for only the students with specific needs. When choosing the study the applicant must have all information from us so he/she can decide whether this or that study is relevant to his/her disadvantage and that he/she can make it. There is need to eliminate all impacts which could negatively influence the student´s study results during the study period. On the other hand this student cannot be given priorities, incorrect grace etc. The approach like this would be also discriminating. If the student needs the special help or support he/she should “ask for it”. We should not intrude. But the student should have all needed information about what types and forms of help he/she can ask for, who he/she can approach in what situation etc. The institution integrating people with specific needs should have clear image about who should be helped, in what, how and how to inform about it. The bad thing is when nobody knows who should be approached, when the competences are not clear etc. There should be something like “Information package of first kid” alias quick information for the first contact. The package like this is needed by both person with specific needs and person being in contact with this person. In the institution where people with specific needs are integrated “Inclusion environment” is extremely important to be created whose philosophy is to fight prejudice and stereotypes towards people with specific needs. In the environment like this people with disability speak openly about prejudices, about feelings and experience to be identified as a different, and by this often subconsciously evaluated as subman. Can I participate in the integration? I am sure everybody has helped somebody consciously or unconsciously but helped. Maybe it would be hard to imagine concrete situation but help has been there. If we speak about help within the frame of any institution this is a little different. Mostly it starts accidentally, without any knowledge about this issue, only with helpless endeavour. As time goes the things start to structured, common language is found, the priorities are to find, strategy is set up. We, at Ostrava University, have the Centre of support Pyramida where one woman works full-time; at each faculty we have contact person taking care of everything which is linked to the students´ with specific needs integration. There also is a training centre offering educating activities to study applicants, students as well as employees. Seminars for study applicants and approved students are organized regularly. Informative meetings with vice-deans of study and study office staff are held. There is a methodology of integration drawn up based on Minimum standards and methodologies of the particular services from a study applicant with specific needs to graduates.

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What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I have taught and I am teaching the students with hearing impairment and persons with communication disorder. When speaking about people with hearing impairment the situation depends on how much they are handicapped. I taught deaf students when the main problem appeared with communication including written communication (they have insufficient vocabulary; there was a problem to differentiate whether the wrong formulation comes from misunderstanding of the problem or the problem is insufficient vocabulary). These students were students of distance study, sign language translator was needed during the tutorials (OU had been able to arrange the translator), or at the exams. on the other hand I also teach the one student with hearing impairment whose vocabulary is on very good level but she needs to adapt classroom, seat during the tutorial, there is need to arrange somebody who would write the lesson for her etc. When speaking about student with communication disorder this is all about patience. We do not need any special devices, or translator, nothing like that. But I must reserve much more time for her. She would write me an email and communicates with me through ICQ much more often than the other students. She is not able to orient herself in the news, regulations changes etc. Not everyone is such patience to explain one thing for many times; someone even feels bothered explaining the thing one time (just between us – the person like that being pedagogue is horror). Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Let me come back to my two students. One was the deaf guy, second one was the girl having Asperger syndrome. In those both cases ICT played very important role. In case of that boy – studying Applied informatics at distance form – the whole study was based on ICT. All study materials were in electronical form put in LMS and the whole communication was arranged through LMS. He did not come to school except consultations, tutorials and of course exams. As I mentioned before the main problem was insufficient vocabulary but his vocabulary during the study period extremely developed. Graduating from Applied informatics he did not only gain informatics competences but linguistic as well. His bachelor thesis is comparable to the thesis of other students. The main credit of it is except student’s effort also continual electronical communication between student and pedagogue. There was need properly formulate demands, opinions, ideas and present knowledge. The girl also studies Applied informatics but she did not want to attend distance or combine form of study but present form. I offered her to attend combine form because I thought it would be easier for her. Her handicap also influences her space orientation i. e. she must learn the traces, etc. Now I know I have decided properly and that it would be mistake if she does not go to school every day. But this is outside ICT. How ICT help her I will not comment because she has written her story.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I was not able to decide whether a particular applicant will be able to study chosen field. Opinions of professional, applicant, his mother, colleagues have been inconsistent. 2. Very complicated communication when mother was present. 3. We started to communicate via ICQ. All of the sudden the communication barriers started to wither away, we found a common language and stress was away. Everything started to have clearer contours.

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Finally I gave my recommendation for the chosen field and this student studies with very good grades. 4. ICT helped me a lot and the idea is to use them! Your „trick“ 2: 1. I was not able to differentiate how much impact on student´s study result had his hearing disorder and how much his insufficient language competences. 2. Language skill of this student was very limited; written form (semestrial thesis, tasks, etc.) was on very low level. 3. Here I started to communicate via email very frequently. I tried to get the answers to my questions gradually. I asked in emails just about small things, I did not want him to submit the whole task at the one moment. So the student worked on his task gradually and at the end he convinced me that he understood the problem and he also is able the problem express properly. 4.It is indirect support of ICT but without emails we would not come to it. There has not been time for personal meetings, this students studied by distance form. It was very time consuming. But this type of communication contributed to his language competence development. His bachelor thesis as for formal as well as language form was on very good level (not even speaking about its professional level☺). Your „trick“ 3: 1. Lack of students ´effort when gaining language competence (students with hearing disorder). 2. I think students did not know how to develop their language competence. They still wrote with mistakes and their vocabulary was very low. I did not know how to change it. How to motivate them. 3. Fortunately these students were familiar with the PC. I prepared together with my colleague of Czech language department e-learning course which was based on sending the tasks and tests based on reading not long texts. This all took place in Moodle system and students were keen of it. Tests and tasks were different, learning was funnier and this helped. 4. My other colleagues helped, Moodle helped and the main thing about it was that students liked ICT. They learned not knowing about it. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS I am not clever. I am just convinced that without enthusiasm it does not work. It is clear that help must be well-considered, ensured, institutionalized, there must be clearly specified what; when, where and how is not the most important. We need sensible, willing, working and creative people, people without prejudice having courage to go against routine, willing to change their attitude and behavior, willing to think about the values and whose “charity begins at home”.

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Romania Raul Arcalean, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Raul Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 21 years old. I graduated from level 1 professional qualification and I got a certification in milling and bakery. I’m now continuing my studies in order to get a higher qualification.

The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania. I live in Bistrita. It is a beautiful town with open streets and nice roundabouts. I love my country because here I feel at home. I say this because my mother lives in Istanbul and I was there to visit her so I could feel the difference. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student in my completion year, 11th grade, in Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I’m pretty healthy and strong but I sometimes feel disadvantaged because my parents have split and each of them lives far away from home. Now my sister is taking care of me but she is sometimes careworn. Even if our parents send us money regularly, most of the time I feel the absence of a person who should be here for me when I am in need that’s why I sometimes felt abandoned and I lost my temper at times.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied at a school for children with special needs until my 9th grade when I applied for the school of arts and crafts specializing in the Alimentation Industry. After 3 years and a half I passed an exam to get my qualification certificate as a worker in the milling and bakery industry. My teachers also educated me as a person not only as a student in that school. I practiced in a bakery and I loved working there. Generally I studied only the things I liked best but there were always interesting things. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My disadvantage is that I can’t learn something I dislike no matter how useful that thing is so I have some gaps in my knowledge in some domains. Sometimes I feel frustrated when my classmates give good answers during the lessons. I get so upset regarding my incapacity that I lose my temper. There are times when I get ambitious and start studying so I can give some good answers too. I feel accomplished when I see that there are teachers who reward me for my work and they encourage me. Even if I sometimes mistreat my classmates because they laugh at me, I always respect my teachers because I have learned something from them. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? The studying didn't concerned me, but I liked to learn something about my occupation. I like to practice and I liked the hours of ICT. Sometimes I need help when I learn, but I ask only the teachers. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I sometimes feel that people see in me only a disabled person and they don’t offer me any chance, they treat me disdainfully and this hurts me a lot. What bothers me the most is the fact that I didn’t struggle enough to overpass my limits, being conscious that with a little effort I could do that too. I let small problems distract my attention every day and I feel overwhelmed by them and that doesn’t allow me to evolve. Now I want to continue my studies, to finish high-school and to learn more. I am very determined! What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? For example there were only boys in my class. Some were always searching for something to laugh at about the others. There were some very friendly and reliable. I believe there are people of all kinds everywhere. There are people who only see disabled and normal categories around them. I believe we must consider the person near us the way he/she is. I don’t know if I am satisfied and I still don’t know what I’m going to do in the future. Can I participate in the integration? It is not about getting healthy physically, in my case, but maybe if your parents leave you must find a way to get close to the people left. I had an appendicitis surgery last month. I felt helpless those 2 -3 days because I couldn’t walk to the bathroom and it was so difficult to ask for help. I thought then that I could easily enjoy everything when I am healthy. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? My classmates were pupils with special educational needs. I couldn’t get along with some of them

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because they laughed at everything but I helped others who were quiet and in need, and of course I helped those who accepted my help. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. ICT was one of my favorite classes. Our head teacher was our ICT teacher too and she was always asking us to help her install computers or some programs on them. We felt useful and we loved to know that somebody trusts us. I used the computer in the ICT classes and every time I wanted to play or talk to my mother I had my sister’s computer at home. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I felt abandoned when I remained with my sister and brother. My brother had some problems and he left so I stayed with my sister. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was now taking care of me instead of my mother so I revolted all the time and I lost people’s trust in me. 2. I think that most of the children without parents face the same problem. 3. I wanted to visit my mother, My sister told me to go by coach because it was easier but I thought to search for a cheaper flight because I heard that if you buy a ticket in advance you pay less. I search the internet for low cost flights and I managed to find some. I didn’t have enough trust to book the flight myself so I asked my sister to help me. It was the first time I visited my mother since she had left us. I asked her to send us dome photos to see how she looks like. Messenger helped me communicate and see recent photos of her. 4. I was alone when I was searching for a solution to see my mother and I was afraid to carry it on so I asked my sister for help. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! When you feel you are abandoned and alone you are actually not, you just have to ask for the help of the people around you to see that they are there for you whenever you need them.

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Alexandru Augustin Berbecar, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Alexandru Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 18 years old. I graduated from the Centre of Inclusive Education No.1 in Bistrita. Starting with the 9th grade I’m a student at “St. Mary” vocational school. Now I’m in the 11th grade here. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Romania is my country. I live in Bistrita, a small town, a usual one, without much noise and with many beautiful girls. I feel so and so about Romania because of our difficult living here and because young people don’t have many opportunities here. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student in the third year of completion, 11th grade, specializing in Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? The only problem I have is related to the difficulty of finding a job in the future. I think that young people have difficulties in finding a job, and even if they are healthy, they have no physical problems, and they have the theoretical and practical knowledge they still have problems in finding a place to work. Even if I’m specializing in a certain field I would like to become a security agent. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have studied at the Inclusive School in Bistrita and now I’m at “St. Mary” and I successfully reached my 11th grade. I practiced in a bakery and I helped at preparing and baking of bread and croissants. I like to learn, generally I read and learn what I get from school. I study according to my needs ant the school’s demands.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). When I was a child I had problems with my right eye. I felt bad, I was crying all the time and I was very affected. I can say that the fact that I am healthy now makes me feel confident. A job is important for the future it helps you make a family. I believe that using the computer is a big accomplishment for me especially because I learned how to use it in a very short period of time. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Studying is ok. When I had difficulties learning I asked for help from my classmates or my head teacher. It is of huge importance for me the fact that I now know how to use the computer, for example I know how to install Windows - at the beginning I didn’t know how to use it at all. Now I know it by heart. I started evolving alone in Microsoft Office too, especially PowerPoint. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I can’t say that I have a handicap regarding my hiring at the end of my studies but the attitude of people towards a friend of mine bothers me a lot. I think that if I had a handicap people around would change their attitude and I would end up having no friends. I declare myself happy for being healthy. I feel that the most valuable thing is our family, some of our friends, and also our future job is essential for what follows. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I don’t think that people should be divided into the two categories; I believe we should be equal. For a disabled friend who would feel discriminated I believe that love and maybe financial help would be a good aid. I didn’t encounter problems in my changing the two schools. I loved the new school because it offered me the chance to have a job after graduation; the teachers and classmates were close to me. I can declare myself satisfied with my present situation. Can I participate in the integration? I helped someone, my sister, with love and understanding. When she moved away from home I helped her with the furniture, cleaning her new home, and so on. I would help people wit something they really need, especially for those who caught a cold because of me, I would be a great help. I had a throat problem and I was hospitalized. I had an amgdalectomy. My behavior improved after I got out of the hospital because I felt very energetic and dynamic. I got well but I forgot how it is to be ill, anyway now I take care of my health with more responsibility. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I have a classmate who has difficulties studying: reading and writing. I try to help her as much as I can. If she doesn’t know how to read I help her, I read first and then she repeats after me so that she can remember more easily. Many times, the same classmates, asks for my help during practice, especially when she has to wash the dishes because she does things very slowly. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the computer daily, approximately six hours every day. I use tools as: Mozila Firefox for the

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internet and Opera. I get on Yahoo and messenger every day. I use them to talk and keep in touch with my friends and other close people. I used the internet to buy a display on PCFUN and a hard disk. I believe that from all the tools used the most efficient is the internet to get informed and messenger to talk to my friends, also the mail is important. I mostly search for IT information – program installing (TV soft). I have a block network at home where I find movies, music and other interesting things. I helped a classmate who had a computer at home but she didn’t know how to use it. Firstly I installed Windows, Office, and Messenger. At the beginning she kept pressing the wrong keys on the keyboard but she got used to it in time. With my help it took her about two months. I’m proud that she manages the computer pretty well now. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I once wanted to find some information about my family and I searched some sites to find out if some health problems are very serious. My mother has a health problem: goiter, and I wanted to make sure there’s nothing to worry about. So I believe that ICT helped me surpass a psychological barrier. 2. I have a friend who lives in the countryside and he doesn’t have a computer or internet access. Many times I help him on the phone with a kind advice; I invite him over to use my PC so that he doesn’t feel inferior. I even created an ID on messenger for him. 3. I wanted to write a paper for my Romanian class. My PC helped because I found many infor mation I should have serached for days in the school library. And so I finished my paper in one day. To learn more about ICT I even registered a progress intelectually. I recommend all my friends and classmates to learn as much as they can on computers because this could help them at their homework, in class, in conversations with friends, in searching all types of information for school. 4. Most of the time I try to solve my computer problems by myself. I have a friend who knows more than me about the subject and he helps me with advice when I get stuck. 4.1. For example when installing Windows, I write on a piece of paper only the serial number. I get the CD into the computer. There is a window with the main menu from where I start the program, then I choose automatic installing. 4.2. Another problem was the internet configuration. You get into Control Panel, selct Internet and introduce the IP and MAC. If it doesn’t work I don’t give up and I look for the right configuration in Windows to check the IP again. 4.4.I advise those who don’t know how o use a computer properly to try to remember as many information as possible from those who know how to do it. Also you should practice more with the people who know.

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YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Experience is important in my domain of activity especially in my practice and theory. The respect for my parents and my sister is very important and valuable for me. I wish to enlarge my knowledge about computers being related to it in my day by day work. If I didn’t have the computer to keep me busy every day I would feel a child with a problem.

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Camelius Campean, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Camelius Are you male or female? Male. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I’m 21 years old. I graduated from level 1 of qualification and I got my certificate in milling and bakery. I’m working at a local bakery in town at the moment. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Romania is my country, and the town I live in is Bistrita. I love my town because it’s not big and I feel safe here. What is your mother language? Romanian. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I work in the milling and bakery industry, at a bakery in my town. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I’m pretty healthy and strong. I feel disadvantaged because I live only with my father and there are many times I would need my mother too. My mother is a convict at the local penitentiary and this fact brought isolation from my classmates. I told myself I have to manage alone. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I learned at a school for students with special needs in town and then I enrolled at a vocational school, where I studied Alimentation Industry. I did three years and a half and passed an exam to get my certification in Milling and Bakery. I have to confess that I like this domain of activity more than I expected.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My disadvantage is that I become a very introvert person and I lost my trust in people. I was quite disoriented for a while but in the end I decided to go to a vocational school and prepare for a job and to be good at it. I liked learning and I got first prize every year. I participated at national contests specialized in my domain and I always won them. A bakery asked me to work for them after graduation so I had a job just after I finished my studies. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I always liked learning new things, studying, and knowing as much as possible about my job. I loved learning to use the computer because I realized how easy it is to learn new things and also because some of the parameters at my workplace are adjusted with the help of computer programs. I live with my father and my little sister. Sometimes, when I have troubles using the computer, my father helps me but I generally manage alone as he is very busy. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. The attitude of people towards students from schools for children with special needs used to bother me at the beginning. I learned how to do my job very well and when I was asked to work in a bakery I managed to surpass this barrier. I was selected only on my competences. It’s not a small deal, isn’t it? I wanted to continue my studies but my financial needs forced me to get the job. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? In my class for special needs were only boys. Some of them had always something to laugh at about the others. I was the in my class I they didn’t like teachers praising my success. I have been feeling integrated since I started working. I recommend my classmates to follow their way in life and to be good at what they do because people judge you on the level of your proficiency as a worker. I am socially and professionally integrated and I am really satisfied with myself. Can I participate in the integration? I generally like helping people, especially those who are not close to their mothers, and to help them do something that would make their mothers proud. I had to go in a trip with my teachers and classmates when I got sick – virosis. I had to stay inside for a few days and I missed the trip. I was very sorry but I couldn’t do anything. Even if, for a moment, I wanted the trip to be cancelled, I thought I should be happy for my classmates who maybe hadn’t been on a trip before. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? My classmates were children with special needs. I helped almost all of them to do their homework. Some of them rejected me when I was least expecting that. Maybe they believed I was different because I was always getting an A in class and first place in all competitions. Even if sometimes I too had special needs in the learning process they sometimes rejected me. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I learned how to use the computer during ICT classes with my head teacher, once a week. I was in the 11th grade when our school received new computers that needed programs installed. Me and some 2 other classmates helped out teacher install Windows on those computers. Another teacher taught us how to fill in a CV on the computer. That CV completed my employment file when I got my job at the bakery. I don’t have so much time to spend on the computer but I still talk to my friends, my old

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schoolmates. It’s the only way to keep in touch. Knowing to use the computer helps me at my workplace to follow the technologic parameters on those specific programs. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I suddenly lost my mother’s support I didn’t know which road to take. I was so disappointed that I lost my trust in people and in myself. 2. Because I lost the rhythm at my school I had to go to this school for children with special needs. I thought that if I had to follow the rhythm imposed by my classmates I wouldn’t manage to learn much. At a certain point in time I was wondering what could possibly this school offer to me. I felt alone, not all children lose their mothers’ support over night, being rejected by society, stigmatized by everybody. 3. We had to draw the sketch of a machine. As I am not very gifted at drawing, I searched the internet and I printed the drawing and I sticked it in my notebook. I learned to use the computer at school, I learned how to do my job well, I made a good file for my employment following a model I found on the internet. I managed to learn so many thing about computers at school that when I started working all the technical support and the automatic machines, and following technical parameters weren’t a problem. Sometimes my head teacher helped me, sometimes my job technology teacher. Some classes were held in the ICT lab where we had internet connection and we could learn more easily the necessary machines needed in the technological process.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Be confident and you’ll succeed!

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Maria Cocos, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Maria Cocos.

Are you male or female? Female.

How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I’m 20 years old. I ended my 12 years of study at “Sfanta Maria” vocational school specializing in tailoring, textile plant and leather goods. Now I’m continuing my studies with high-school classes being a student in 11th E grade, specializing in esthetics of the human body at the same institution.

The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? Romania is my country, I live in the countryside in a village named Budacul de Sus, Dumitrita commune, the department of Bistriţa Nasaud. It’a a normal village, quiet, with nice people. I like my country because it seems a lot easier to me to do different things here.

What is your mother language? Romanian.

What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a learner/pupil in a vocational high-school, 11th grade – the esthetics of the human body, and I already have a degree in tailoring.

Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a small disability, I have some difficulties in speaking and hearing. I talk a bit slowly and when there’s noise or people talk rapidly I almost don’t hear an uttered word. I don’t have other physical problems.

STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I came to the nursery in Bistrita when I was 1 year old. During my first years of kindergarten I went to a standard educational institution in town, the following years I went to a kindergarten in Budac,

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closer to home. I graduated from secondary school for children with disabilities in Alba Iulia street, Bistrita, after 8 years of study. From 9th to 12th grade I followed the classes of “Sfanta Maria” vocational school. There I learned how to tailor different fabrics for multiple types of clothes, but most of all I like to assemble tailored fabrics, it’s like a puzzle. I have a computer at home with internet connection. I love learning new things which enrich my knowledge and skills, I usually read things about relationships, about intimate things I don’t have the easiness to discuss with people around me, how to act in a group, different stories and novels. All these make me feel a normal person. I use the computer mostly for the messenger program, to talk to my boyfriend and I check different forums or look for information about how to cut my hair or how to style a haircut, to specialize in my new job.

Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I wasn’t born with my disability related to speaking and hearing. I got the problems after a medical treatment I had to follow during kindergarten. Sometimes I feel bad and I get nervous when my classmates talk to me in an inappropriate manner. Generally I answer them back but most of the times I regret it and I get really upset. For the future I’d like to have my own family, children, a good job to support my family and myself. I love taking care of children and my dream is to become a baby sitter. When I visit my mother at the day nursery all the children look at me in a very kind way. Some of them know me and they are happy to see me. When I was a little child myself I used to feed the very little ones. A little boy there who was very dear to me used to jump into my arms the moment he saw me; that was making me extremely happy. I’d like to advise the children who have the same problems as me to be themselves and not to feel very sensitive to the mean things the others do, to ignore them because they can’t put themselves into our shoes and they can’t understand how your life really is, especially when you’re so “physically challenged” in their eyes. The people around you should accept you as you naturally are. I say to myself many times that God sees it all and he can somehow punish others to become as we are now or He has the power to heal me.

What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I usually have troubles learning, mostly because I can’t remember more difficult words or I can’t pronounce some of them: for example those related to entrepreneurial education. If I read and repeat them many times I finally get to memorize them. Another problem refers to the teachers’ rapid flow during talking I understand only some words then. That’s why I learn on my own, from books, from other people’s stories. Sometimes when I don’t understand something my mother helps me, I always understand her. I think I spend more time for study in comparison to my classmates especially for the most difficult pieces of homework. These are, mainly, the troubles I have to deal with every day.

Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. The hearing problem is the worst. I have the hear-aid and sometimes I perspire and I can’t hear anymore. It happens to have purulent wounds in my ear from the hear-aid. Now I’m trying to find an up-to-date device, one which could be placed inside my ear, but the costs are very high. We try to get the necessary sum of money but is indeed difficult. In what concerns people’s attitudes, I feel disturbed about the way my classmates and my friends talk and laugh at me. My new classmates accept me as I am, for the moment. I also have two old friends in my new class , we get along great and I’m happy that we are still classmates.

What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? What I believe is definitely important is to be considered equals, to be as God allowed us to be on Earth. I don’t think that being rich or poor matters, if I were a rich person I would help the poor without second thoughts. Money doesn’t bring happiness. If I had a new lonely classmate, as I once were, I would try to introduce her to the group if she would accept my help. If she had integration

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problems she should be sure that I would help her unconditionally. I had a problem regarding my ethnic roots with my ex-boyfriend’s parents who mocked at me and made everything to break us apart. When they saw I was calling him they answered his phone and laughed at me every time and hurt my feelings. They wouldn’t accept me as his girlfriend because I’m half gipsy. I felt bad and that made me lose self-trust even more.

Can I participate in the integration? I like to help others even if it’s just an advice although I don’t know if they follow my advice. I don’t know how I would act if I were healthy or what I would say to a girl in my situation. I suppose I would try to be her friend and talk to her kindly. Unfortunately is just a dream. I can’t remember now but I can still imagine how it was when I was healthy and from what I’ve heard from my grandmother I used to be very naughty, always happy, singing and dancing.

What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? My father is a harsh person, I think he doesn’t understand me at all. I never talk to him because I try not to upset him. He thinks he’s protecting me if I never leave home, which makes me believe he doesn’t trust me at all.

Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use my computer daily. After I get home from school I change my clothes, I eat and in two hours time I’m in front of the computer. I use messenger to communicate the internet to find out new things. I don’t have friends to send messages to or to receive messages from and I don’t use my e-mail address very often. I read messages on forums pretty often but I rarely express my opinion, only if I totally agree with something. I can watch movies but not in excellent conditions because of my video card, I also listen to music from the internet. The internet helps me spend my free time and also know more about human nature as I hugely trust people, unfortunately I also suffered a lot because of that. I read stories that make me judge things from a different perspective, help me not to be betrayed by those around me. On the internet I may find both good and bad examples of behavior regarding boys. I don’t let myself influenced after the first seconds, I have patience to know the person a little to form an objective opinion. I sometimes read magazines as Coolgirl and Bravo on the net, I can find there lots of information for teenagers.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. One barrier in my way was my father who didn’t agree with buying the computer, he didn’t help me at all. 2. I have classmates and friends whose parents help them, they don’t create barriers for their children.

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3. Before having the computer I was spending my time outdoors. To convince my father I told him that a PC would make me get informed and I could also give him lots of information, I was quite right. 4. My friend who’s working in Germany helped me financially and also with some tips about how I should use the computer too as she knows very well how to do it.

Your „trick“ 2: 1. The internet connection at home fails very often . 2. Because I live in the countryside the connection is weak and it fails very often in comparison to what happens in a similar situation in town. 3. For example yesterday I wanted to find some new information about French manicure but the connection was troublesome. 4. I asked a friend to help me and I printed some information to take home with me.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! I learned something about life in my short experience and I’m always eager to learn more. You must have will to go on in your life and to take advantage of all the opportunities that come into your way.

,

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Paula Farcas, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Paula Farcas Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I’m 18 years old. I’m a student in 11thB grade, profile of Tourism and Alimentation. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania and I live in Dumitrita commune, Bistrita Nasaud county. It’s a small and quiet village. I love my village because I was born there and I also grew in that place. It’s a hill area, very beautiful, especially during spring when everything goes green. What is your mother language? Romania, Romanian language What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student in a vocational school, 11th grade, profile Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? Physically I’m not very strong because I suffer from asthma and I sometimes have to use my pomp. This lowers my resistence to prolonged effort and the weather affects my health. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I started learning at the Secondary school no.3 where I finished my 3rd grade. I couldn’t handle the curriculum for some objects even if I had tutors to help me. My parents transferred me to a school for children with special needs where I went until I finished thr 8th grade. Starting with the 9th grade I went to “Sf. Maria” Vocational School in Bistrita and I study to be able to work in thr field of alimentation. I love preparing for this job both theoretically and practically. I went to school contests were I was awarded. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it).

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I have a pretty weak body and I often went to hospital because of my medical problem. I don’t feel strong from this point of view but otherwise I believe I have a strong character. I want to continue my studies either in this domain or in hairstyling to get a higher qualification. Even if my parents got divorced and I only live with my mother, my father offered to help me open my own business. Even if it is not a school in the mass education system the institution I study in offers me a good qualification and the possibility to continue my studies on a second level in the mass education system. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I generally learn easy for all the subjects but I can’t store information in the along-term memory. I forget very easily, especially if I don’t revise a lot. I learn by heart. I don’t ask for help when I study because what I remember from class helps me a lot and if somebody offers explanations I get distracted. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. The fact that I get tired very quickly bothers me a lot and also the fact that I’m not allowed to go rellerskating, riding my bike, jogging in the park, sports, etc. When I was a child I couldn’t play with other children because I had crises from my asthma. I felt rejected even when children asked me to play with them. Now I’m happy with my family and with the fact that I can study for a future job and that I have friends. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? When a healthy person and one with a disability or a health problem because we are all humans and we wouldn’t want to be sick. In my school all learners with the same conditions for study. We have the same labs, same teachers, same masters and there’s no difference between us. We have joint activities and we get along really well. I’m satisfied with the position I have in my school and I can definitely say that I’m offered the same chances for development as my colleagues in mass education. Can I participate in the integration? If I met a person with my medical problems I would encourage her/him and say that if she took care of herself/himself things would get better and in time they would be able to do whatever they want, they can replace the things they are not allowed to do because4of their poor health with, for example – time spent on the computer to relax. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I was bed-driven for a few hours but after that I continued my activities with more attention for my health. I have a classmate who missed a lot of classes and she usually has difficulties studying. I sometimes help her do her homework, especially before a test paper. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I don’t have a computer at home so I don’t use it every day. I only use it at school. When I need it for school, homework, or to communicate I g to my friend who has a computer at home. I know how to search for information, I use Word, I make Folders where I store information, I know how to use photos in a paper, I use Messenger, I send e-mails, I download music and movies, etc.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. Our society creates barriers between “normal” people and people with health problems or social problems.For example children don’t accept you to play with them because you get tired really quickly. 2. If you don’t have a computer at home you don’t have access to information as fast as other friends do. 3. During 6th grade I had a PC and I used it to search for cartoons, music, horoscope, movies. Being able to do this made me feel more relaxed and I started speaking with friends. They talked to me and stopped playing all the time, especially those games I couldn’t play. 4. Ask a skillful friend to help when you need it, pay attention to what he/she does and learn. Your „trick“ 2: 1. I consider a barrier even the fact that I wasn’t fond of the idea of having a computer from the beginning and the high price is the reason why I don’t have a PC. 2. I wasn’t attracted by the idea of having a computer because I didn’t know how to use it and nobody explained to me from the start what I could use the computer for. After I learned how to start a computer I learned what I could use it for and I started loving it. 3. In my vocational school I learned to search for information on the internet for different subjects, I learned to make Folders, to write papers exactly like the children in the mass education system. After many attempts to cure my disease, which only had an effect on the short-term, I thought to look for treatments in the homeopathy field. That’s how I found out that if I drink thistle tea when I have a crisis I feel better. Also salt baths could help, following specialised treatment. I searched for salt works in our country and I contact a doctor who works in such a place. I’ll go to a saline treatment next summer. 4. My younger mate Marius helped me a lot in what concerns computers. It’s him who helped me search for information about my medical problem.

YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Communicate daily with your friends! It’s nice and pleasant.

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Alexandru Ghereb, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Alex. Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 18 years old. I am in 10th grade. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Romania, Bistrita. It is a city with over 80,000 inhabitants in Transylvania. It is a medieval town with many touristic attractions. My country is very beautiful because of its landscapes. I like it very much. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a learner in the field of tourism and alimentation. I learn to become a worker in this field. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am physically healthy but I have been disadvantaged because of absenteeism problems that I didn’t solve on time. I haven’t followed my parents and sister’s advice, I lied about the issues and later on I had a lot to recover from. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I started learning in a school in Bistrita. There I attended primary school until third grade. From the 4th grade I transferred to a school for students with special needs where I studied until the end of gymnasium. I was professionally oriented to tourism and alimentation. I followed classes in this profile in a school of arts and crafts. I enjoy my learning at school and home. At school I participated in craft competitions.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I had a lot of problems due to absenteeism and the fact that during first grades I was transferred from a normal school to a special needs school. There I have recovered the differences but I was not proud to learn at that special school. I oriented myself to tourism and alimentation profile; there I have seen a way to improve my personal achievement for the future. I want to get my professional qualification certificate and to develop my skills. I learn with pleasure about the technology of my craft because I love this job and can find lots of news about food. I went to a craft contest – at school level, where I won III place. That gave me confidence and self-trust. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Generally, I study easily, but there are some subjects in which I have some troubles. At Mathematics I was helped by the tutoring teacher. To develop my skills and knowledge in this job I requested help from my teachers and instructors. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. During my gymnasium years, when people asked me where I learned I lied all the time because I was ashamed of my school. People around me thought that learners from schools for children with special needs have serious mental problems and used abusive words against us. I think it is great that I surpassed my disadvantage through learning in a “normal” and here I have the opportunity to improve myself as a whole. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I believe that we shouldn’t discriminate and make judgments upon people with disabilities. Even if I learn in a special class, is good that my classmates and me have access to all the resources that are used by students in normal education schools. Integration will be an advantage for the professional qualification certificate which specifies only the profession and not the type of education we have followed. I have not experienced problems of integration and I am now happy with my situation . Can I participate in the integration? I help the classmates who have problems with their homework and tasks. If I met a student that must be transferred to a special school I would advise him to go on and learn there without any problems. I think that from there he could have a good future too and is definitely better than to abandon school. Once I had a respiratory virosis and the doctor told me to stay home. I had eyes problems, they hurt a lot and I couldn’t even speak to people because of the pain. After getting well I was so happy to talk to my friends and play in the schoolyard with them. If a friend from school got sick I would be the first to ask him how he feels, because nobody visited me when I was sick. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I learned in a class of students with special needs and I was the best there and therefore I helped the others. I helped some of them but there were others who didn’t accept my help. I tried to convince them but I didn’t have enough patience. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I was “introduced to” the computer during primary school. My parents bought me a computer five years ago and I have internet access the last two. I use the computer daily ever since. I talk to my friends, I search for things I don’t know very well, I download music, movies and various programs.

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Most of the time I play with my friends on the network. I find it useful to be able to communicate with friends, see them when they are not near you, you can learn something new or necessary for school. I find it important to participate in discussions about various games, software, and messenger communication with friends from the block and from school. In this way I don’t feel rejected by the group.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. During primary school I was ashamed to say in what school I learn because I think that children in special schools are discriminated against. The fact that I learned how to use the computer helped me gain respect from friends and children from other schools. 2. One of my classmates has the same problem. All the other classmates laugh at him and he can’t do anything well. He refuses to do his tasks at school. Perhaps one solving would be a private conversation and to help him work on the computer, and to talk to him about my past problem and how I managed to solve it by using the computer. 3. Using the computer helped me gain confidence and respect. I have a classmate who has a similar problem and all classmates laugh at him when he has to perform a task in class or when we have to do our homework with the help of a computer and, as a result, he refuses to work in class or at home. I would advise him and other people who have this problem to accept help from a close person and to solve this problem. 4. The person who helped me and showed me some tricks was my ICT teacher. For example I learned to insert pictures very quickly. Other colleagues don’t know how to do that yet: the insertion of images in a document. I also advise my classmates to ask for help from those who can handle the computer better than them. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! It’s important to find a path in life, a path to follow and to develop on. I like the things that I learn and the computer gives me safety in the sense that I can often find answers and knowledge keeps me close to my friends. I feel "connected"!

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Gabriela Elena Nimigean, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Gabriela Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 19 years old, 11th grade. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania and the town I live in is Bistrita. It’s a town in Transylvania with over 8000 inhabitants. It’s a medieval town with great touristic attractions. I love stability and I wouldn’t like to change towns. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m an 11th grade student in tourism and public alimentation but I wouldn’t like to work in this field later on. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I feel ok although I could say that our society and especially the local community stigmatizes “special” people. I feel special also because my father is gone. If he had been here he would have helped me more.

STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I started my studies at a general secondary school in town until 2nd grade. After I transferred to a school for children with special needs until 8th grade. I continued my studies in the field of tourism and public alimentation, 9th grade, at “St Maria” vocational school. I go to school for my education but I also study at home. I like learning Romanian because I like to read.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I don’t like talking about that because it makes me feel vulnerable in front of the others. I have difficulties in making friends because of that and I have the tendency to get isolated. My PC is a refuge where I can communicate carelessly with other people. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I’ve graduated from “Sfanta Maria” vocational school and now I make one tear completion to end my highschool. It seems more difficult to me now, I have new objects but I’m going to make it right. I also study at home where my mother helps me when I’m in difficulty. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. It bothers me that I didn’t have the opportunity to go to a normal school. My father died when I was three and I’m sure that if he had lived he would have helped me to go to a normal school. I had several girl friends who as they realized I had a disability tried to get advantage of my honesty. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? It makes me sad that people discriminate and divide us into those two categories: disabled and normal. I personally didn’t feel discriminated in my very restrained circle of friends but discrimination exists and I believe that I will feel discriminated at a certain moment in the future when I have to face life by myself. Can I participate in the integration? I would talk to the person with different issues and I would tell him/her that I as in that situation and with patience and trust you can get over it. I love talking to people but I’m shy and I have difficulties in making friends. I would like to become a psychologist and to help people. When I’, sick I appreciate health more. I once dropped hot water on my legs and I had to stay in bed. A few days before that I bought myself a skirt and I thought I didn’t know what’s the point in having it as long as I couldn’t wear it. Finally I got well and I said to myself that I will never forget how it is to be ill. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I studied in a class with pupils with special needs and I helped the others. I still help my classmates who have bigger problems in comparison to me. I help one of my classmates with her lessons, I give explanations suited for her rhythm of study. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I have a PC at home, and internet connection. I search for new words on the internet, I translate material for my homework, I watch TV shows on the internet, I read articles, I check the weather, the horoscope. I also use my mobile phone a lot to talk to my friends who encourage me and help me unwind. When you have a problem is good to have someone to help you, make you feel safe, I talk to friends using the internet and I received lots of encouragements from people.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. In general secondary school I was ashamed to tell people at what school I study because I believe that pupils in schools for disabled people are discriminated. 2. Employers choose learners from normal school not those from special schools. Also some of my classmates say they prefer having friends from outside our school. 3. The computer helps me feel better, relaxes me, and helps me spend my free time in a great way when I’m indoors. If we want to find something new we use the computer, also when we want to keep in touch with people from far away. 4. 1. The person who taught me many things was one of my girl friends. For example I learned how to do simple things with a picture of mine – to put a frame, flowers or to edit an image. 4.2. I advise my classmates to get in touch with a person who knows about computers. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! The computer keep you in touch with your friends! Everybody should learn to use it.

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Marius Pop, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Marius Pop Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I’m 17 years old, I’m in 10th grade at a vocational school. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania, and my town is Bistrita. It seems big, quiet, and beautiful. I also love my room because it’s pink and I’m surrounded with personal things. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student, 10th grade, in a vocational school in Bistrita in the field of Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I’m pretty healthy and strong. If I had struggled more I wouldn’t have had to study in a special school since my 7th grade. That happened because of my group who led to absenteeism and then school abandonment. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. At started learning at a primary school in town where I studied until 7th grade. Because I didn’t study enough and I missed classes a lot I had to repeat a year. I transferred to a school for children with special needs where I managed better as the other learners weren’t so great at school. I haven’t reached the level I wanted so I continue my studies to have a profession, to be able to get a job. I am an active participant in many curricular and extra-curricular activities because they improve my professional skills and I like the domain of activity I chose. I like learning and I like teachers to notice me in class.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My disadvantage got worse when I started having an inappropriate attitude towards school and my classmates. Later on I got back on the good track and I’ve decided to get a professional certificate. I take part in many vocational activities at school and I am part of a Comenius project. Within the project I was the host of a pupil from Holland and I tried my best to communicate with him in English. We wanted to play on the computer too but he didn’t really know how to do it. He also wanted to send messages to his parents and I helped him. I already knew how to use the computer so I was very proud of myself.. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Now I care about the learning, I learn more in the school, and make only my homeworks at home. If do not understand something, I will ask the teacher. Generally now I do not have problems, my results are good and very good. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I am integrated into a group of friends from the block, without feeling any difference between us. Probably if they would ask me where I learn, I will not answer because, in general, people have an negative attitude and marginalize people from special schools, because they know that this type of school is for people with physical disabilities. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I do not think people should be divided into persons with disabilities and healthy, each of us can become sick and then they move from healthy people, to people with problems. Can I participate in the integration? I learn in a school where we have both, special education classes and normal education. We have the same teachers, have the same learning conditions and in the practice the differences are very small. At the end of the study, even if higher, we get the same professional qualifications. I could help someone who is in the position to abandon school because of absenteeism, with advice from my own experience. I guess I have chosen the same profession to continue studies but I have learned in a normal classroom. At 11 years I was operated for appendicitis. I felt helpless. I always need someone to help me. Then I realized how important it is to have someone who care for you and how important is not to depend on someone else. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? Colleagues in my class were with special needs of learning. I have a colleague who does not hear too well and I need to speak louder. She doesn’t always understand and I lose my patience with her. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I have my own computer from 12 years, so from 5 years. From the beginning I liked to use it. I helped my brother and neighbours to use the computer. At first, I spent too much time in front of computer until I learned to work on it. Now I know it well and use it when I want. I use my computer for music, games, internet, installing various programs, communication with project partners from the Netherlands through hotmail, search for needed information. If I hear something new about computers I'm very interested. Once I needed money and knew that my mother living in Italy could help me, I used the computer to

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explain my needs and have established with her how to send me the money. When I want to talk to my mother I use messenger and I am used to see her webcam. That helps me a lot because I feel closer. I had to go to Italy in a project and I needed an attorney. I communicated with my mother and for the preliminary file, I used a scanned copy until the original arrived by mail. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I tried to extract pictures from an archive received by mail from my mother. 2. I had no such computer installed on my computer to unzip these pictures. 3. I searched the Internet using Google and found a free program that I downloaded. 4. I recommend to others to look with patience on the Internet and search programs to unzip archives. Your „trick“ 2: 1. I needed a picture for my student card. 2. I found some pictures on the computer, but I need a soft to process the picture. 3. With a free program (Picassa) I cut my face from a group picture and I managed to have only my picture. 4. The trick for searching software I have learned at school from teachers and colleagues. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! I learned that if you stay a lot at the computer this can help you on different ways: be informed for the school or generally, to use your free time pleasant, to be near your parents even if they are far away.

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Mirela Ţuţura, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Mirela Ţuţura Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I’m 18 years old. I’m a student in 11th grade, profile Tourism and Alimentation. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania and I live in Dumitrita commune, Bistrita Nasaud county. It’s a small and quiet village. I love my village because I was born there and I also grew in that place. It’s a hill area, very beautiful, especially during spring when everything goes green. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student in a vocational school, 11th grade, profile Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I’m healthy and I don’t have any medical disability. I still have a disadvantage and that is the fact that I don’t have a good memory and I’m not able to render what I learn at school. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I started school in Dumitrita, my village. Starting with my 3rd grade I was transferred to a school for children with special needs until 8th grade. From the 9th grade I’ve been learning at “St Mary” vocational school in Bistrita and I’m studying to become an alimentation agent. I like learning about this field both theoretically and practically. I participated at different contests about my domain of activity and I also won some prizes.

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Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My disadvantage is that I can’t memorize things but what I practice a lot I manage to acquire. When I was transferred to this special school I didn’t feel disadvantaged, on the contrary, I felt more confident and I integrated pretty fast. I was part of many extra-curricular activities and I got 1st prize from the 1st grade until the 8th grade and I also obtained many awards for participating at contests and extracurricular activities. During vocational school I was 2nd in my class every year and at the job contest I gor the 1st prize in 2009. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? It’s more difficult for me to study for the Romanian class so I ask one of my friends for help, she is also my desk mate. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. During the first 3 grades my classmates wouldn’t laugh at me because I wouldn’t answer the master’s questions and they always helped me. Even so I was feeling embarrassed and I was always ashamed of myself. I’m happy that I have peace in my family, that I have friends and that I have the opportunity to learn how to do a job which will help me in the future. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I believe we shouldn’t discriminate between people with disabilities and the others because we all have our place on Earth and it wasn’t our choice to be one way or another. In my school students from the “normal”, mass, education system don’t benefit from better conditions. We have the same labs, same teachers, and same foremen; there’s no difference between us. We have blended activities in our school and we get along very well. I believe we are integrated because we have the possibility to learn the same things in the same environment; we have to pass the same exams as our colleagues from the mass education system. And even more, we also have the possibility to continue our studies in the mass system, which also offers us more chances to integrate in our society, to get a good job or to make a family. Can I participate in the integration? If I met a person with my problems I would advise her to search for her place in the world at the right school, with the right teachers – where they are more understanding and more patient and have methods to really help us learn more. I have never been bed-ridden. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I have a classmate who can’t focus during classes; she seems absent all the time. I help her with the homework sometimes, especially before tests and exams. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. My parents have bought me a computer a year ago. I “was introduced” to the computer during ICT classes. We also had some classes of Job Technology in the ICT lab. I have learned more about computers from my classmate Alexandru. Now I know how to search for information on the net, to write a text in Word, to create folders in

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which to save information, to make papers with pictures, to communicate on Messenger, to send emails, to download music, etc. I open the computer daily to communicate with my friends and to listen to music. This is how I manage to use the computer more and more easily and it makes me feel equal to my classmates from the mass education system. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. One barrier I have to surpass is the English language. I’m not so good at it and many programa are in English 2. My problem regarding the English language comes from the fact that I started studying it only when I entered high-school (9th grade) and I didn’t have the possibility to acquire enough knowledge. 3. I had to manage using the computer all by myself and I also learned how to understand the programs as I found dictionaries on the internet. 4. My classmate Alexandru was always there for me when I couldn’t handle it by myself. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Communicate daily with your friends! It’s nice and pleasant.

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Silvia Veronica Adam , Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Silvia Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 21 years old. I graduated from level 1 of qualification and I received a certificate as worker in alimentation. I continue my studies in the same field but for a higher qualification. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? My country is Romania. I live in Bistrita, not a big town with touristic attractions and a beautiful city centre. It is a quiet town with many green spaces and it is situated close to the mountains. I love the country I live in because it has mountains and also a sea which I would like to visit. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student at “St Mary” vocational school in Bistrita, completion year, 11th grade, and I study Tourism and Alimentation. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am physically healthy. I believe that I had a certain ”disability” when I started school as I was part of a class with many mean children and with a schoool master that did nothing to help me integrate. It happened that my father died then and it deeply affected me and my lack of interest in school became even more obviuos. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I started school at a normal institution, in town, but I had to transfer because of my bad results. I ended up in a school for students with special needs where I ended my 8th grade. To continue my studies I chose a vocational school where to specialize in Tourism and Alimentation. I studied for 3 years and a half in a vocational school with students with special needs and I graduated from it with level 1 of qualification as a worker in alimentation industry. I liked it a lot and I wanted to continue my studies

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that’s why I am now in 11th grade, completion year in a normal education institution. I believe that I learn and educate myself permanently by continuing my studies and I’m interested in finding out more and more things about my future job. I search for new things in my domain of activity on the internet and then share them with my classmates and my teachers, they also do the same thing and constantly bring new information to class. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Given the fact that at the beginning my classmates and my school teacher couldn’t accept me I became a very uncommunicative person and I started losing contact with school. I was getting worse and worse results and I transferred to a school for students with special needs until I finished my 8th grade. It was easier for me there, I integrated and had a good relationship with my classmates as they also had problems, just as I had, and my results improved. I got second prize in my class at the end of the school year. Because I liked studying I decided to continue my studies and complete my knowledge in my former qualification. I believe that this could help me integrate better and easier in society and to get a job. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I like studying alone but sometimes I ask for the help of one of my classmates or teachers. When I had troubles understanding something I asked my teachers for help or my closest friends. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I felt “disabled” only while I was attending my first school – primary education. At the moment, as I had the opportunity to study with students from the mass system and get into competition with them, and because I got my professional certification which is identical with the one received by those students in “normal” education, I don’t feel disadvantaged anymore. It bothers me to see that people look down on us when they find out that we are studying at “St Mary” vocational school, without knowing what we study there exactly. I consider my certificate very valuable and it gives me the opportunity to find a job. I also consider a true value the education I received from my parents and my teachers. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I don’t believe that disabled people have to be separated from the healthy/normal ones. Integration has to be based on a serious education in this respect. In our country disabled persons are discriminated against. Integration can be made through equal conditions for study and professional training. I have a friend with whom I spend most of my free time. He went to a mass school and he never treated me as being disabled just because I went to a school for children with special needs. I participated in a computer training course and I learned many new, interesting things. I am now satisfied with myself and with the fact that I can continue my studies. Can I participate in the integration? I had a classmate who had problems studying. She got upset very easily when she couldn’t understand something in class. She didn’t have the courage to ask teachers for help and as she saw I was a calm person she accepted my help. Other classmates wanted to help her too, but she only accepted my help with her homework. This didn’t make me feel special. A while ago I played basketball with my classmates and I sprained my ankle. I could hardly get home and get into bed. My biggest problem was that I couldn’t move at all, I was tied to the bed; I couldn’t even get out for a walk with my boyfriend or my friends. After I got well I started taking more care of myself and I also started understanding people who had the same problem.

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What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? The classmate I was helping at doing her homework didn’t trust my effort at the beginning. She used to think that I laugh at her not being able to do her homework by herself. I told her that she won’t solve her problem unless she accepts other people’s help, and that she had a lot to lose if she continued taking low marks. I had a lot of patience and I managed to help her a little. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I learned to use the computer at school during ICT classes. Afterwards I started using the internet, I created myself an e-mail address and I started communicating with my friends on Messenger. My boyfriend was always teaching me new things about it. I sometimes search for information to help me at school, other times I just relax playing computer games. Now, that I study in a class belonging to mass education I don’t feel inferior to my classmates who do their homework or some research for school using the computer. I can do the same thing just that my effort is a little bit higher. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. I couldn’t do anything during my ICT classes in my 9th grade, and I also didn’t have a computer at home. 2. I wasn’t alone but my best friends already knew to use the computer and I wanted to be able to do that too. 3. I asked a friend for help, he had already graduated from school and participated in a training; I found it easier to have a “personal” teacher. The computer helped me feel equal to my friends who already had PC’s and later on I got even better marks at this subject in school. 4. The class was quite short and the teacher couldn’t pay attention only to my needs. I didn’t feel alone. Your „trick“ 2: 1. I wanted to listen to a song that was available only on the internet at that time. 2. My classmates wanted to download it too but they didn’t know how. 3. My friend showed me how to download a song, and even more, she showed me how to do a CD. 4. My friend was there for me and I taught my classmates how to do it. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS I think it’s good to have the courage to learn something new. Not to be afraid or scared that we don’t know how to do something but to search for solutions and find out everything that’s new. We should ask those who know more than us and to help those who are in need. Every thing you learn and master gives you courage to go on.

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Dana Pralea, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Ana Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 44 years old and I graduated from high school 25 years ago. I went to the “Babes Bolyai” University, short term studies, and I graduated from the Faculty of History and Philosophy with a Professional Competence Diploma as a librarian and I am now a student in the 3rd year at the “Spiru Haret” University, Faculty of Romanian Language and Literature. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Bistrita, Romania. It is a small town, clean, quiet, with a big historical value. I like the town I live it but it could still benefit from some infrastructure investment. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m an auxiliary teacher - librarian. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am perfectly healthy even if sometimes I don’t feel like being a very powerful woman. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I went to primary and secondary school in my native village. I went to high school in Bistrita and here I decided to stay and make a family. After graduation I got a job and I trained myself regularly, at least once a year, because my job requires such trainings and lots of individual work, all these so that I could help the children in our institution. A librarian, as he is working with children, uses a lot of effort, both physical and psychological, and he needs a lot of training to do this, and also general knowledge in various domains, he needs to know modern methods and techniques, he needs basic information on psychology and psycho-pedagogy of reading, special skills to work with the readers

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(learners), cognitive intuition, pedagogical tact, accuracy, precision, minuteness, cooperation skills, empathy, lots of patience and calm, politeness, firmness, he has to be prompt, and you can achieve all that through a lot of work and study. Yes, I like learning, I have always loved books and this pleasure in knowing more and more made me become a librarian. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Given the fact that I was born in a poor family of peasants, my parents didn’t study much, it was a real achievement for me to become a librarian. I got to do what I like and when the opportunity to continue my studies came to me I did it without having second thoughts about it. I enrolled to university so that I can become better in my job. I wouldn’t say that I am a strong person but everything I did until the present was by using my own power and knowledge, without any financial help, only moral support and lots of individual work. All that I wish for the moment is to graduate from university and to start making other plans because I don’t intend to stop here, even if have a certain age I still consider that there’s always room for becoming better in what you do. I like to say that I have a beautiful family, my son is also a student, my husband has a good and stable job (which is very important nowadays), I have a job that I enjoy much, I work with kids and books, they make me enjoy even more what I do, that’s why I can say that I am both personally and professionally satisfied but I obtained all these by working a lot and not by waiting for help from the others because there wasn’t someone who could offer it to me. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I was interested in studying ever since I started school, since the 1st grade I loved being the best in my class and not knowing a child who is better than me, I was very ambitious and so I was until I graduated from high school. I used to read more than the teacher asked us to because I saw how difficult was life for my parents in the countryside and I realized that studying could be a way to get rid of such a difficult living. Besides my work at home (at the farm) I used to tell to myself “I must learn, I must be the best” this was my motto, all to escape from living such a hard life. I kept searching for role-models all around me, to take all the best from the people I knew (school master, teacher etc) and I thought about the things I had to do in order to become like them. I learn easily, I don’t have problems memorizing things, and because I was always interested in trainings to achieve professional skills, I love new things, I am very curious about everything around me and I always try to find out new information everywhere. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I am bothered by selfishness, arrogance, superficiality, contempt, defiance and the wrong attitude of the people who believe only to have rights and not one obligation, who take everything for granted, they disrespect the others, and everything around them. I try my best to exceed my limits and to have full control over situations. The everyday worries stop me from continuing my studies and become satisfied with what I have accomplished. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? No, on the contrary, disabled people should be helped integrate in our society, and not be isolated because they already suffer a lot by not being born normal and everything else is a problem. Disabled people need permanent help, they don’t have to be avoided and rejected because this could make them feel like the outcasts. We must pay attention to these people because what we consider to be good for them might not help them on the long term.

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Even if I wasn’t disabled sometimes people looked at me in a strange way (at school) because I came from a big family, with many children and without a good financial status, later on, as an adult, I observed that some people with a good financial status used to look down on me but I managed not to get upset by these small things and to appreciate and enjoy people’s inner beauty and the fact that they didn’t labeled me based on my wages or belongings. I believe that those who like me should accept me as I am. Can I participate in the integration? I helped people as much as I could afford to and sometimes I even kept very little for myself so that others, who seriously needed help, could feel better. I never refused people who asked for help. Fortunately I didn’t have to pass through critical situations but if I were to I would have faith that everything will get better and others who would have the same problems will receive advice and optimistic thoughts from me. I was bed ridden and I had to rely totally on my husband. If it hadn’t been for him I couldn’t have managed. It was terrible, not to be able to take a glass of water, to prepare for your shot, I wouldn’t wish to anyone to pass through such an experience. This is not something you could forget easily and it makes you take more care of your health. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I’ve been working for the 18 years in an education institution for children with special needs. I am in contact with them every day because this is my job. They have many problems, some of them have communication problems, hearing disorders, you need a lot of patience to deal with all these, special skills, attention to be able to understand them and not to make them feel embarrassed and, most importantly, to be able to help them. Sometimes they come to borrow a book and they believe it belongs to them and don’t take it back so I have to talk to each of them and explain why they need to bring it back, to make them understand me and listen to what I say. Each pupil and each problem need a certain approach because we can’t use the same method for all of them; in order to be able to do this you need pedagogical skills and permanent training. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes, I use ICT every day; it’s an easier way, and also a cheaper one, to keep contact with my relatives abroad. I constantly search for information on the internet, I read news, and documents I need and I don’t have other possibilities to get them. I used the internet for shopping, looking for ads, music, movies, even games, but especially information about health and life etc. The most useful applications are those used for education, the chat, videoconferences, Braille interface, forums, e-mail, short messages, and social network sites. The computer may be an award for a disabled person, if we want to work with them (we work for an activity in the library), to make them pay attention and to follow instructions we tell them that they will receive computer games after classes and then we can carry on our activities without problems because they pay attention and co-operate. HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

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Your „trick“ 1: 1. It was very difficult for me when I left home for high school; a scared child who had never left home before, who had never been alone in town, it was so difficult, I was really terrified, I needed help and moral support but there was no one to offer it to me so I plunged into reading, I wasn’t very sociable but my objective was to study and that is what I did. It was also difficult for me when I got married because we didn’t have a house, we paid a rent until we got a house, one year and a half, and when we finally got our apartment we didn’t have money to buy furniture and our parents didn’t have the financial support we needed. But we never felt desperate, we kept hoping that there will come a day when we don’t have to worry about tomorrow, and that day finally came but after a lot of work and sacrifices, will, understanding, family support, if it hadn’t been for all these we would have paid a rent forever. The satisfaction is even greater when you know that you managed by yourself, when there’s nobody to say that helped you in any way. It was hard at the workplace too because I didn’t know how to use the computer, there was nobody to teach me and I started from scratch. I participated in a training but I learned alone, without any help, and now I manage well, I work on different programs which my colleagues avoid (BDNE, STAT OCT, Excel), searching for information on the internet is like playing, I download programs and I install them and if I don’t manage from the beginning I start it over but I don’t give up. Maybe to be successful in life you need a little bit of luck too but it is not enough, if you don’t know when to give up, when you have to insist, but not to be too pushy, and as I have already mentioned before, you need a lot of work and perseverance, and not to give up easily when you face difficulties and also you need to be optimistic to surpass all barriers. 2. I was In my starting days as a librarian in a school for children with special needs and I had no idea how to treat them. One day two girls came to ask for some books to read, one of them was more daring, more decided and the other one was shy. They each asked for a book. I offered them more authors so they had the possibility to choose, they signed the borrowing file and left. They came back the next day too. I talked to them nicely, I had patience with them, they asked me all kinds of questions about books and so I became their friend, they got closer to me, they came to the library every day, they borrowed books and they talked about their lives. At a certain moment they started to call me “mum” and they were jealous of the other children who came to the library to borrow books, they didn’t want to see that I pay attention to other children too. They insisted on taking them home at weekends and several times they came to my house alone, without my knowing about it. At a certain moment the situation got out of control and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I tried to talk to them but they were really angry, they threatened me and they told me they would commit suicide, they felt abandoned but we talked a lot and explained to them that the library is for all the students there and that I behave nicely with everyone because this is the right way to treat people and my work involves this. But I needed a lot of patience, will, and I finally managed to solve the problem so that everybody was satisfied with the result. 3. ICT is very important for me mostly because I keep in touch with my relatives who are all over the world – Canada, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Spain and by using Messenger and new technology we even manage to see each other (web camera) not only to talk on the phone, so we have a better relationship and we see the changes in our appearance as the years pass by. I need internet even more now as my son left town, I could even say I am addicted to the internet because in this way I communicate more easily with him. I managed to buy a car by using ICT, at the right price and exactly how I wanted it to be. I bought tickets for my flight when I visited my relatives abroad, I searched for low cost flights and I can always find things very quickly on the internet. I bought shoes and clothes from different brands, gym apparatus, medical bike, kosmodisk for my mother and information from all domains of activity can be founs on the net. I also use the net to find some teaching aids for my classes, I download movies for the pupils to help them learn, they remember names and happenings more easily when they talk about characters in a movie or play, in comparison to the situation when they read the book themselves (we see movies and plays on works studied in the Romanian class).

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4. When I graduated from high school I was alone and no one could help me when I wanted to go to university so I decided to get a job so that I can afford to pay a rent and it was terrifiying to start like this all by myself. After my marriage my husband was always by my side and we helped each other a lot. We managed to surpass many problems together with strong will. Help may come from many places if there is someone to give it to you: family, friends. However, you don’t have to wait too much and never rely only on other people’s help, you must help yourself and you have to know exactly what you want from life because you make some sacrifices and you have to analyze a situation on the long term. You have to be very optimistic, decided and you have to be able to do your best to obtain what you want. Most of the time, the people from whom you would expect help, or those whom you’ve helped before try to set get you into trouble instead of helping you and after you succeed in doing something they offer you their help only because they know you don’t need it anymore. You need much strength and hope to surpass all these and to move on to something else. You must know very well who are your friends ( if they are friends indeed) and if you can trust their help when you are in need. Your „trick“ 2: 1. Organizing activities where the pupils from the schools for learners with special need communicate and interact with pupils from “normal” schools helping them integrate into our society. Educating them to having a positive view upon life. 2. Children saw everything like a game; they took books and didn’t take care if them or forgot to bring them back. 3. The internet is an unlimited source of information, especially for essays or papaers for school. I also found hints about how I could maintain their attention on what we do in class for a longer period of time. 4. Children have learned how to behave in a library, what to do with books and how to bring them back in time trough role-play. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! My experience is a true lesson on life and it taught me how to see the real side of humans, I learned how to surpass problems alone, at the beginning, and then with my husband. Life is difficult but we have to learn how to make it beautiful, we have to live it with dignity, not to feel ashamed about your past and your origins, to be able to accept some things as they come to you but to move on, you must be strong, to have will so that you can pass through life with your head up, never back down, to continue what you’ve started no matter what because there are very few of us those who receive everything without any effor, and as the poet says: “Life is a fight; fight then/ By loving it, by missing it. /And those who want to fight it live/But those who fear, complain and die.” (George Coşbuc – ”Life fight”), the same with us. We have to fight, to surpass obstacles and to make something good and durable.

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Dana Găurean, Romania ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Dana Găurean Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 41 years old. I graduated from “Dunarea de Jos” university, Faculty of Alimentation Industry in 1991. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Romania, Bistrita. It is a very convenient town for a family life. It is not a big town and most of the distances may be covered on foot. I love the general setting of the town and the linden tree avenue. What is your mother language? Romanian What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m an engineer and teacher at a vocational school and a psycho-educator for the students with special needs. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I don’t suffer from any medical disability to disadvantage me. I was in a way self-conscious a long time ago because of a small accident from childhood. I believe I am healthy and I feel quite strong. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied at a very well-known high-school in my town in a top class at my level. In a class with many good students I was forced in a way to keep up the pace and I wanted to go on with the same classmates after my degree level. I managed it and each of us had plans for a future university degree. I chose to study alimentation technologies and not because I like eating a lot but because I loved organic chemistry. I studied for 5 years and I got my engineer diploma in alimentation industry. But my first job was not in a factory but in a school. Here I realized that this job suited me best. So I

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studied pedagogy at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca and then psychology for special education at the Faculty of Psychology at the same university. I passed a national exam to become a professor in ordinary and I went to a vocational school for special and mass education, a school specializing students in Tourism and Alimentation. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I don’s suffer from a disability but I felt a kind of discrimination from other colleagues who work in other types of schools, discrimination regarding teachers from schools for children with special needs. This motivated me to do something for me and for my school not to get into a daily routine. I applied for different types of grants, for example those for School Development. I got the grant and I managed to equip a multimedia room with 20 computers connected to the internet. This also led to some training to be able to have lessons on the computer so I graduated from a training on computer usage and Computer assisted lessons CCD Bistrita. At present I have lots of lessons and activities with my students there. I intend to use the Smart Board in the near future and I continue the project through professional orientation activities for the 7th and 8th graders from the Centers of Inclusive Education number 1 and 2. Last year I got my first didactic degree and I graduated from a Master program in Educational Management. I am especially interested in methodology and I try to apply student centered interactive methods and techniques. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? Generally I search for information alone but when I have to I ask my husband for help, he being the one who taught me how to use the computer a few years ago (1995-1996), the first thing I used about it was the page maker. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. In time I learned to ignore my colleagues attitude towards teachers from vocational schools by taking part in joint activities and demonstrating that I can work at least as good as them. For example I made exam subjects for future teachers, inspections, projects, etc.. Later on I understood that even if we don’t have the same results as mass education we can even accomplish more. We manage after 3-4 years of work to bring our children at a level which allows them to integrate socially and professionally. This means class programs, individual programs, and team work, heat teacher-teacher, engineer-foreman. The greatest values for me are education, lifelong learning, my children’ results and accomplishments, my husband’s and my students’ successes, and last but not least the relationships with the people around me. What the words integration of the handicapped means to me? I believe that our society is not ready to accept disabled people. It is not enough to have special places in the parking lot or special access in public institutions. We must be patient, understanding, we must have a will to help, the ability to stand by them and not look at them in a different manner, we mustn’t underestimate them, we have to change our requests to suit their possibilities in order not to make them feel rejected. In vocational schools integration is meant by common curricula adapted to their needs but which must be completed in a larger amount of time. At the end of their level of specialization they pass the same exam and get the same certification as a student in mass education. This offers them the opportunity to enroll in the next level of education but in a mass education system where social integration is difficult.

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I think that our society would be ready, if we were better, more tolerant people, integration for students with special needs would prove successful even at an earlier stage through specific programs and individualized work. Unfortunately this type of work is not known by teachers who have for their “normal” classes a rhythm adapted only to the level of the class and not to each student or group of students. Can I participate in the integration? I was confronted with integration in a group of colleagues from mass education but also with the professional integration of my students, especially graduates. In bot situations things went well eventually. I generally like helping people. I help my colleagues when they ask me; I help students with problems related to school and also personal problems. When I was in the 2nd grade I fell with my mouth in some stones. I dislocated my mandible and I had to wear a special device on my head and chin for one year. I went to school wearing a headkerchief and I used to keep it on in class too. I had teeth problems and ever since, the joyful and smiley child I become the sad one. I surpassed my problems with great difficulty and I might have them even today at a certain level. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I spend all my time working with children with special needs. Some of them have special learning needs; others need attention, behavior problems. For example I was getting into the classroom for my first lesson at a boys’ class one of the boys was getting out. He was taller than me, and he told me he was nervous and that he wasn’t in the mood for my class. We met in the door and I friendly tapped his shoulder and I told him that I didn’t think he was nervous because of me and that he can’t leave the classroom. On the other side I asked him what he wanted to do at that moment. He said he wanted to look over the window and I allowed him to do so. I introduced myself to the class and I started telling them about what we were going to study together. We engaged in a dialog in which he started taking place. He ended the lesson at his desk without my telling him to do so. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the computer almost daily. I prepare my teaching aids. I prepare PowerPoint lessons and even computer based lessons (2 or 3). I select information for my lessons from the internet. I check new information on the site of the Ministry of Education. I download curriculum, exam methodology and all necessary documents for my work at school. I keep in touch with my high-school classmates on the forum; I send and receive materials and information to our Comenius partners using our special forum; I see and talk to my friends and relatives from abroad, I book flights and do all kind of things I need at a certain moment. Among other things, I teach my students how to use the computer. Although usually they are able to use the computer by themselves there are some of them who need help. My students are very relaxed at the lessons in the multimedia classroom and they learn how to search and discover information on their own. Visuals are very important for them because they remember it more easily. They manage to use the computer and the internet to select information to prepare for school, which was not enough for them by just using their books and notebooks.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Name a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: 1. The fact that I had classes with my students in traditional classrooms or laboratories with no special materials/machines was a huge barrier in my and my students’ professional development 2. Our school had only one ICT lab in which students had classes once or twice a week. There could teach only the ICT teacher. Because I wanted to diversify my teaching activities I needed a new ICT lab. I had to describe machines, raw material and I could always use internet images. The opportunity came through the grant program I applied for. 3. The computer helped me train, train my techniques, diversify methods, to raise my students’ interest for different subjects, helped me diversify my assessment methods, prepare teacher’s documents and keep in touch with the latest news and changes in the educational system, helped me advise my own children in their career choices and to value effectively the opportunities of the moment. 4.Those who help me in my problems are my husband and children. I believe that if we need help we have to search for it closely around us, eventhough it might pop up from where you don’t expect it to. 4.1 In difficult situations I imagine myself in the other person’s shoes. 4.2 When my students have difficulties activating their attention/knowledge I promise them that next class will take place in the ICT lab. 4.3 If the second trick doesn’t work at high parameters I promise them 10 minutes of messenger; and I always keep my promises from 4.2 and 4.3. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! It is important to find the way on which you’d like to walk. I like the craft that I learn and the computer gives me safety in the sense that I often find answers and this knowledge keeps me near my friends. I feel "connected"!

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Spain Francisco Pulido Berrocoso,Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Francisco Pulido Berrocoso, I am called Fran Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 46 years old. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain, in Pozón, a working class neighborhood in Aviles. What is your mother language? My native language is Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I go to the Villalegre Support centre for integration in Aviles. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I suffer from moderate mental retardation, the last assessment was of an IC of 36 to 51 in 1989. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. Well, mine is a hard story, my father may he rest in peace, I believe never accepted me, although he left me very well economically at his death, the fact is that he never came to terms with how I am, I even think he was ashamed. That's why my brother stayed home and they sent me away, from age 8 to 14, to a paying boarding Center of Salamanca, where I did manual work. Imagine what I went through there alone. Then, until the year 98, I entered a centre in Noreña, closer to my home, I went by bus, there I did gardening, and bookbinding. I liked it, on my way home I used to have dinner every night in a bar in Oviedo, near the bus station and from there I took the last bus to Aviles, and went home with my mother. In 1999 I went to the ADESCO partnership centre, here in the Fields (Corvera). I stayed close

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to my home; I stayed there until it was shut down. The mother of one of my companions ran it, each family paid a fee, but I don’t know what happened that it was shut down. While I was in ADESCO my mother died. Since the closure of ADESCO I spent a few months at home, until I got a place in the new Support Centre for integration in Villalegre. Of course I have encountered difficulties in my education. I was alone away from my family like a freak. I cannot read well, I understand the letters, but I have to read by syllables, what makes me go very slowly, and sometimes lose the thread or sense of what I'm reading. I'm sad that I don’t read better, and that I haven’t learnt a manual trade, I have no limitations in feet or hands, even in Villalegre CAI they taught me to sew, if before they had taught me more things, I could have been better than I am. I could have a job as a shelf replenisher, I don’t know, I think I would feel more accomplished. Of course, I must say, I already have some years and things before are not like now, before we were displaced, even the families were ashamed of us, today we are shown, we are more visible and more integrated, my time was not easy. I like computer science, although many times they have told me don’t do this or that, I always doubt, and I ask the instructor, is it done this or that way? Teacher? I think sometimes my memory fails me, and they have to repeat it to me, but she smiles and tells me again. I know how to sign my name, but I cannot take notes, so I cannot do a cheating sheet with the things I have to remember. I like learning in groups, and to study, I just need a place with light, and that is comfortable. I don’t usually self-study because I'm too old to investigate, only what they tell me to look up in the center. I have gotten so scared these years, because they have told me not to do this or that, this or that could happen to you, that I no longer even try to self-study or investigate anything on my own. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). My future plans are not very complicated, continue as long as I can here in the CAI Vilallegre, and when I finish I'll have to go to a day centre for the aged, or look for other alternatives, my brother will have to decide. I had some hard times, for a while it seemed that my brother, and especially my sister in law, saw me as a burden. When my mother died, I went with them as I said before, I saw how they had discussions about me, and sometimes I heard my sister in law refer to me as "the fool". Those made me get along badly with her to the point of preferring that, if my brother was missing, that she never be my tutor, but the regional administration, the Principado. That is what I wanted, and I let my brother know, I didn’t see myself in hands of my sister in law, but things have changed over time, I guess she realized that I stay out of their lives and I see her preparing my clothes, food, and in her way, she spends a lot of time on me, so we smoothed differences, of course things have changed, I have thought things through and now I prefer that if my brother passes away that my niece take over, their daughter, I get along wonderfully with her and her husband. My disability is intellectual and I also have epilepsy in remission, I went through testicular cancer with metastasis to the lung, was operated, received chemotherapy and now I have periodic checkups. In a festival of San Juan in the Trasona swamp, I fell accidentally jumping into a ditch and broke my elbow in three places, I've since had a plate that I had to change last year because it got infected. Despite my height and girth, I'm very quiet, they appreciate me for my friendly nature, but it bothers me that I’m seen as a burden, as a person who is unable to fend for himself. That irritates me a lot and makes me express my annoyance. Angers me despite the fact that I am calm, but I cannot stand that they speak to me like a fool. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I like learning in groups, and to study, I just need a place with light, and that is comfortable. I don’t usually self-study because I'm too old to investigate, only what they tell me to look up in the

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center. I have gotten so scared these years, because they have told me not to do this or that, this or that could happen to you, that I no longer even try to self-study or investigate anything on my own. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. Despite my height and girth, I'm very quiet, they appreciate me for my friendly nature, but it bothers me that I’m seen as a burden, as a person who is unable to fend for himself. That irritates me a lot and makes me express my annoyance. Angers me despite the fact that I am calm, but I cannot stand that they speak to me like a fool. I feel integrated into my environment, in the area I live in people know me, greet me, respects me, the centre where I go as well, but of course society is not always prepared to treat us as equals, those of us who are different, sometimes they want to protect us so much that they make us feel bad, like we were small children and others despise us as if we were less than them, and neither one nor the other. We must find a balance, we can do things that make us grow as people and not have obstacles, protecting us doesn’t mean that things are going to go better for us, nor should they stop us from doing things, after all, with these two ways of treating us sometimes makes us feel like birds in captivity in a cage, the cage of disease that closes doors in the eyes of other people that don’t know very well what is actually going on with us and what to do. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I believe that if the disability is physical, people understand you better, for example if your feet are missing, you need to support of a chair, and nobody gives it more thought than that, but when you are physically well, and they know that you are disabled, they start acting a little absurd, thinking you are a small child, and talk to you about childish things, I do not know how to explain it better, but you understand, right? Can I participace in the integration? Sure I can help people, the elderly, who are in wheelchairs, I like to be helpful with those that have some difficulty. If I was able to take care of my mother, who was very sick until she died, why should I not be able to help people, of course I can, obviously good and healthy people I don’t want to get into trouble with others. If I were a healthy person, and met people with the same disability that I have, the first thing I would do is make them understand that sometimes willingly or unwillingly, people are going to hurt you, that they have to be strong, accept themselves as they are, and always look forward, not be embittered by what they hear or what they are told. Of course, if they had financial needs, I would also help, I would recommend them to go to a centre with professional people, where people with the same type of problems as them would be, that way they would realize that, as everyone else they would get along. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes, I use the technology daily. I use the computer in the Support centre for integration, at home I don’t have one, I have a cell phone, and I also manage the camera in the centre, its digital, I do beautiful photos. We're doing a series of photos of the Indian houses of the old part of Avilés. I use internet for memory exercises, to see how Real Madrid is going, my team and their signings, send Christmas cards by email to family and friends, watch videos of singers, I like Juan Pardo, and the exercises that they tell me in computer class. The screen reader helps me a lot, it tells me what the pages contain and I go very quickly, since I don’t distinguish right from left, the teacher stuck a red circle on de right button, so when I need to use the right button she says, Fran, “click on the red button” that way I do it well the first time. There are some colleagues who use it to flirt, I see that as a complication because I like seeing peoples faces up close, its alright for talking a while with people but without getting too many hopes, because that is

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when trouble comes. One of my companions chatted from her house with a guy, without her family knowing, they guy was a crook and got her into a mess, one time after the other, he convinced her to put money into his account, to recharge his phone so that they could talk. He set up several dates, in places, but never appeared always saying "sorry, something came up" and well ... he took all the money and sunk her emotionally. So with that, you have to be careful and not be coaxed.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Actually the computer has helped me, I can read things, the press, if not, I can not do it on my own, I train my memory with the Smart Brain to train the mind, I also do some online games that are free that are about finding matching cards, Matching games its called, then there are others like Quim Educanix, that also help me. Also the game COGERSA, to know what container you have to throw waste paper, cardboard, plastic, etc, to recycle I think its interesting, as it is a simulator you yourself put the garbage, where you think and it says what is right and what is wrong. To learn have to use the mouse which was pretty hard for me, as I learnt it now when I’m older, the Crazy Ducks game is a good way, you have to go with a gun left to right, moving and shooting. Shortcut keys also, to know what the keys are for. There are a thousand things to learn, if I had had them as a young man I would be more skilful than I am. Your „trick“ 2: For me technology is vital if not I wouldn’t be able to read a newspaper, or what comes up on the screen. Your „trick“ 3: Yes, I recommend it to all people who dare to try it, informatics is a whole new world, that you shouldn’t be afraid of, just have to be a little cautious with “virtual” relationships because they can be a little artificial and interested and nothing more. It's like life itself, you have to move as if you were walking on eggshells to avoid being an easy target, but you have many resources. There is even information on health issues, other countries ... its an exciting world. You also learn about many other things, for example competitions you can enter. Without going any further, with our blog http://fasadcaivillalegreexposiciones.blogspot.com/ centre have entered the competition for awards of the Information Society of the Principado of Asturias, in the category for best e-Inclusion Initiative. The awards were announced on the page of the Principado, and we sent it. The winners will be known during the Gala of the Information Society in Asturias, on 11 November at the Teatro de la Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura de Gijon. I don’t know, its information and experiences, you learn about many of these things on the net, which otherwise you wouldn’t find out about. In a few months, the teacher told me that we would try a tutored computer education project, to see how it is to learn on your own with your computer. It's free from a university in Spain and the Orange foundation, here its coordinated by the CTIC Foundation and here it is destined for older people, its called AGE project, lets see how I fell about it. It is a joy, for those of us who are older, who cannot do this at home, and now we can do this with the computer and that gives you a rush of moral.

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Lester Suarez Corbelle, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Lester Suarez Corbelle Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 21 years old and soon I will turn 22. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Avilés, it’s a city in Asturias. What is your mother language? I speak Spanish What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I attend the Villalegre Support Centre for Integration (SPC) in Avilés. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. First I was in the Versailles school, high school and from there I went to the San Cristobal Special Education Centre and now I’m in the Vilolalegre SCI. I did informatics courses in the Corvera tele centre; we participated in a regional contest with other handicapped people. We participated in the creation of a blog with the help of the teacher this was in 2007. The project was called “Learn how to feed your self wit the ITC’s”. It was done in collaboration with the Telecentre, the Juvenile Information Office, and the centre I attended at the time, the San Cristobal Special Education Centre. Through interactive games we learnt how to identify good eating habits and how to manage the ITC’s. See http://alimentatic.blogspot.com/. For now I haven’t found difficulties in my education. Except in high school where I had a bad time, there I punctured, till then I saw my self as a normal guy, but there I noticed that I was different. I had to drop it because I couldn’t reach the study level the others had, and on top of that the guys teased me, I still remember that once my sister had to come to the boys bathroom to help me, one boy was nearly strangling me, he had it in for me and I had a very bad time. I got through it going to the San Cristobal SEC. I like studying English, in the Villalegre SCI we have a class once a week, a girl, Kath, comes and

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prepares us so we can talk with the boys and girls that will come and see us in November for the Grundvig project, we are preparing an Asturian and Spanish cookbook. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). For now I have no plans, I don’t see my self in the future. I see myself going to the Villalegre SCI and little more can I imagine. It bothers me that people laugh at me for no reason they make me feel bad. It also bothers me that sometimes people in my own environment see me as a bum, when I’m not. I am shy and it’s hard for me to open up to people, but I like collaborate and help in everything I can, especially if those people are worse of then me, I mean with physical impediments, because I’m independent, I have no mobility problems and I manage myself in the city. I like it when people are nice, that they collaborate with people that need support, with help we can all get further. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I prefer learning in a group, you learn more then on your own, since you are with people you always change opinions and you end up knowing more. I find it hard to learn, what I do is memorize; I say things out loud several times I repeat them until I know hem. If I get lost or get hung up, I write it up in a notebook, I carry it with me to write things so I don’t forget them. To study I need silence if not I can’t concentrate, I don’t need any special adaptations or any technical support because I can move my hands and feet well. I don’t usually self-study, only to do driving tests. I don’t know if I can inscribe my self to get it, but I like it and I amuse myself looking at tests from driving schools on the net, I concentrate, I do them and repeat them so I don’t do any mistakes, I revise them properly, since it’s something I like I prepare it without anyone having to tell me. I don’t know if one day I will be able to get my driver’s licence but mean while doing them I learn more about road safety and how to move around with less risks since I know the road signs, etc. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. It bothers me that people laugh at me for no reason they make me feel bad. It also bothers me that sometimes people in my own environment see me as a bum, when I’m not. I am shy and it’s hard for me to open up to people, but I like collaborate and help in everything I can, especially if those people are worse of then me, I mean with physical impediments, because I’m independent, I have no mobility problems and I manage myself in the city. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? If suddenly I turned into a completely healthy person and I had a handicapped person near by I would help that person at all times, and in all I know. I would like to feel useful and be helpful to those who most need it.

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Can I participace in the integration? Yes I have helped someone, Cristina and Vanessa and some of my other peers at the school I went to, because they were on a wheelchair, I accompanied them to the table, helped them carry their things, kept them company until the bus arrived, etc. Now I also help Ivan, Nieves and Vanessa P. these are my peers at the SCI, I help them in the informatics program. Ivan doesn’t know how to read and I help him write what he wants to tell his family in France by email, and also send pictures. I help Vanessa with the Messenger and to listen to music, because of her epilepsy she has absences and she forgets how to do things. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes I use the technology daily. I use the computer, I have internet at home, a game console, and I know how to manage the mobile phone, an mp3 and a pen driver. I use it in my daily life for games, look for information, I clock in on internet (I renew every three months the demand for employment through internet), I download music, I download and make pictures, I retouch them a bit with the GIMP, I put them as screen savers or as profile pictures on Messenger. I follow sports through the news on internet, I chat, see music videos, I read my mail, sometimes I listen to the radio, I look for courses and/or jobs on the career guidance program. Sure I can be an example of how technology and especially the ITC’s have helped me overcome barriers, for example now it’s not necessary that my mother come with me to clock in at the unemployment office, I do it on internet, I can also relate with people and greet friends. Also through the centres blog they can get to know us, know what we do in the centre, feel more part of our city, relate with people. I also find it useful and interesting to work with some things, for example, that through games like the ones that there are on QUIMO and EDUCANIX, you can work on your memory, the laterality, coordination, space/time location, etc.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: I find the ITC’s entertaining, it’s another way of learning that for us younger people is more interesting then having to study or read books, with the computer you read, investigate things, things stick better, almost as if it’s a game it’s more dynamic, they enrich me psychologically and personally. With them I can share my personal experiences with people who are receptive, and I receive from people that I haven’t seen in my life and that share my concerns, information on topics that interest me. Your „trick“ 2: The best advice is to experiment with them, practice and not be afraid of making a mistake, that you can try everything again or repeat it, that with the computer everything is easier because it enlarges your capacity, for example you put a document through the spell corrector and it looks very well, that way if you aren’t very good at spelling you avoid that they laugh at you because its poorly written, it’s a matter of getting the useful tricks for the every day life.

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Pili Castellano Dacal, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Pili Castellano Dacal Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 32 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain in Asturias in the council of Castrillon, to be more exact in Piedras Blancas. What is your mother language? Spanish What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student I attend daily the Villalegre Support Centre for Integration. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a mental disability. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied in the school in Campiello. The highest level I did was graduation, after that I did several courses; one of gardening that lasted 300 hours that was given by the CFNT and held in SalinasCastrillon, another one of labour insertion that lasted 110 hours imparted by FEAPS another one on offices that lasted 300 hours and was given by the Metal Foundation in the Avilés centre. This last one was a course with option of doing practices that I did in the Department of Social Welfare from 9am to 15pm my tutor was Mrs. Ana Villa and finally I took a course called “Gardner with labour insertion” that lasted 850 hours that was directed by the ONCE Foundation and Fundosa Social Consulting and given by FUCOMI. The difficulties that I see in the education not only for me but also thinking about those who don’t know how to read is that the computer programs sometimes apart from reading what is on the screen

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don’t have any other way of knowing what has to be done. When you don’t know how to read unless they tell you what has to be done it’s hard to work. The education is sometimes discouraging because it doesn’t offer us things that are appealing or practical. I stopped studying because things didn’t stick, I was falling behind my peers they were advancing and I was stuck, it was hard to see that I couldn’t reach were the others could. The problem with doing formation far from where I live is that I have to take public transport etc, at first my parents weren’t at ease when I went out by my self and I had to take several busses they were afraid I would get lost and obviously them having to take me there and pick me up every day didn’t always work out for them. So when you have to go and get formed far from home its complicated, of course today with the new technologies I could do some things through the computer but I would need someone to guide me I don’t know if I would have enough motivation to learn, study, without anyone controlling me. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I would like to fin a job although my family and my teachers tell me I am lazy. I would like to continue with my boyfriend for a long time and end up living as a couple. In relation with my handicap it annoys me that people sometimes don’t understand me, and I hear them call me crazy. My parents also suffer with that, I know sometimes I give them a hard time, but I can’t help it. If I see something I don’t like sometimes I can’t control my self and that gets me into trouble, I have even hit for that reason. I like feeling like a girl of my age, have a boyfriend go out and do what others do. Whenever I can help other people I do, fro example my peers who don’t know how to read I help them I read things to them, I guide those peers who don’t see well. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I don’t enjoy studying boring things I look to learn things that will give me independence that are useful. I like learning in groups with more people. I don’t need any special equipment. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. In relation with my handicap it annoys me that people sometimes don’t understand me, and I hear them call me crazy. My parents also suffer with that, I know sometimes I give them a hard time, but I can’t help it. If I see something I don’t like sometimes I can’t control my self and that gets me into trouble, I have even hit for that reason. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? In relation with integration I went to a normalized school after that I attended centres for people with disabilities it’s hard to come to terms with having to go to specialized centre. But the good thing is that they do activities with other groups of people with volunteers with neighbourhood associations, we go out in the neighbourhood and do cultural and social activities in Avilés. So I see my self as other girls of my age, studying and doing things. Can I participace in the integration? If I was well, without a mental disability and I knew someone with the same disadvantage I have I would try to listen to him/her serve as support and encourage him/her to go out and do things get educated, not get locked within him/her self and not stay home.

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I do use the technology at a daily basis; at the SCI I use the computer at home as well I chat with friends. This has brought me some problems; I got a boyfriend on internet and I set a date with him and he got money out of me he asked me to charge his phone card with my money. You have to be careful with this because there is certain crookedness. I consult course and job offers on the web page trabajastur. I renew my application for employment through the web without having to go to the employment office. I write content and we put up pictures in the centres blog. I send emails to acquaintances I have a hotmail account. I listen to music on the net. I read newspapers I check the weather forecast the previous days to an outdoor activity to see if it’s going to be good or bad weather. I also go to centres with public access to use internet to practice the things informatics things I learnt at the Centre and to get out of the routine a bit. I use some materials like Smart Brain to train my memory I use one of the programs CD’s and I used the practical mouse and keyboard program, materials that the Esplain foundation did to manage them better. In the Arteterapia program I used the TECTURA tool that is used for painting. See http://www.tecura.org/, in photography I use the GIMP to retouch pictures or the program the KODAC cameras have. I manage a pen driver that my teacher gave me and I use it to store my pictures.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: It is important to write everything down in a note book, the address of the things that interest you, above all because that way you can take it with you to the different centres. The most important thing is that we disabled people integrate and use technology in a normal way and if we don’t have internet at home they show us how to use it in public centres. Your „trick“ 2: It’s interesting to have a little manual in case we forget the steps to follow, which happens often, we can guide ourselves. Your „trick“ 3: A trick or advice would be to get training to manage batter. Not be afraid of making mistakes and of trying. For people with mental disabilities like me I would recommend doing courses about internet, either IN the SCI’s or in the local technological dynamism centres that the City Councils put up, the formation in these is free. And not despair when things don’t turn out well, and very important to always carry a cheating sheet with you. What would be great would be if the teachers could do a more practical cheating sheet like a small pad that you could carry in your pocket something cute and comfortable to carry. It’s a bore to carry around pages with the scripts it would be more comfortable to have a CD or an edited edition of the

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instructions in pocket size. Have a small relation of web pages that could be interesting for us and photographed screens of the steps to follow in the computer. Some of my peers don’t know how to read so they don’t understand the guides we have the teacher has to make it all more graphical she has to give them images of the steps to follow. It would be interesting to have videos with a person telling us the steps to follow similar to the demos there are on the 060 web page that way we understand it better.

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Francisco Javier Menendez Dopazo, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Francisco Javier Menendez Dopazo, and they call me "Kiko". Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I'm 40 years old. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain in the council of Castrillón, in Piedras Blancas. What is your mother language? My native language is Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I'm a student at the Villalegre Support Centre for the integration in Avilés. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a handicap of 67.5% of medium mental retardation, taquilalia and they say I'm not very expressive at a nonverbal level. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied at the Colegio San Cristobal till I was 18 years old. Then I took a course in Rehabilitation of Buildings in the CFNT of Aviles, between the years 1992 - 93, then a course in carpentry in the Rubin in Oviedo. I was in the CAI ADESCO that my mother’s association had in the fields until it closed and now I’m in the IAC in Villalegre. I did computer courses at the Castrillon Telecentre, gardening, tapestry, and a whole bunch of things. I had a complicated time, I gave a bit of war with what they call "disruptive" conducts, but that's all history now. For now, I haven’t found difficulties in my education. Sometimes I think I can do it right away, and then I cant, but I try again. The only setback is that to avoid failure, I sometimes stop and don’t try to do certain things. Of course nobody likes to see themselves fail.

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I like informatics a lot, and all types of hardware, I like to manipulate and test, a teacher who gives informatics, tests me, every day she gives me more complicated things and we test. I manage internet; I can manage in Word, now I'm trying with her in class exercises that are on a CD "The ark of thought" that was edited within the BIT project. She told us in class that this project was done by the Orange Foundation, the Down Syndrome Foundation of Madrid and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. It is easy to learn with it.

Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). As I said you my name is Kiko, I'm a follower of the team Barca, in the future I would like to work, and I do so occasionally, I give a hand at my uncle’s bar, I do errands for him, I also work helping out at the tobacco shop in Piedras, and often, as a helper in a café in Piedras. Work motivates me, but I have difficulties doing the maths, going back and forth, sometimes people are crooks, and they want to fool you, ... when they do so I get upset because the owners of the businesses don’t tell me off but if I realise that they have fooled me I get upset, well I have a hard time. Working has it’s difficulties, because what I find are things that only last for some hours, even with one of my brothers, I worked as a helper to paint, and at a construction site in a house that the company he is working for was doing. I say that it has its difficulty because in my case I face the fact that my mother does not approve of me working, because I would lose my pension, or that is what she tells me "that it is better to have one bird in the hand then a hundred flying" and because I find nothing full-time that would allow me to be independent economically speaking. In relation with my disability, it bothers me that only "my mom" - as I call my mother - my brothers and my circle - the CAI that I assist etc. are the ones that support me and make sure that I am always up and well. My father decided to ignore all of us, including me, I don’t know what happened between them, what I am sure about is that the moment he decided to forget about me there is no way that he can try and fix it in the future. My mother is very involved in what happens to me, she is also the President of ADESCO, an association of leisure and free time for people with intellectual disabilities that is integrated into the FEAPS. I include here what comes on internet about this FEAPS (Spanish Confederation of Organizations for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities) it is a group of family organizations that defend the rights, provide services and are agents of social change. If you want to know more click here http://www.feaps.org/. My mother works as an orderly at a school in Castrillon, the remaining time she outlives herself fighting for people with disabilities, with ADESCO she has had several problems, we had to change location, since the work is done by volunteers these don’t always respond, anyway, but the truth is that she and going to the centre, is what gives me life. I love coming to the CAI, doing things that make me feel useful. I am the president of the Cooperative ArtVill@, that makes me work hard to give an example to my peers, I seek resources for the cooperative, look for new ideas to produce new products, etc., since we have little money for materials, we have to squeeze our brains. I have to fix everything; I proposed to recycle small tuna cans and the lids of cigarette boxes to make ashtrays. I saw that they did this in prison, when I went to see my brother, as there was no cost in materials I suggested to do it to the teachers and peers and colleagues and they accepted. So here we are recycling and reusing. This makes me feel good, having to do things, responsibilities, see I can achieve success. I had to learn, I still find it hard, to lower the bar, I used to put it very high and I would fall before arriving, now I put it lower, not being so demanding of my self things come out better. There was a time when I wanted to get married and have children, but my mother got it out of my head, she is partly right, what do I want troubles for, so I followed her advice and gave that idea up, I only have friends, why should I have anything else.

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What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I like learning in groups, and to study, and to concentrate I need a place that has light, is comfortable, is quiet otherwise I can’t concentrate. I'm lucky that I don’t need any adaptations or technical assistance because I have no problems either in hands or feet. I wear glasses, but it's nothing serious that limits me from doing things. I don’t usually self-study except when a specific topic interests me; the down side is that I get lost. I look at things that interest me but since on the net there is so much information you get lost, and maybe you do not get to the key of the question, that’s why I can’t do it on my own and I prefer having someone to guide me, to tell me; look here, this or that, this is important, etc. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. What I don’t think is cool about some people is that they want to make fun of me, there are a lot of smart guys, if I notice someone is trying to make fun of me, I rush to speak and defend myself and it’s worse, because I entwine myself more and then they see my weaknesses even more. The up side is that I have is that my disability is intellectual and I don’t have any physical features that give it away, it often goes unnoticed, which is good because the moment society sees a trait that marks a disability, it is often either cruel or it wants to protect you so much that they make you out dumber than you are. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? Well in relation with integration in my life, I think I already said it, it is good in my environment, people who are sensitive and know what being disabled is about, the rest more or less. Anyway, I fight every day to make the sceptics see that I can do things on my own, I know how to make my dinner, help out at home, manage the cooperative with the help of the teachers, get training in computer science and other programs, its all a non stop in order not to lose what I have gained. Well, picturing my self as a healthy person, is difficult for me, I see my self as healthy I have a good health, the only thing is that I was born with a disability that makes things more difficult for me but I don’t see my self as an unhealthy person. If I were not disabled, I would do like my mother, she is my reference, I would help people who have it, I would get as involved as she is, and above all, the most important thing I would never discriminate anyone for having a disability. I would encourage him to go outside, do workshops, sports - although I'm skinny and so on sports don’t really go with me, but I don’t deny that it is a good way to keep in shape, to interact with people with and without disabilities. It is important to go out in all environments, because if you only relate with disabled people you end up reproducing their ticks and gestures, it is better to relate to disabled and normal people, that way you adopt things from everyone. Can I participace in the integration? I see my self capable of helping other people, I actually do help peers who have physical limitations, with my niece, I always give a hand to those I see need it, that is, if I see they treat me well afterwards. I say this because sometimes I offered to help businesses, give out flyers and stuff like that, and they laughed at me in my face. I don’t help for charity or to receive alms, but I don’t accept that they make fun of me or take advantage of me; over time I have become more suspicious of people. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes, I make a daily use of technology. I use the computer at the centre and at home, because I have internet, I have a cell phone, I manage an mp3, I use a pen driver, take pictures with digital cameras in the centre, I know how to play with the Wii, I also know how to manage portable computers like the one the educator has. Well, I use Internet in my daily life to spend time playing games, look up travel information, my mother's partner is in Bilbao and I have a sister in Tarragona, so I look for ticket prices, I can also use it to follow my team El Barca, download music, download and make pictures

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that we later retouch with the GIMP in photography class, I put them as screen savers or as profile pictures on Messenger. And now with some of the photos we are going to do a set up to make a Christmas card. I follow sports on internet news, chat, see music videos, read my email, listen to the radio, I look for work in the career guidance program, I also look up the rights I have as a disabled person on the web page 060, and so on. Technology is the future and especially ICT, of course they have helped me overcome barriers, for example, I could sign online if I was signed up on the unemployment list. That is what my peers do, not me, it is my fault because I am not inscribed as a job demander because my mother is against it, she fears losing the help she receives for having a dependent child under her care. Anyway, of course it is useful for making a blog like the one our center has and it is a way for advertising the centre, you have free advertising for products that you do and sell in the cooperative, you can give an email to place the orders, being careful of the malice that you can encounter, internet is a bargain for advertising a business. I also see them as useful and interesting for meeting people and for interacting with them, to flirt, though of course we must be careful because people sometimes lie.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Actually the computer has helped me to improve my self, cover up the things that embarrass me, my spelling mistakes, now I don’t make so many with the spelling corrector. And what fascinates me the most is seeing how with certain programs people who can’t read or write have a voice that reads what is on the screen to them. I saw that in the Center, it is a progress. I am lucky; I have no such limitation, but if I did have such a limitation this would be a fantastic way to get through it. To improve my calculation I work with the program Smart Brain. Your „trick“ 2: I think learning things through the ITC’s is cool. I feel sorry for the educator because she has to repeat things many times because we forget but since we are people of routines, she makes it easy for us she explains the paths to follow, the icons we have to click and everything goes well again. It’s as if she had a road map, when we get lost she gives us the path again and bam we’re back on track. Your „trick“ 3: Well yes, I encourage people to manage a computer, they shouldn’t be embarrassed, they should do courses, go to centres like mine. At home they don’t give you anything and you have to lose the fear of what other people might say, or of not making it, this is better then not doing anything at all. Briefly I want to be involved in a tutored computer education project, my teacher has proposed it to me, and I’m going to try it out. She tells me I can do it and that she will help me out, so will try it. It’s free and for older people, it was about time because I’m a bit tired that they put puppets to work with the computer as if we were kids, and we aren’t “darn it”, what an obsession there is with doing infantile things for disabled people, I ‘m 40 years old, how am I supposed to learn with puppets like my niece does?

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It’s a course that belongs to a project called EDAD, it is a sort of digital literacy for adults, they told me. So you see, if I was at home, I would miss all of this. On top of that I would be bored and I wouldn’t know all that the world holds, so I recommend everyone to be positive, participate in centres and learn to not hinder and lose independence. And surf on the net to learn things, but with precaution, sometimes people lie more then they speak. I remember that chatting I got to know a girl, set a date with her and she kept putting it off, something was always wrong with her, she never showed up, she always had some problem or another compromise, it took me a while to realise that she was turning me down and it hurt me. So now, maybe they can confuse me, but now I am much more suspicious. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! I recommend everyone to be positive, participate in centres and learn to not hinder and lose independence.

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Ana Rosa Luisa Hevia García, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): Ana Rosa Luisa Hevia García Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I was born in Gijón a city in the north of Spain 57 years ago. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Candás which is the capital of Carreño. It is situated on the central coast of Asturias and is very near Gijón, about 14 km. It is a great place to live: it is a quiet town with good communications, municipal services are top standard, among these the attention to ICTs. What is your mother language? My mother language is Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a teacher at the Local Centre of Technological Expansion (LCTE). Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I was getting ready to continue answering this questionnaire and I had to answer if I was disabled or not and talk about that topic, but I have remained still for a while, thinking I am not disabled. But perhaps once I was!! For a minute I have seen in my head an image of myself fifteen years ago, when I decided to put an end to an unhappy marriage that had lasted for twenty years. I had never been much of an eater although since my childhood I have had an overweight problem and I have been on a diet my whole life, with periods in which, out of wariness, I would skip it. The lack of hope and illusion of passed years had led me to a severe morbid obesity. I don’t know if this affliction can be considered a handicap but I felt incapable of doing many things. Climbing stairs or a road on a hill was torture I would get there with my tongue hanging out. Physical work such as domestic chores took me more time then usual. Travel on public transport, sit on the plastic chairs in bars, was humiliating because my body didn’t fit in the seats. Go shopping? No, Mrs. we don’t have your size. Go to the beach? Impossible, people look at you (or you think people look at you) like you are some kind of freak.

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I hesitated a long time before getting a divorce because finding a job in those conditions would be impossible, since I found I was very limited physically. Before I got married I had worked as an administrative so I could aspire to a post in an office, but there too there would be inconveniences, this time due to the prejudices of the employers: it is not enough being efficient you also have to have a good image. When I got divorced I intended to start a small company to be able to look after my son and my self. But everything got messed up. The divorce was not very friendly and the proceedings for the dissolution of our properties took ages. At first I thought that in a couple of years, at the most, everything would be solved and meanwhile I thought of getting a certificate in Vocational training, because when I was an administrative it was more important to have the knowledge then the title its self, it didn’t have the same value it has today. I was able to get the certificate and I thought that since I hadn’t had the opportunity to go to University when I was the right age, perhaps now would be the right time and I started preparing the access exam for people over 25. I passed this exam and the same year I was able to inscribe myself into Business and Administration thanks to a grant. Studying a career when you are 45 years old and by ones self is very difficult. I was only able to pass five of the ten subjects I had and I lost the grant. The following year, making a huge economic sacrifice, I took the five subjects I hadn’t passed. Both the inscription fees and the books were very expensive and I barely had any incomes. My economical situation was so bad that I had had to send my son with my parents and it was they who paid for his studies and looked after him till he was able to get his first job. It didn’t seem like the proceedings were going to come to an end in the near future. I wasn’t able to find a job. My obesity was getting worse and on top of everything my son got sick and I got obsessed with the idea that it was my fault. All of this lead to a failure in my studies and what is worse to a depression. I lived on my own, had no friends, didn’t go out at all, and when I had no other option I did so with my head down so as to not have to greet people when they passed. When I went to Gijón by train I would take a book with me to be able to isolate myself and avoid anyone giving me conversation. I think I felt embarrassed for everything. For my physical appearance, for not being able to look after my son, for not having a job, I was embarrassed for having accepted the humiliations and the psychological abuse of a bad husband for so many years. If I think about it, in that period of my life I was disabled. I had a really bad time and I think my family suffered with me. Luckily they called me from the employment office to do a course on Management Informatics. I didn’t want to go but I had no other choice. And informatics is what saved me.

STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I thought of getting a certificate in Vocational training, because when I was an administrative it was more important to have the knowledge then the title its self, it didn’t have the same value it has today. I was able to get the certificate To speak of my learning I have to go back to when my brother gave me my first computer. Now that I had a computer at home and an Internet connection I started to learn on my own to use different applications. I had no money to pay for my classes at a centre, so I had to make do on my own. I was lucky again and they called me for another computer-related course: "Designing Web Pages", that lasted 300 hours. In addition to Internet basics taught me HTML language and graphic design and web tools, like the Photoshop program. A few months later they called to do another one: Graphic and web design, oriented to 3D Studio and

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Flash, around 300 hours, more then 50 hours of practice in a company. This course got my hopes up again and once finished I got the opportunity to make a website for my local hotelier: www.pensionapolo.com that is still running. Then I did a very thorough course in Graphic Design as Technical Assistant, (630 hours). Among these courses and also later, I did others which although dealt with other subjects they did have a large part of computer applications. All of them with an official certificate. • Commercial Manager (450 hours) • Secretarial Studies, (320 hours). • Tourism Development Agent, (335 hours). • Technical Assistant in Graphic Design, (630 hours). • Trainer of Trainers, (50 hours). • Occupational Trainer, (225 hours). • Management and Project Management in E-Learning, (250 hours). Moreover, I have done from my house many courses online and consulted a lot of tutorials to gain knowledge. Todo este estudio me sirvió para encontrar diversos trabajos, pero todos ellos relacionados con la informática. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). The lack of hope and illusion of passed years had led me to a severe morbid obesity. I don’t know if this affliction can be considered a handicap but I felt incapable of doing many things. Climbing stairs or a road on a hill was torture I would get there with my tongue hanging out. Physical work such as domestic chores took me more time then usual. Travel on public transport, sit on the plastic chairs in bars, was humiliating because my body didn’t fit in the seats. Go shopping? No, Mrs. we don’t have your size. Go to the beach? Impossible, people look at you (or you think people look at you) like you are some kind of freak. What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? I started by giving classes to a man who had a disability. He had no hands. But despite this he was able to do great things and was very eager to learn. I think that he taught me more then I taught him Shortly after meeting Arsenio, I also started teaching a teacher who wanted to "catch up" because the school where she works was using new technologies to teach students. The classrooms have a computer (tablet) per student and a digital whiteboard. Marta, that’s her name, uses the Moodle platform for conducting student activities, the Jclic, a program for the implementation and evaluation of educational activities, and more recently, blogs to show students from 3 to 11 years old and their parents work done in class using digital editing software, slide show, video editing and that is what I help her with. Another of my regular work is to provide training to older people in the centres sponsored by the Obra Social La Caixa. Working with people, some very old, this is very rewarding. When they begin the first day they don’t even know how to take the mouse, but as they start advancing and see all the good that the new technologies can offer them they become very hopeful and are very grateful. Most of them are inscribing into the following courses, advancing in their knowledge. The last course I taught, Photoshop, students who had already worked with me in previous courses enrolled, from Introductory to Computer, Internet and via Mail, Word and PowerPoint, and before I had even finished, they were already interested in repeating the same course and also the video editing one. Some of these people

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are more than 80 years old. Admirable. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use computers in my daily life on a daily basis, because not only is it my working tool but also because I use it to manage my bank account to make purchases over the Internet to book tickets or hotel rooms on trips, to buy tickets for events, to make arrangements with the Administration and even tempt fate by buying lottery tickets. I have very little time for leisure, and even this little time is related to ICT; I listen to music and videos on the web, keep in contact with my family, friends and acquaintances via e-mail, chat and videoconferencing and I also have my space on Facebook.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: My tip for those who still haven’t approached the new technologies is that they shouldn’t waste more time and that they get on it as soon as possible. Because they are missing the opportunity to obtain knowledge, information, communication, and entertainment. Learning how to use a computer is within the reach of anybody, even for those who have some kind of disability.

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Violeta Úrsula Suárez García, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Violeta Úrsula Suárez García Are you male or female? I am a female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 53 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in a neighborhood called La Luz it belongs to the city of Avilés that in its turn belongs to the autonomous community of Asturias. What is your mother language? My native language is Spanish What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student at the Villalegre Support centre for integration in Aviles. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a moderate mental disability by meningitis. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied in the Saint Angel of Mary school. It was a private school that belonged to the Holy Angel of Avilés. I studied up to the 8th grade of EGB. I did courses on ICT, on Avilés, sexuality, leather handling. I did all of these while I attended the King Pelayo Association for people with disabilities. Now I attend the Villalegre SCI and I do art therapy, ICT, work orienteering, sports, music therapy, dance therapy, personal independence, mouth hygiene, sexual affective education, social skills and environmental education. I haven’t found any difficulties with my education. The only problem I had was that sometimes I didn’t understand things like others did, it took me longer and I had to ask for help from my peers and the nuns at my school. Now I do the same with the trainers at the center. I like studying and reading. I like reading all types of books. I have read Clarin’s La Regenta several

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times and I like it a lot. The courses I like the most are; ICT, sports, the Corporation project and art. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I am a very active person and I don’t want to stay at home, I like feeling active. For now my future plans are to stay in the Villalegre SCI. Because finding a job right now is very complicated I will probably attend a day center. There is one very near to where I live, I only need to cross the road. I would like to find a job, but it’s complicated. I even went to La ONCE because I am gradually losing my eyesight in my left eye but they didn’t offer me anything. The problem I have is very small and they didn’t give me any solution. I have never worked. I like handling things a lolt. I think I would be good at handling food, I see myself working at a bakery. As I never lacked anything neither my family nor I ever thought about the possibility of me working, and obviously now with my age my lack of experience and a labour market in crisis I fear it will not be possible. Nothing bothers me in relation to my disability. It can barely be noticed I am a very extrovert person. I like helping people and speaking to them. I feel good with myself and I have never felt discriminated. I like helping others a lot. I studied in a school with nuns and there I helped one of them with the small children. After class I attended reforce private classes that my mother paid for so I would advance because it was a bigger effort for me then for my peers. In the private classes they helped me and I helped in all I could, I have always know how to move around on my own without drawing attention to my self and making sure they would see more as one more. I don’t go around screaming or drawing attention to myself. I like reading a lot and I go to the library. I feel more integrated that way. I feel completely integrated, I am not rejected by anyone and I participate in everything I enjoy. If suddenly I turn into a completely healthy person and I meet someone with the same disability as my own (mild mental disability due to a meningitis) the first thing I would do would be to put myself in his/her shoes. I would think about how he/she acts, feels and thinks. All of this is necessary to be able to help him/her. Knowing how he/she feels, what his/her hobbies are and why he/she behaves in a certain way is useful for helping him/her overcome his/her fears and integrate. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I prefer learning in a group; by ones self is more complicated. When you study with others you have more support. To learn things I usually memorize them or write them down. I like working with my mind, give it a bit of work. I don’t need any special conditions to study. I read quietly I don’t read out loud. I concentrate anywhere; I don’t need anything in particular. I don’t usually self-study. I have gone to conferences on my own on health and one on journalism. An important journalist from a radio station came and I was curious. Express your opinion on people’s behaviour towards the handicapped. Nothing bothers me in relation to my disability. It can barely be noticed I am a very extrovert person. I like helping people and speaking to them. I feel good with myself and I have never felt discriminated. Can I participate in the integration? I like helping others a lot. I studied in a school with nuns and there I helped one of them with the small children. After class I attended reforce private classes that my mother paid for so I would advance because it was a bigger effort for me then for my peers. In the private classes they helped me and I helped in all I could, I have always know how to move around on my own without drawing attention to my self and making sure they would see more as one more. I don’t go around screaming or drawing attention to myself. I like reading a lot and I go to the library. I feel more integrated that way. I feel completely integrated, I am not rejected by anyone and I participate in everything I enjoy.

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If suddenly I turn into a completely healthy person and I meet someone with the same disability as my own (mild mental disability due to a meningitis) the first thing I would do would be to put myself in his/her shoes. I would think about how he/she acts, feels and thinks. All of this is necessary to be able to help him/her. Knowing how he/she feels, what his/her hobbies are and why he/she behaves in a certain way is useful for helping him/her overcome his/her fears and integrate. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use ICTS on a daily basis. I use the computer. There is internet in the center but at home I don’t have it. Before I had a mobile phone when I lived far away from my sister so I would be able to communicate with her. Now I no longer have it because I don’t need it. I also use an mp3 player at home. I use internet to look up information, listen to music and radio stations. I also write articles fro the centres blog. The biggest advantage of the computer is that it enables me to relate with more people. I can get music and news in other places, but relating with people who live far away I can only do it through internet. I also think it is very useful to keep your brain active. It also covers up our spelling mistakes, you just put it through the spell corrector and that’s it.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: To be honest in the beginning it was very hard for me to learn with the computer I was even dizzy. Starting out wasn’t easy, I went dizzy from looking so much at the screen. I didn’t see myself capable of managing the mouse. I couldn’t coordinate the movements. I even felt that it took longer to write on the computer then in the traditional way. It was a big effort for me. In the end I thought to myself. “Violeta, you have to try it, this can help you”. As a child I didn’t use the computer. I wasn’t able to manage it at all. When my nephews spoke it was as if they were speaking in another language. Your „trick“ 2: I am motivated by learning and investigating. Being in tune with the rest of the people and lessen my deficiencies. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! My best advice is that they get training. That they try things out and experiment because ICT’s are the future. They don’t only look at you weirdly fro having a disability but on top pf that if you don’t know what ICT’s are about you are left out even more. One has to be brave and try out everything. ICT’s are no mystery.

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Amelia Fernández López, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Amelia Fernández López Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? 34 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I was born in Avilés, a city in the north of Spain, and since I was small I have lived in my maternal family village: El Valle de Carreño. The village has a population of just over two hundred people. What is your mother language? Spanish What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I now work as an educator in Villalegre Integration Support Center (Avilés).The center is located in the town that my father lived his youth in, and with which we continued to maintain contact. Therefore, two years ago, I returned to rediscover places about which so many, many times my father had spoken. Well, I work here to provide and coordinate programs for learner users, adults with intellectual disabilities, who come to the Centre,. The programs are information technology, job orientation, sexual affective education, environment and music therapy. Previously I worked for 6 years as Manager of the C Telecentre Coordinator Digit @ l @ spot check in Candas carrying out digital literacy training, promoting tools of the Information Society to various groups: seniors, women, immigrants, disabled, children, etc, as well as promoting the Telecentre in participation in European projects related to itc (PIATIC, Multiplies, AVANZA, etc ...). I am also responsible for the preparation of monthly reports, activity reports, and programming of training activities on new technologies for the urban Telecentre Network Digital Village City (8 rural telecentres in Carreño) and the coordination of the staff of the local employment plan assigned to that project in Candas. During the time I dedicated to the promotion of the information society I received several awards and prizes. I combine my professional work with responsibility for governance of the City Council in the municipality in which I reside, Carreño, for 7 years I have been the Councillor for Local Development and Equality.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I attended the Basic General Education in the Public School Francisco Fernandez in Cancienes, Corvera. At that time Carreño had only one school and had no place for all of us children, so part of the rural area, were sent to the school of a neighboring municipality. I graduated from Secondary School in Candás in 1992. I took COU and the entrance examination to college, by then called "Selectivity." In 1995 I finished college with a degree as a Technical Assistant in the Health Branch, and ended in 1998 with the EU Diploma in Social Work Social in Gijón. I have received very varied training , depending on a few areas of interest to me. Face to face training, distance learning, etc. in the last two years, I've been trained in the area of disability and dependence. Presently I am doing a number of e-learning courses What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I do not remember any obstacle in my education and training, perhaps the most difficult is to continue training youself when you work, but I found the e-learning is a solution. The problem was lack of time I got over that with on- line learning. I prefer to learn in a group. In a group it is richer, always. Well, I like the participative approach, and I'm a fan of the fluorescent pen, I love taking notes, underlining what I want to highlight. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. From my current professional work, I know the world of intellectual disability very well, and often, I observe how society often tends to be paternalistic with them, they make them childlike and not take into account their ability of self-determination as adults. Often, society is not fair to them. They should be assessed using a multidimensional approach (intellectual ability, adaptive behavior, participation, interaction and social roles, health, background) and bear in mind that with appropriate support, adaptive behavior of these people often improves, however, we tend to do things for them in the belief that they are not able to do them alone. And in my family circle we knew about the world of physical disability. My maternal grandmother went blind from a brain tumor in her thirties. All the time I lived with her, she was blind and was always independent for daily life chores and even some domestic animal care. And my godmother was disabled, she had multiple sclerosis for 30 years, until she became quadriplegic. In these cases when the disability is physical, not mental, the fight may be the same, but it adds another problem, physical barriers that we often forget when we build buildings, etc. This family environment I grew up in forged some sensitivity in me to always put myself in the place of the person in order to understand how you feel and what they may need or what expect from me. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? In all, well I hate the term "handicapped", I feel it is horrible, it's as if the person with a disability were less valid than one who is not. We should be aware about inclusive terms that we sometimes handle in our everyday language, and the pain that they cause. Linguistically, in some areas, terms such as "disabled", "blind", "deaf", etc. can be considered derogatory, because it a way to label a person. We should begin to banish words like these with inferiority or even derogatory connotations , for example "subnormal," "Mongol", etc ... that are not conducive to integration and use the forms "disabled persons", "blind persons " " deaf persons ". They are above all people who either are born with a disability or who have become disabled, whether physically or mentally, and will require support, more or less, depending on a greater or lesser degree of disability.

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Can I participace in the integration? I've never been in any of the described situations, but as I explained earlier, yes I can have some intuition and arguments about how I would feel if something like that happen to me. I think that we should never prejudge a person´s ability or disability, you have to let them see how it goes and what support they need to have as independent a life as possible, and improve accessibility. Often we have a limited perception of people with disabilities, we tend to protect them, even cancel their own capabilities and deny them the ability to self-determination they have. Yes, when I was small I often tried to emulate my grandmother, and of course I got manyan awful bump. This made me value to my grandmother much more, to see how by sound and touch she guided herself around the house, she always walked with one hand in front of her body to identify obstacles and she left the house with a cane, she washed herself, she could make breakfast, she took care of the animals, etc. she always recognized an object or person by touch, and her hearing was "cryptic" - I use to say when I wanted to avoid doing something - because she was able to identify the members of our family by their walk, and always caught me . She also relied on her nose, when she doubted wo was close. She was always happy and never stopped working. I remember her with the radio always in her apron pocket , here and there doing things, even mowing with a small sickle for the chickens and rabbits she had. When the friends came home, they often asked us to turn on the light for her, for example. in the place where my grandmother was working with chickens, etc, thinking that perhaps we had inadvertently left the light off, when in fact she never turned on the light, unless she had company, because they needed it. When they knew this, they changed their tune and began to say, Oh dear!, So young and she cannot see , is ther no cure cure?, Etc. .. almost always the same statements and questions. I think everyone should, at least for a while, put themselves in the place of a disabled person, I like, for example, the www.capacitados.org Initiative. In the program For talent, in which three famous managers face a day in their normal professional lives, but as if they are disabled. A disabled person is there to help them solve the mishaps that befall them all the time.

What are my experiences with learning people with specific needs (if only as a parent or schoolmate)? Yes, currently I am working as an educator with 45 adult persons with intellectual disabilities, between 18 and 50 years old, who come to the CAI (integration Support Center) Villalegre (Avilés) which is managed by the foundation FASAD. I think I prefer to always use an active methodology, which will promote the role of each of the persons participating in the meeting or program. I use different methods depending on to whom the training is addressed, because you must not forget that there are as many training styles a people part of the training group. I may find: • Users involved, who intervene whenever they want, they ask to be informed at all times on the objectives, how we will work, how we will do things, etc. • more timid Users or with greater support needs, for whom we need to develop individualized care activities which foster positive self-esteem and self-differentiation. Often, there are people with fear of public speaking, and others just the opposite and who automatically talk • Users who need to be valued, we make them see and appreciate their achievements. It is very important to assess the individual knowledge of the participants, their input and experience and is also essential to highlight the work developed in the group itself, if they knew each other before, if they worked together and how it went, if they work well together or not. Each person must be heard and valued because everyone’s opinions count In this way, participants are encouraged to express themselves and participate actively in depth. In all the groups there are people who are better than others at communicating verbally, it depends on our degree of self-esteem, experience or what we want to transmit but also the degree of confidence that

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each one needs to dare to communicate . The group process meets the needs of all the people, therefore we must pay special attention to those who need more confidence to share with the group or respect their desire not to do so. I also like to pay attention to the silences of the students, they are often positive, and there are silences that speak louder than words, if you know how to interpret them. There are silences of respect, complicity, of intense reflection, of shared emotions ... I like to watch the nonverbal language , behavior, gesture component, learn to look and interpret attitudes, facial expressions, any expressions of concern or distress, or even boredom. Another issue that I have always considered is the cultural characteristics of persons involved in training. I prefer to always use a cooperative approach based on the idea of group work that integrates the values of solidarity and interaction, because I believe that in the education of adults with intellectual disabilities, "none has to win the competition or be competitive beyond the necessary, with the rest. " Ideally, from my point of view that each person brings to the teamwork knowledge and diversity which they share with other men / women for the benefit of a common goal. The progress of the group affect the progress of each person Similarly, the contributions of each will allow the group to achieve the goals set. I do not need special conditions or equipment when I teach for myself, but for the people I teach, for example, a program that I converted to voice, text, for people who can not read and write due to lack of capabilities, etc. . I had to readjust my manuals, it took six years training groups in the field of new technologies, I had 1 0-hour manuals for Word, Internet, email, etc., like training pills. I had a script and I had to adapt it to work with people with intellectual disabilities. I seek above all the usefulness of things. These are people who, in many cases, have spent their lives in institutions: stimulation centers, with physical therapists Classes with speech therapists, special educational needs centers, etc. and they are a bit tired of listening to "boring" as they say, so I look for things that make them gain independence, which will be useful and practical for daily life and make them gain independence, which often leads even losing dependence on their parents or carers. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use technology daily, and I find it very useful to reconcile not only my family and working life, but also to better manage my time. ICTs are a tool I use a lot to reconcile my personal life, my work and my public work, otherwise it but would unthinkable. I like to design and retouchprograms, Movi Marker to make small videos and Pinacle for "more serious" jobs, I also use the forums to solve some technical problems with the computer or to compare products, to buy something when reading opinions before deciding. Currently I am following two courses online, one of pharmacology and one from the Down Syndrome Foundation of Madrid on BIT project and a teaching methodology with people with disabilities. I love the skype video call options that allow you not to read or write, but to communicate with family and friends, I use it with users in my school. Social networks too, I have my space on Facebook, blogs also seem to me a very good communication tool, in the CAI we have one, it gives me a lot of scope to motivate the users for training and communicate with the rest of society see http://fasadcaivillalegreexposiciones.blogspot.com/. I am also follow http://carreno.cuadernosciudadanos.net/ My next step is the blackberry, so far I 've not used it and encouraged by my cousin, I will start to use it. Oh And the notebook has allowed me to indulge my shoulders, that business of going from home to work, to work at City Hall with a "big "laptop plus the documentation was starting to dent them.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: I think we should be cautious, we can not "sanctify" technology and think that it has the virtue of producing near-miraculous effects on learning because we have failed. It is the salvation of educational inequalities. What is true is that computers allow us educators to design training, differently for all learners. If the effectiveness of learning depends on the attention paid to the rhythms, styles and strategies of the students themselves, the computer is ideal for programs to encompass training programmes to the particular conditions of each learner. And this does represent a substantial improvement through new technologies

. Your „trick“ 2: ICT obviously bring many benefits, advantages and new job opportunities, training and leisure, but we must not forget that we face the challenge of achieving an information society for everyone, as accessible as possible and whose tools / products are compatible with assistive technologies required by people with disabilities. Therefore, we must continue joining forces to make lifelong learning more accessible to people with disabilities and special attention to the barrier-free use of new information technologies and communication and the Internet. A while back, I browse the web and found a study which I liked a lot, the thoughts were very interesting, It referred to the mobile phone, computer and Internet as essential communication tools that help to offset some of the disablility. Your „trick“ 3: The computer as a tool for work and training enables people with disabilities to increase their social integration, disability compensation and extend the field of personal development. It is also considered a tool for rehabilitation and recovery of cognitive abilities. The network or Internet access, to improve communication (email, real-time chat, videoconferencing) education, entertainment, environmental control and social integration. So everything which induces confidence , enhances their capacity for action and empowers people with disabilities has to be used by professionals in an inclusive and accessible way

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Vanesa Paleaz López, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Vanesa Pelaez Are you male or female? Female How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 28 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain, specifically in Asturias, in the county of Corvera, in the town of La Vegas What is your mother language? Spanish What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am, so I say "a student" but that´s not the exact word. I come to Villalegre CAI daily, an integration support center located in Villalegre, very near my home. I have been coming to this center for a year and a half, almost two, it is a center of the Principality of Asturias, and it is managed by the Foundation FASAD. I come here Monday through Friday from 9-17 pm and follow several occupational training programs. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? In relation to my disability, it pisses me off to be unable to do things, like walk badly, not move my hand and foot well, not being an independent person and having always go out accompanied. When I'm always accompanied I have no privacy.

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STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied at the Mateu de Ros Teachers College, now called College "Tomás y Valiente" in Corvera. I did from first to eighth in GBS, I took the graduate with average score of “good”. My favorite subjects were biology, and mathematics and physicaal education. I went to the Los Campos Institute, I did ESO, and then made several courses in gardening, graphic arts, hospitality and IT. I also went to a center for disabled ADESCA. I had to stop studying because I had many seizures from when I was nine, I could not concentrate or keep up with the studies. So I left school in 1995. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I am young. I have no big plans for the future rather than keep coming to the integration support center, live with my parents, when they are missing, go live with my brother or my sister Ana . The truth is that I was an athlete , I played basketball, athletics and swimming, and from when I was in primary school I dreamed of becoming a physical education teacher but in 2004 became an epileptic fit and it damaged my arm and foot, among other things, so that dream went out the window. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I don’t like to study and I dread reading, the paper does not motivate me unless there is something in biology or calculus. I prefer to learn in a group because you always learn more, learn from each other, it is more rewarding. To I have to learn to read paragraphs several times, then try to understand and memorize. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I am discouraged when people look at me down the street, carrying my shrunken left arm and hand . Some days I do not care, but others it bothers me and I try to quickly lower my arm, but it tends to rise and soon I'm beaten. It also bothers me that when people help me they treat me like a child.I like people to be kind and honest with me, to help me without suffocating me. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I feel good because my disability is not psychic . I have some physical problems which are not very obvious, they go unnoticed if it were not for my arm, so I don’t feel much rejection. In addition, in the evenings through the Red Cross, through a support program a girl accompanies me. I leave with the girl and go with her to the pool, to the gym, the telecentre (internet access center), have a drink in the area, etc. Between the Centre and the afternoon program I feel, with support, a totally integrated person. Integration is important, a person should not feel isolated. Can I participace in the integration? So far, I have not helped anyone, yes I've thought about it . I´d like to help, to feel useful, but I am limited physically. Some days, I think that I can not help anyone, but the educator said that although physically limited I have experience can help encourage other girls or boys who go through my situation. I think it could help young people or children, I have not had the opportunity to meet people who have gone through the same thing as myself, but I would like to. I realize it could be a future project. I would have to see where to contact them . iF I become a healthy person and I knEw someone with the same disadvantage I would speak with him or her, to assimilate what is happening, you give advice on how to cope with their disability, how to fight to improve his/her physical condition and go to centers or associations to help them feel better and feel integrated .

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use computer technology daily and everydayI use an mp4 to listen to music, store fotos. I use the computer at the integration support center. I have a program in which the educator prepares me to use my computer applications which attend my necessities in life. In the evenings, in a Red Cross support program, , a girl comes to pick the center and takes me to use such computers at the Corvera Telecentre (a center of free public access in the Town Hall). With technology I can sign on the dole on the Internet. The Public Employment Service of the Principality of Asturias allows me to via the web, with a password, every three months on line, without having to travel to the nearest office. So I renew my application for employment, without having to take transportation or ask anyone to accompany me, I am more independent .As well I use the computer for music, and e-mail with Hotmail, so I keep in contact with my father’s cousin who lives in Madrid, I use Skype to video chat with other centers of persons with disabilities in Siero.I write in the Candás blog in the center, comments on our daily programme see http://fasadcaivillalegreexposiciones.blogspot.com/. I consult the municipality sports programma, I usually go to the pool and I like to see schedules of workshops, etc. I downloaded a demo of the program SmartBrain to do calculus and memory training. I have never participated in online training or a virtual classroom. I´d like to try. I find it easier to learn when programs are spoken, a phrase that tells me the steps I have to follow, and if accompanied by images. The visual voice support is easier for me than if I have to read it, it bothers me , and if I concentrate for a long time sometimes makes me dizzy, because of my epilepsy I can not remain focused on screen for long , so that if it is spoken to me it requires less effort.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: As I am disabled I can not go anywhere alone. Before I escaped and I got into such a state that my family does not trust me and we always go together. Having to go every three months to sign the Employment Exchange, was a nuisance because they always had to see if my parents or my sisters could go with me. If they could not, it took me all day to sign. I had to come back another day and do it again. Now as the educator taught me to enrol online and even made a guide or manual in case we forget any step. As it is resolved, I have printed the guide on how to do it, and I no longer have to rely on my family and I am up to date whenever there is an offer of courses because at the moment, I don’t feel able to look for employment.

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Your „trick“ 3: I have never participated in online training or A virtual classroom, I would like to try. I learn withthe software computer. I started to use a keyboard and a mouse with cd's made by the Foundation Esplai Mouse and Keyboard practical course. Now I am doing the office. Now we use Word. The advantage I see is that when I write, I can use the corrector step and thus no longer have my writing mistakes, I by myself can do not do it. As well the internet and search engines allow me to read news and find what interests me. I did a trianing course on page 060 where we learnt how to relate to the administration, we have videos with demos of what stes to take. To ease my memory problems there is a support program called SMARTBRAIN. The problem I see is that for people with intellectual disabilities there is little appropriate training and materials, cd's for example, there are many things on how to shop, memory games, handle money, visiting a city, etc.. but almost all are for children, the main character is a boy named Pip and I do not like it, I wish there were materials with young people like myself as the main character. Learn to take advantage of the computer, manage applications and gain autonomy in learning YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Fight to improve.

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Iván Pintado Martin, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Iván Pintado Martin Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? In a few days I will turn 30. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain, in Las Vegas, in the council of Corvera in Asturias. What is your mother language? My native language is Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I’m a student at the Villalegre Support centre for integration in Aviles. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a moderate mental handicap of 68%. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I studied in the PC Juan Uria Riu of Corvera, after that in the San Cristobal Special Education Centre, I was there until I turned 18 and then I passed to the King Pelayo Occupational Centre. In the King Pelayo things didn’t go to well for me, the teachers had their preferences and me I don’t know why I wasn’t very liked, so I got shouted at every so often, and I stopped going. I stayed at home, I only went out to go with the Red Cross leisure program, we found out that close to home they were going to open a centre and in 2008 we solicited a place, my mother did all the paper work and did so until they accepted me in the Villalegre Centre. I didn’t do many courses, only the ones that we did in these centres. I get a pension for being an orphan and for being a dependent child; that is why my mother doesn’t agree with me looking for work she prefers that I do what I enjoy and be with her. The biggest difficulty has been not being able to learn to read or write, the teachers in one of the centres told me off and said that I didn’t care about anything, but I just wasn’t capable of doing it, I

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wasn’t able to understand what they wanted, they told me off a lot and that frustrated me. It’s all different now, they worry about me learning to read now as an adult, they do it with a CD and with the computer in a fun way, without shouting and although for now it is going slowly, I don’t feel bad for not learning. I like informatics a lot; with it in my mother’s eyes I have become the king of the house. As I said before the whole of my father’s family, well almost the whole of it, his nephews and kids are in France, we just to write to each other, but because of my mothers bad eye sight she stopped writing, and what arrived she couldn’t read and me even less. So with that the relationship was becoming more distant, we couldn’t phone all the time, so we stopped ourselves from calling them. Now I’m the one who has the lead, the teacher taught me to use Messenger and Skype, and I talk often with my family for free. This amazes my mother; she talks to everyone about me as if I was a prodigy. I feel good when my mother who has given it all for me, is proud of her son. This is how I do it, my mail is my name and surname, which is all I can write properly in one go and the password, is my phone number. I have the cheating sheet in a small paper in a plastic that I carry in my wallet, with the images of the icons that I have to click, the text I have to copy to begin the session, what gave me most trouble was to find the at sign, then the password I copy the digits of my phone number, I click on my family when the puppet icon is green and I start a video call, I see them, they see me and I talk. They send me pictures of when we are together, and some power points, that really makes me laugh, one hand because I can’t read and I can only see the pictures and on the other because they send it to me in French, so even if I did know how to read, it would be complicated, anyway I look at the pictures. I know how to open a mail, answer it, I have learnt it all as a sequence, click here, there, and from repeating it I have learnt it. To answer the mails I use the emotion icons, I put the ones the mail I’m answering suggest me, since I see the images they send me I answer with these or several that suggest what I see. At the centre there is a free software program installed in some of the computers that allows voice reading the screen, they got into contact with the University of Extremadura and the Director of the unity for attention of handicapped students, it can be used with Word. It’s good but I would like to be able to read on my own, having a voice coming out from the computer who tells you what is going on draws a lot of attention, and besides in other places like the tele centre I don’t have it, so it’s best to try and get along without it. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). In relation with my handicap, well, I think I have come to terms with it. What bothers me the most and makes me cry is that I don’t know how to read or write, it makes me very angry. In my way, I manage as I can. At the centre I am doing informatics right now, a program called TRIVIUM it’s reading and writing for adults, it was done by an entity in Aviles called Fondo e Formacion within a European project, little by little I am recognising the letters. I can copy what they put on the blackboard and repeat what was written with the keyboard, but they have to put it in capital letters so I can copy them with out hesitation. There I am doing it little by little, the teacher tells me I have to gain a comprehensive reading, let’s see if I can. They are also working with me the handling of the Euro, for the change, since it’s me who goes shopping. From centres I have attended I have two good friends Richard and Chelo, they are a couple. She is from Candás we are still seeing each other when we go out on weekends with the Red Cross. My future plans are to stay in the Villalegre Support Centre for Integration, here I have become very good friends with Fran, he is a very good friend of mine. On top of that I do things to be more independent, apart from the formation programs; art therapy, music therapy, informatics, sports, environment, some things are more for every day life, for example we have a personal image program to learn how to shave properly, to do our personal hygiene properly, we also have another one about mouth hygiene for after eating were they take us through how we should clean our mouths, we also have social abilities and a space for tutoring were we talk with our tutor about things that worry us. We have adopted a charter of rights and duties for those who attend the centre; we have a representative for each group of users that manage our requests before the management of the foundation. I feel integrated, I learn and I see my self as useful.

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What also annoys me is that people feel pity for me, sometimes they say poor him, fatherless and his mother not well. I’m not going to deny that, despite that time has passed, I miss my father a lot, but thank God we don’t have any economical problems and where we can’t reach that is what we have the money for, to hire someone to help us. I enjoy very much coming to this centre, doing things makes me feel useful. I am one of the treasurers ArtVill@ corporative, that makes have to outdo myself and manage the euro, to do the accounts well. They also taught me to sew buttons, and now I saw pins for the corporative, dogs and cats to hang on the doorknobs. That way I feel good. Of course I see my self capable of helping other people, I help my mother with her seeing problems, and all those I see could need me, elderly, children, people who are on wheel chairs, who ever needs it. Integration in my life is good, it’s good with the people who love me and that care for me who accept me as I am, with my good and bad things, and those who don’t accept me well its worse for them. If I did not have a handicap, of course I would help those who have it, I see my self as a teacher in a centre like the one I attend. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I would like to learn in-group, and I don’t usually study at all. I only do the exercises they propose me in the centre at home I don’t do anything. Some days at the SCI I do exercises, memory ones, calculation ones, I look for partners, find differences, construct phrases with words, with a CD that belongs to Smart Brain, its an orange icon that I have on my computer, to not get confused I use the same computer in the computer room, I have gotten used to it, to its configuration so I don’t like rotating very much. I don’t need any special adjustments for my hands or for my feet, I manage them well, I wear glasses but it isn’t anything serious that limits me from doing things, I go periodically to eye reviews, it’s all under control. I don’t usually self study except when I look up stuff on animals, I like dogs very much, I had two, Toby died of old age, now I have a Yorkshire toy, she’s a cutie, her name is Pearl, I look up things about her race, I write on google her race and press enter, I entertain my self watching pictures of dogs like her. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. What also annoys me is that people feel pity for me, sometimes they say poor him, fatherless and his mother not well. I’m not going to deny that, despite that time has passed, I miss my father a lot, but thank God we don’t have any economical problems and where we can’t reach that is what we have the money for, to hire someone to help us. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? Integration in my life is good, it’s good with the people who love me and that care for me who accept me as I am, with my good and bad things, and those who don’t accept me well its worse for them. Can I participace in the integration? Of course I see my self capable of helping other people, I help my mother with her seeing problems, and all those I see could need me, elderly, children, people who are on wheel chairs, who ever needs it. If I did not have a handicap, of course I would help those who have it, I see my self as a teacher in a centre like the one I attend.

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes I use the technology on a daily basis. I use the table computer, at the centre and at home, because I have internet, I have a cell phone, and I take pictures with digital cameras from the centre. And well, I use internet in my daily life to pass time on games, talk with my family in France, and play music for my mother, watch music videos and the sort. I already told you how I manage, I have been in informatics for very long, a year and a half, since I came to this centre, before that I hadn’t done anything, I think that they thought that since I didn’t know how to read this wasn’t something for me, but it is useful for me and it helps me, it allows me to be keep in contact with my paternal family, and that is a big step, it reads the news to me to be up to date, so it is worth it.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: In reality the barrier is within my self in the fact that I can’t read, fro the moment, and with the computer I am trying to learn now as an adult. Anyway, now I don’t have the pressure I had before, because with a screen reader the problem is fixed. Your „trick“ 2: In fact for me the ITC’s have been the best thing ever, I have gone from feeling useless to being capable of talking and seeing my family, going home and being able to comment what has happened in Aviles in the newspaper, does this seem as little. They help me very much, not only with all they teach me but also with how they make me feel, feeling good with one self is the first step to continue giving more, if you think you are a lost case you don’t have the courage to try anything, that is what happened to me, so I am thank full for having found this centre, because in it I relate to others, I have friends, with whom I meet up with on the afternoons, and they make me try things that help me fend for my self. If my mother is gone I have to think how I can manage on my own. Your „trick“ 3: I encourage everyone to use the technologies and informatics, that they look for people that can help them look for things that are adapted to them, that are useful for the, because if who can’t read can do it, any one can because there are no barriers. Our min puts up barriers, very often we think we can’t make it, but with professional help and with out fears, of course you can, and then you feel infinitely good with how you are advancing, even if it is one step, sometimes for people like me it means a whole world.

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Manuel García Padilla, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Manuel García Padilla Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 38 years old The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain in the county of Corvera, specifically on the general road of Vegas. What is your mother language? My native language is Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I attend the Villalegre Support Centre for Integration in Avilés. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I have a mild mental handicap of 65%, I have some conduct problems when I get nervous I scream a lot and sometimes people stare at me, and then I realize I have screwed up. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have a school certificate from 1988. I was in the Salinas Union SCI, it is a part of Castrillon, and there I did gardening tasks. I dropped it because of transport problems, it was a hassle getting there, I had to change buses and at home they were scared I would get distracted and get lost. I was in the ADEPAS (in the Noreña centre) also doing gardening and in the Red Cross doing cleaning tasks. I was also in the ADESCA centre, till it closed. Before I was in centres where you go continuously, I did several courses, for example in 1994 I did a course of 700 hours in the Avilès CFNT in cleaning, the year after that I did a 124 hour course that was given in the Castrillon Training Fund on Help at home. Then another one in 1996 of about 212 hours on textile industry. This course was a part of the community initiative HORIZON-PEOPLES PROJECT, it was imparted in the Avilés Training Fund. In 1998 I did a 300hour course also in the training fund on handling that is in binding. In the 2000 I did a course on pottery moulding also in Meres-Siero it was also given by the Training Fund. With all these courses I learnt health and safety standards at work and order rules. And then in each one of

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them more specific things to do, but as with everything, if you don’t continue practicing you forget, I doubt I remember how to bind like I did at the time, or do simple assemblies like the ones I did of key rings, jewellery et. Difficulties in my education, well when I get nervous one of my hands shakes a lot, and for things like moulding and writing if I get the shakes it turns out poorly and I feel useless. Apart from that, I know how to read and write, for doing numbers I use paper an pencil, I’m afraid of doing it wrong if I do it by head. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). Well, I’m Padi, I see myself coming to the SCI till I’m old, doing new things. I am a supporter of the team Barca, which sometimes makes me argue with those who pick on them. In relation with my handicap, I feel good with myself, I don’t feel discriminated by the environment, as physically I don’t have any traits that show my handicap, I go by unnoticed. I dress modern like my siblings. Those who know me in the neighbourhood, know what I have, I am a good person but sometimes I have what I call a cloud that passes through my head and it is as if my wires cross and I get angry and shout at people, but they don’t get scared anymore, they know that a barking dog seldom bites. Then I calm down and that’s it. I am not able to calm myself down it’s hard. My uncle also has discussions with me, he wants me to shower all day, and I think that with less it’s enough. Since I have a girlfriend I shave more often and I show off a bit more. I love coming to the SCI very much, do things and feel useful. I am the Artvill@ Corporative production manager, and last year I was the treasurer. Now I control that we all work the same. The first year we didn’t have any managers and obviously some people were talking all day long while others were working and at the end we all shared the profits. So this year, we have put production managers, they revise who comes to the centre and what they do every day at the corporative, to make a note of everything so no one is shirking. I work hard to give to give an example to my peers. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I like learning in groups, its more entertaining. Obviously in groups of equals, for example at school I felt bad when I didn’t know something they teased me. It’s badly thought out having to be in a group where there are big capacity differences between those who compose it, because obviously there are always smart ones that are always ready to pick on those who aren’t as quick as they are and that pisses anyone off. And that gets to you in the end you are always on the defensive, you become an outcast. Gradually I am regaining confidence in my self. For studying, I don’t need anything in particular, a table a chair, if there is a computer better, if not pencil and paper, that there is light and that it’s calm, of course if their is noise I can’t I get altered. I don’t usually self-study. I look up things on internet that interest me, but nothing serious, it has to be something I care to investigate, not studying for studying. Look I have a peer who loves cooking, he’s a beast at it, he knows a thousand recipes and all day long he is looking at Arguiñano’s web page, and other cooks, he knows the recipes in and out, he does cherries dipped in chocolate and very innovative things, etc. He studies all the recipes, he sends them from the centre to his house by email and so on, I don’t do things like that. Cooking does not attract me and there isn’t any specific topic that draws my attention enough for me to study it on my own. I do what they tell me to do, now I am working on Word, I do practice at home what I have done in the centre but little more. Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. What works me up are guys from the neighbourhood that want to make fun of me, if they go too far I offer them a punching. Of course my uncle chides me that I cannot match myself with those kids, why do I get into trouble if I know that I can’t even kill a fly. But I can’t help myself, I take things badly, I think they want to make fun of me and I get angry. I’m on the defensive

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What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? I like helping others, in fact I do, I help those of my peers who have physical impediments, my mother at home, and so on. Integration in my life is good in my environment in spite of “my clouds”. But I admit I am suspicious, and when I see they are whispering I think it’s about me, that they want to make fun of me like in school and I jump. I get along better with older people, I go to the retirees with my uncle, to the excursions, to the neighbourhood association parties, and here everything is well, with the younger ones I have more problems. I only get a long well with the young people who attend the SCI who have problems like me, or with my siblings, with the rest of the young people of the area not so well. Can I participace in the integration? Well, imagining my self as a healthy person, I think I already am. The only thing my clouds, but apart from that I’m fine. I have this handicap that makes me have these ups and downs in my character, that makes it harder for me to understand things, kick off doing them on my own but nothing else I don’t see my self as too bad or sick. If I didn’t have a handicap, I suppose that I would notice the problems that people have that have it and I would try to help them, the physical problems are more visible, but the psychological ones, either people pity us or they are scared of us because they don’t know how we are going to react. It isn’t easy, that they understand us, so since I go through it, I think I can be more tolerant. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the technology often. I use the computer in the SCI and in the Cyber cafe in the neighbourhood, at home I don’t have internet, I update the SCI’s blog when it’s my turn, I know how to take pictures with the digital cameras in the centre, I chat, see Manolo Escobar music videos I like him a lot, I look for work and courses on the career guidance program and I like looking at the weather forecasts and comment it with my uncle so he can know if he can go to the cottage or not. Football games also entertain me, there is one where you throw penalties, it helps you manage the mouse better, I did it in the beginning in informatics, which was very good. I also do puzzles that help me concentrate and work my memory, there are different levels, then solve mazes, do calculations, and a game where the main character,Pipo, is a bit childish but it is of great help. He’s a boy that moves around the city, and with him you learn road safety, where and when you should cross, where and what to shop, how much you should pay, and if you should get back change or not, you have to construct phrases from words, etc. It’s very complete it would be perfect if instead of a child it were a girl or a boy. When he moves around the city he takes us to the circus for example, and I am not very motivated by that with my 40 years, I’d rather go to a dance or to the movies, do you know what I mean? It helps me learn things, but they should think more about teenagers or young people with a handicap when they design Cd’s, games etc. Here in Spain I find that there are materials for older people with Alzheimer, and materials for children, but very little for people like me who are neither one nor the other. Of course the ITC’s help overcome barriers, they help you overcome the fear that you can’t do this or that, since the environment is different to the one in traditional schools well you see yourself in a different environment and you try. At first I was panicked of trying the machine, I was afraid of breaking it, my brother didn’t let me use his when I went to his house in case it was infected by a virus, and knowing how to you see that there are free antivirus that you can download and program so that they search your computer, and if you mess up you can go back, and unless you get rid of the trash almost everything can be reused and reinstalled into its place. It gives me confidence, having notions of how to use them, and them in themselves, they are useful for me to learn things. For example I’m a bit of a wimp, I’m afraid of flying and through internet I can see pictures, countries an places where my peers have gone that otherwise I would never be able to see.

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HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Well look, the barrier of spelling mistakes, at first I was reluctant to write on paper so they wouldn’t laugh at me, in case I made any mistakes. With it I don’t make as many mistakes, because I put it through the spelling corrector and that’s it. They also help me go through things, train my mind, do calculations in an entertaining way, so as to not forget what I have already learnt but without the need of having to think that at my age I am still doing exercises like the ones I did in school. Your „trick“ 2: I think learning things with the ITC’s is cool. I sometimes pity the teacher who many times has to repeat things to us, she makes it easy for us she explains the paths we have to take, the icons we have to click and everything goes fine again. Its as if she had a road map,when we get lost she gives us a new path and puts us back on track. Your „trick“ 3: I think that informatics and ITC’s are great inventions, you can do many things with them you can even make an appointment for the doctor, clock in at the unemployment office, a thousand things. If you don’t know how to use them you are left out from a lot of things, so you don’t have any other choice but to put get on with it and learn try not to fall into discouragement or into laziness or into the idea that this is not for us because it is same as it is for others. It can be very useful for us it adds more then it takes away. You can even handle things with the City hall, know the aids and resources that you have as a handicapped person and even, through a form on internet send on line questions to the Prime Minister, don’t tell me these tools don’t give you power and capacity, if you don’t know how to manage these things you are lost. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! I think that ITC’s are great inventions, you can do many things with them, a thousand things.

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Miguel Ángel Becerra Pérez, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Miguel Ángel Becerra Pérez, everyone calles me Miguel. Are you male or female? Male How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 23 years old. On the 27 of November I will be 24. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Avilés, an Asturian town. What is your mother language? I am Spanish and I speak Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? I am a student and now I go to the Integration Support Center (CAI) of Villalegre in Avilés. I do sport activities with the association FRIENDSHIP, I go to recreational programs and leisure time with the Red Cross and I am very good at sports, especially swimming. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? I am moderately mentally retarded. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I have school certificates, I did a course in TAPESTRY, from 16 to 21 years, which ended in 2007. I was earlier at the special school in San Cristobal from September 2005 to 2007, I attended the Artesco Cooperative. The cooperative "Artesco", and "ArteVill @" which I am in, came from a program in the Valnalón business incubator Center , "A company in my school", aimed at promoting an entrepreneurial culture through various educational activities in schools. I had difficulties in my education. Because I have low level of frustration if what I do doesn´t work out, I get angry with myself, I get blocked and in the end it is worse. I often have trouble reading phrases and catch their meaning, I have to go to work at that a lot.

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I like studying English. At the CAI Villalegre we learn it one day a week, a girl Kath called comes and prepares us to speak with Blue Children who will come in a few weeks to see us on the Grundving project, we already have an Asturian and Spanish cookbook for them. We've prepared Asturias gastronomic routes, following the preparation of the most famous cheeses, we will also teach them some dances from here. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). I live with my mother and my maternal grandmother, and my brother, who comes and goes. In fact, he became independent but often comes home with tupperware for food and things, my grandmother laughs that it is as if he had left, he spends so much time with us. My father, this is a long history. I always think that he died, but my brother says he left with another partner, they have another family in another country, but I refuse to think that he abandoned us, just like that, so when I am asked about him I tell the same story, that he died, he loved my mother and us. Call it childish or whatever, but how can someone get into their heads that a parent forget their child?. Not me, the truth is that my mother always loks after us, she works in a bar in Avilés in the kitchen, she is a good cook. I have a girlfriend, she has Down syndrome, she is very white and a very pretty blonde, I love her. She is still in San Cristobal college. Recently, I became swimming champion, and participated in the European Championship "Special Olympics" from 14 to 18 October in Palma de Son Hugo pool. I went with my mother to the tests. Athletes participated in this competition from Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares, Canarias, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Catalonia Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia, as well athletes from 32 countries were invited. I swam the butterfly stroke and won the gold medal, which I took to the center in Villalegre to share with my classmates. They were all very happy abut my success and I wrote a post on the blog. See http://fasadcaivillalegreexposiciones.blogspot.com/2009/10/un-nadador-de-campeonato.html. Also was in April this year I in Cyprus with the European gastronomic project in which we take part. http://www.food-ideas.eu/. They are all new experiences. I do not think about the future, I'm still young. My mother tells me I have to focus, that everything is not a game, but I am comfortable at the moment. I come to CAI Villalegre and little else. It annoys me when people laugh at me for no reason. It pisses me off that they do not understand what I say straighaway.At home they always say, speak slowly and vocalize, but with nerves hit me and if people do not understand what I say, I loose it and swear, and listen, that they understand immediately.They say I'm a bit of a clowne, but I like attention, tease girls, fool around pick them. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? I prefer to learn in a group, I learn best alone, although there are always times when you need an educator, you have to put to practice what is commented in class, and it is better, to go one by one, see where we failed, what we understood. I do not need anything special to study, just a little quiet to concentrate, and no more, no adjustment or technical assistance is necessary because I move myr hands and feet.Self-study, I do. I will start a course in digital literacy through a method new to me, which is tutored distance learning. We´ll see ... Express your opinion on peoples behaviour towards the handicapped. I like people to be nice, to collaborate and cooperate with me and I will too. I'm a good person, I help my grandmotherand people around me who may be more limited than me physically, and I need help sometimes, when I I can´t the icons to which I'm used to on the desktop.

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Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. Yes, I use technology daily. I use a computer in the center, also I have internet at home, a console, and I use a mp3 whenever I can. My mother tells me I'm going to be deaf from listening to it all day with music that I put there. I use in my daily life for games, find information, online signing up (I renew my job application online every three months), and Messenger to relate to girls. I follow sports on the internet news, I watch music videos for dance moves, I am a very good dancer. I have email but I am too lazy to write things, I send only photos, presentations. What I should write term I make a phone call from my mother´s mobile. I also look for courses in career guidance programs. Sure I can give examples of how technology and ICT in particular have helped me overcome barriers, for example now my mother need not accompany me to sign on the dole, I renew online, also I can relate to people and greet friends on the Internet. Also through the center´s blog people can get to know us. We can feel more part of our city, relate to people. With computer classes I know which parts goes into each site, the keyboard features, everything can be done with the mouse, double-click is difficult for me. I cannot do it well because of coordination problems. But as we can adapt the computer to our tastes and needs, in the end we have to try everything and test it.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Well, I get pissed off if I don´t get things at first, and at home I whip the mouse. I despair at once. Your „trick“ 2: ICT is entertaining for me, I use Paint to draw, the calculator to do accounts, and I try not to touch those icons that I do not quite know what they are. I'm always very afraid of deleting something. Your „trick“ 3: The best advice is to experiment with everything, be careful not to touch the icons if you do not know very well what they are. And save favorite pages that you find interesting, so do not have to memorize addresses. It is no loner a pain to have to learn something by heart. I save shortcuts, programs and games that work on my desktop. The spell checker is great too. I can communicate with people anywhere in the world by voice, image and even seeing them. YOUR WISDOM FOR THE OTHERS Do not be afraid to play “clever”. Everybody is somehow clever and can help! Experiment with everything

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Soledad Liébana Pérez, Spain ICT BRIDGES INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE www.StudiumBezBarier.eu (search: ICT Bridges)

INTRODUCE YOURSELF Name (if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname – but, you will not support next collaboration): My name is Soledad Liébana Pérez. Are you male or female? Female. How old you are? How many years ago you finished education and what level? I am 50 years old. The country and town you live in. It is a big city or a small village? I live in Spain, specifically in Asturias, in the county of Avilés, for more detail I live in Pozón in a flat tutored by the Principality. What is your mother language? Spanish. What is your profession? Are you a learner, a student or a teacher? A student. Do you think you have any handicap you are disadvantaged by? Do you have any serious medical disability? Describe it shortly here, please. Or you feel healthy and strong? About my disability I can tell you that I have a facial paralysis on the right side that causes my mouth to be twisted. I wear glasses because I have myopia and I am also a bit deaf I wear a hearing aid in my left ear although I hear badly with both. It’s also true that sometimes I take advantage of this, when something doesn’t interest me I do as if I can’t hear what they are saying and that’s it. I also have, they say, a mild mental deficiency and a personality disorder. STORY ABOUT YOUR HANDICAP OR HEALTH, AND ABOUT YOUR LEARNING Write about your education process. I was only schooled from age 8 to 14 in the Laviana C.P. I haven’t done courses on anything, when I came to Avilés and to this flat I started at the Salinas Union SCI in the council of Castrillon it was a long ride by bus. Since now they have a centre in my council I attend the Villalegre SCI. I am learning to use a computer, I was really happy when in one program that has a weird name I can’t recall now it has an icon with a W I was able on a blank page to write my complete name and my sisters as well. It was a breakthrough for me. And since there are videos that have subtitles I can read what it says and not get angry for not hearing what they are saying. If I had known these things when I was young it

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would have been a whole different story. Write about your life with the handicap (or without it). In my own way I have regained happiness; I live with more people not on my own, I have my own room and now I attend the Villalegre Support Centre for Integration. Here I do stimulation and psychophysical maintenance programs, a positive aging program, some occupational training stuff and personal independence. The hardest moments in my life are associated with the breaking of my schemes due to my mother’s death. Nobody assumed that loosing my mother and getting used to another life was going to be so hard. I think that it would have been different if I had gotten used to the idea gradually if I had become less dependent of her, if I had assisted a centre like the one I am going to now and had friends and that way it would all had been less harsh. But obviously my poor mother was old and she did enough taking care of me. My sister working like a mule and me, well I had built my whole world around her and when she was gone I lost everything. Now I am re-centred the worst of all was the suffering I went through and the way I mad my sister suffer when I tried to commit suicide. I don’t see my self working in anything I’m too old I want to continue coming to the centre as long as I can and then go to one for old people. If I become ill I see my self in a residence where my sister and my niece would come visit me like they do now but in a place where they would give me the attention and care I need. For now I can take care of myself, but who knows what will happen tomorrow? In relation to my disability, there is nothing that bothers me, I see myself as different, even if I’d like to live on my own I can’t I need support to lead a normal life but that’s all. Because of my deafness I sometimes take things badly when I don’t hear I think they are whispering about me and I answer badly. In Lavian I never felt disabled they new me in the store, the baker as well, and I controlled my whole environment and timetable, when I got out of that routine was when I realised something besides the physical (deafness, vision) was wrong. It’s hard to deal with it when you are old, but well here in the city where I live there are means and professionals that helped me a lot. I don’t like the boyfriend thing, one or two flirted with me but I don’t feel like getting into trouble. I feel good like this, like a woman in line with my age, I have my flat mates and girlfriends, the ones from the centre. I am the representative of my group at the Centre I deal with the directorate the things that they suggest to me, that I ask for improvements for us and the centre and all that makes me feel good integrated like a normal person. What is specific for your-self-learning? Do you need any special conditions? At my age I am not up to complicated things I go to the practical things, I study things that give me independence that are useful fro me. Practice things by memory to not lose and read the news to know what goes on here and in my dear Laviana. I like learning in a group with more people. I don’t need any special equipment only loudspeakers to hear better or with good headsets and with the zoom to see the letters in big. What the words integraton of the handicapped means to me? In relation with integration now I am well, when I was small I went to what there was in the village a normalised school I went there for a short period of time because I was capable of doing the domestic chores so I dropped out of school and helped my mother was alive then, what happened after I already told you.

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Can I participace in the integration? If I was well without a intellectual disability and I knew a person with the same disadvantage as me I would try to listen to him/her serve as support and encourage him/her to go out to accept him/herself as he/she is that he/she do things get trained and learn that knowledge doesn’t take up any space. Imagine your work with PC. Still write a story; concrete manual describe later. I use the technology at a daily basis; at the Support Centre for Integration I use the computer, I listen to Isabel Pantojas music, I sing very badly but I like listening to her type of music very much. I read the press to be up to date I go slowly because I read slowly but I want to do it that way and not have the machine read it to me, it’s so I don’t lose capacities. I use some materials like Smart Brain to train the memory, I use one of the Cd’s of the program and I also used the practical mouse and keyboard program materials developed by the Espali Foundation to manage them better. I also used in the program Arteterapia the tool TECURA it’s used for painting. See http://www.tecura.org/, I did some great Christmas cards last year.

HOW ICT HELP ME? 1) 2) 3) 4)

Entitle a barrier Why have any problem taken place, e.g. who can have similar one? How concretely ICT helped me? Have I been alone in the course of solutions finding? Who have helped me? Who could help the others?

Your „trick“ 1: Never feel inferior to anyone, try not being afraid of making mistakes try things out and be advised by people who know. You have to gain confidence in these things, for me new things if I had had them when I was younger it would all have been different. Your „trick“ 2: For people with mental disabilities like me I would recommend them to do courses to lose any fear they might have, do a training adapted to them like I am doing here and go to a Support Centre for Integration like the one I attend. Not despair when things don’t turn out well. I never tried doing one of those courses you do on your own on the computer and with a long distance tutor. For now since I don’t manage it too well I prefer having a teacher at hand, she has a projector where she puts up her screen and shows us what she is doing on the computer and you follow her steps it’s all more graphical.

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Austria, BerufsfĂśrderungsinstitut Steiermark

Despite of positive development, visually impaired people are still often excluded from participating in the living environment and, particularly, in the working environment. Nevertheless, it now seems very promising to make use of the chances new ICT provide to overcome these inclusion barriers. That way, the range of traditional professions - from masseur to switchboard operator - can be expanded towards new professions, and prejudices regarding the abilities of people with special needs can be overcome. The ISIS project (Information - Service - Integration - Training) at bfi Steiermark demonstrates that blind and visually impaired people are able to do highly-qualified jobs. Within the last years, bfi Steiermark has established considerable, top-of-Europe know-how in the field of qualification for blind and highly visually impaired people. The Leonardo da Vinci programme supports transnational vocational education and training. The development and adjustment of the European Computer Driving Licence to the needs of blind and visually impaired people on a standardised European level and the preparation of websites for blind people are only some results based on European projects that had bfi Steiermark as a partner. Based on the results of transnational projects and on behalf of the BASB (Bundessozialamt, Landesstelle Steiermark) - the Federal Office For Social Services in the Province of Styria -and bfi Steiermark, the national ISIS platform was planned and implemented some years ago. ISIS is positioned within an approach of job creation programme and equality for blind and visually impaired people; it sets measures to secure existing and create new jobs and to facilitate access to ICT. Regional, national and international networks have developed through cooperation with target groupspecific projects in vocational preparation and vocational training. We integrate pilot projects into these networks, and the regional and international members of the target group profit from it in the form of increased chances for educational and vocational integration. Vice versa, these very varied experiences are also utilised in the product development of the ISIS platform. The individual requirements of visually impaired people with regard to suitable working aides need extensive know-how and a counselling model that is adjusted to the individual life and work situations. Depending on age, psychosocial environment, kind of visual illness and requirements in every-day life and profession, this holistic treatment focuses on our customers’ needs. Before the Technical Assistance for blind and visually impaired people had been established as part of the ISIS project, visually impaired people were dependent on the counselling competences of the suppliers of working aides in Vienna. Of course, this often also involved being dependent on certain products and services. Therefore, it was hardly possible to use different hard- and software products to optimise the equipment with working aides. The services of the Technical Assistance for visually impaired and blind people have become a big success in the Province of Styria and an indispensable tool for the inclusion of visually impaired and blind people. The Technical Assistance supports enterprises that want to establish jobs for a visually impaired or blind employee and need to set adaptive measures. It compares costs and benefits of offers and adapts them to the needs of the future employee; of course, the focus lies on a brand-independent acquisition of working aides and on an ideal integration of the working aides into the structure of the enterprise. To bridge the time until the necessary technical resources are funded by the respective funding bodies

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and to enable an immediate start of the vocational training or employment, our project - via this service - provides free impairment-specific hard and software. During the entire training and employment period, our expert provides free technical support and counselling to permanently guarantee ideal working conditions and to secure upgrades to the respective in-house requirements. This service can also be consumed by people with sensory disabilities as part of their social rehabilitation. To reach a highest-possible degree of equality in everyday life it is essential not to narrow down the individual demands of blind and visually impaired people due to a cut-back of subsidies. Due to technical developments and changes regarding the job profile, the traditional jobs for blind and visually impaired people have been subject to far-reaching changes. It is hardly possible anymore for visually impaired or blind switchboard operators to get a job in a call centre since the requirements have increased considerably. Even in the so-called protected working areas in the public services it is hardly possible anymore to employ visually impaired and blind people as switchboard operators. However, the quick technological development and, consequently, the development of the working aid technologies are also the basis for our target group to conquer new professions. The tasks and working areas of call centre agents are manifold. They range from inbound calls (e.g. information services, order services, hotlines, and service numbers) to outbound calls in sales, appointment management and address management. Call centre agents deal with all these tasks mostly without any formal qualifications. So far, there has not been a standardised training in terms of formal school-like courses or an apprenticeship. Usually, the qualifications are taught in education and training courses by adult education institutions or, directly, in in-house trainings in call centres. In order to fulfil the job profile in a competent way the following personal requirements are necessary: sociability, personal charisma, clear pronunciation, endurance and (stress) resistance, ability to work in a team, time-related flexibility. These required competences open new vocational perspectives for visually impaired and blind people. Usually, increased auditory sensitivity and, often, more tactfulness in personal conversations are their particular strengths, and vocational inclusion and a possible autonomy as “fully-fledged� employees are sustainably supported. The use of and the professional work with working aides (e. g. magnifying software, voice output or reading device) as well as the EDP competences, which can be acquired, soon remove supposed barriers within the work organisation.

On behalf of the Federal Office For Social Services in the Province of Styria (BASB, Landesstelle Steiermark), bfi Steiermark submitted a forward-looking project for blind and visually impaired people. This project is a call centre - the TeleTrading House - with the special target to employ handicapped transit workers - primarily blind and visually impaired women - as call centre agents, thus preparing them for their integration into the first labour market. This sub-project was developed together with Danish and Swiss telesales enterprises with a focus on the employment of highlyqualified members of the target group. TeleTrading House The TeleTrading House is a call centre integrated in the ISIS project. Partially sighted and blind employees are prepared for integration into the first labour market in a dual ICT-training system. This pilot institution runs all 'classical' business operations of a call centre, such as inbound and outbound calls as well as mailing services.

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Based on well-maintained customer data, telephone and online marketing that specifically meets the customers' needs supports both the acquisition of new customers as well as the strengthening of customer loyalty. Therefore, the broad range of services (such as marketing, market research surveys, database services, back office services) particularly aims at those two areas and can be seen as a basis for individual service agreements. How does it work? Blind and visually impaired people are contracted by bfi Steiermark to cover the telephone operations throughout the Province of Styria. When a customer dials the number of bfi she/he is automatically put through to the call centre (TeleTrading House); they are the first contact for the customers. That means that they are the point for first bits of information, complaints and questions. The CallCenter Agents try to receive as much information as possible to be able to forward the customer, as fast as possible, to the right person. When the customer cannot reach the respective employee at bfi Steiermark the CallCenter Agent offer a call-back. In such a case he/she notes down the exact name, the telephone number and, if possible, the reason for the call. He/she then forward this information to the bfi employee per E-mail. This innovation regarding the vocational inclusion of people with special needs is the only employment model of its kind in Austria. The high rate of women in this unique model can be seen as exemplary since blind and visually impaired women are a particularly disadvantaged group. The TeleTrading House offers all the “classical� business areas of a call centre, such as inbound and outbound calls and mailing services. During her/his work in the TeleTrading House (dual training model), the transit worker with disability receives basic qualifications in the areas of soft skills and marketing and, thus, theoretical and practical knowledge and skills that support an integration into the first labour market. Following a basic qualification that is aimed at the abilities and strengths of the customers (EDP basics, personality training and customer care competence) the professions offered in the TeleTrading House are practically trained. Additional qualification needs for higher qualification are identified in the training needs analysis, and the transit workers are - in an integrative way - invited to attend standard seminars. Our practical experiences regarding the employment of people with special needs as call centre agents show that it is absolutely necessary to give the employees their individual space to familiarise with the working aides and the call centre technologies. Therefore, the transit workers start with their work placements to integrate them into the working environment at the end of their 18th employment month. To guarantee a highest-possible number of jobs on the free labour market, we cooperate with the work assistance for blind and visually impaired people in the Province of Styria. Our efforts have proofed to be successful. In the last few years, the project - via its rotation procedure has managed to place and permanently integrate 20 persons on the free labour market. More than 100 visually impaired and blind people have received vocational qualification via our adult education offers. The high quality and the orientation towards the target group’s needs in the national and international sector were achieved through dualism. Well-sighted and visually impaired experts work together from the development and conception to the coordination and implementation of our services and offers. Our project employs - in leading positions - visually impaired and/or blind experts, who bring in their abilities and strengths via the different platforms in our enterprise. Our enterprise has fully implemented the inclusion of people with special needs for both my colleagues in the ISIS project and the seminar participants in the public courses of bfi Steiermark. Focusing on the abilities and strengths of the individual brings completely new perspectives and possibilities of inclusion and equality.

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Ms Kerstin Schwarz (highly visually impaired), CallCenter Agent: We work with several programmes simultaneously (E-mail programme, telephone software, Internet, telephone directory, etc.). To make work easier some of us need some working aides. For example, we use Zoomtext, a magnifying software, which can be adapted to the needs of each individual person (magnifying level, colours). Furthermore, we have a voice output system, such as JAWS, or voice output that is integrated into Zoomtext. With the voice output system it is also possible to adjust the speech speed and the voice (male, female or computer voice) individually. To work with the voice output system the user needs a headphone so she/he would not distract the other colleagues. Since we also have headsets when we work on the phone it needs some practise to concentrate on the voice output and the customer at the same time. Blind colleagues have a Braille display, which displays the current content of the computer screen. Since we often receive printed lists, letters etc. which are printed in a font that can hardly or not at all be read by heavily visually impaired colleagues there is also the possibility to use reading devices. The settings on the reading device can be adjusted according to the individual needs of the respective user (magnifying level, negative/positive colours, sharpness). Some of the reading devices can be connected with the PC so that the computer screen can be ‘divided’. These devices have a foot pedal to switch between computer screen and reading device. The user can also ‘divide’ the screen so that one part displays the respective script and the other part displays the computer screen. We constantly look for new possibilities to support our work.

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Czech Republic, VŠB – Technical University Ostrava

The VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava is a technical and economic institution of higher education. The scientific and teaching staffs collaborate with research and academic institutions and specialists on national and international levels. The University has more than 22 000 students providing with education at 7 faculties. From the number, about 1100 students are from abroad. VŠB-TUO ranks among top technical universities in the Czech Republic. It has a long tradition of collaboration with European universities and research institutions. In recent years the collaboration has expanded to Canada, USA, Japan, China and Taiwan. The collaboration has been based on international grant research programmes, exchange of doctoral students and teachers, organization of international science conferences and publishing. Project coordinators work at special department of Faculty of Economics – Innovation of Education Institute whose mission is enabling the access to education to further groups of community by using the new forms and methods of education – using ICT. Institute guarantees providing eLearning support of study on faculty, university, other schools, firms, cooperates with public institutions. The part of Institute is Center for Handicapped students SUNFLOWER. This center provides with services for disadvantaged study applicants having all kinds of disadvantages in order to enable them to achieve University degree using ICT instruments. Institute has long term experiences in Information and Communication Technologies usage. Employees are significant professionals in international context and are coordinators and partners of many European projects regarding accessibility of education through ICT including handicapped groups. There were created more than 500 eLearning on-line courses out of many projects and other sources. System administrates about 25 000 students. Department provides METHODOLOGICAL managing of complex implementation of eLearning into organizations of different types. There is systematic care devoted to human recourses development. Educational courses are being applied, training and on-line as well as face-to-face support of educators´ education in a given field. Learning hosting, System Management and complex consultancy for other Universities, Faculties, colleges and primary schools, SMEs is provided. Economics Faculty provides with complex university education to gain knowledge and skills related to the project objectives and also dispose of professionals in this field. •

www.vsb.cz

www.ekf.vsb.cz

VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava was founded in 1849 in Pribram, and in 1945 was moved to Ostrava, which became the main centre for the mining and metallurgical industries in the former . In 1973, most of the University was moved to a modern complex of buildings in Ostrava-Poruba. Currently the VŠB -Technical University of Ostrava has seven faculties: •

Faculty of Economics

Faculty of Civil Engineering

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

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Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics

Faculty of Mining and Geology

Faculty of Metallurgy and Material Engineering

Faculty of Safety Engineering

Almost 20,000 students study at these faculties. The smooth operation of the University is ensured by its capable staff of almost 2,000, with tuition being provided by over 900 lecturers. VŠB -Technical University of Ostrava is a public university. The main part of the university is located at the campus in Poruba; only the Faculty of Economics is situated in the centre of Ostrava. The Faculty of Economics has always been relatively independent from VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava. It was founded in 1977 and today it has approximately 5,200 students and is the biggest faculty of the University. Tuition at the Faculty is provided by 220 lecturers in addition to numerous external teachers and experts employed in industry, commerce and the public sector. The Faculty of Economics offers a wide range of degree programmes – including Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees – on a daily basis from the fields of economics, management, economic policy and administration, informatics and systems engineering. The Faculty also organises a number of shortterm and long-term courses of lifelong education for companies, institutions and individuals. Graduates of the Faculty of Economics go on to make careers in companies, public administration, banking and individual business activity. The international focus of the Faculty allows tuition to keep up to date with the latest developments in economic theory and managerial practice. Current academic knowledge from the Czech Republic and around the world is fully applied in the Faculty’s programmes, as is a wide range of experience of global world economic development. In conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University , the Faculty offers prestigious three-year MBA studies. Teaching and research activities are carried out by means of fifteen departments: Economics, Management, Marketing and Business, Accounting, Regional Economics, Law, European Integration, Mathematical Methods in Economics, Business Administration, Public Economics, Finance, Applied Informatics, Systems Engineering, National Economics, Economics Journalism and the Institute of Doctoral and Managerial Studies. The Faculty also includes the International Office and the Computer Unit.

Education Innovation Institute The activities of the Education Innovation Institute draw on its long-term role in implementing new methods and forms of education at the University, accelerated by the development of information and communication technologies. The members of the team are active experts in eLearning and web-based education, and are well-respected in both the Czech and international contexts. Crucial to maintaining the trend in this rapidly developing field is the long-term VIRTUNIV system of cooperation between universities in the Moravia-Silesia region. The system is now being expanded to incorporate other universities in the rest of Moravia. The members of the Institute participate in a range of national and European projects. In order to support web-based education and training necessary for both full-time and lifelong study, the Faculty uses the open source CMLS Moodle education management system. The continuous improvements made to this global system guarantee increasingly user-friendly and effective communication between all partners in the education process. Currently, thanks to consistent management support, the Faculty of Economics is intensively implementing the concept of education as a service, accessible to an ever-growing percentage of the population, with ever-decreasing obstacles as a result of time, location and human resources. More information about the Institute is available at http://iiv.vsb.cz .

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Romania, Camera de Comert si Industrie si Bistrita Nasaud

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bistrita Nasaud County (CCI BN) is an independent, non-governmental legal entity, created to represent, defend and support the interests of the business community in relation to the bodies from our country and abroad. The mission is to contribute actively to the sustainable development of the local economy and promote economic environment nationally and internationally. It is a member of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce. Our activities are focused on the following areas: promoting the interests of member companies, specialized consulting, business development, organization of fairs, exhibitions and trade missions, providing training programs adequate to the labour market needs, arbitration services. The Chamber is certified ISO 9001 in business development, business consulting, training and project management. A major emphasis is given to various European projects in which we were partner or coordinator. These projects achieved notable results in various areas such as sustainable development, human resources development, entrepreneurial culture and support for small and medium enterprises aso. At this moment the Chamber implements different projects financed by EU and has experience in the European cooperation sector due to programms like: European Social Fund, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig, Phare, USAID, UNCTAD, GTZ, Asia Invest and others. The organisation hosts more centers like: Center for Information Technology, State Office for Inventions and Trademarks, Europe Direct Bistrita Center which provides different services for economic environment, public authorities and citizens. The institution has its own training Center, whose activity is focused on the vocational training through the diversified training courses offered to the community. To support entrepreneurs and their staff for their future development, the institution was permanently concerned about the ongoing training of the adults, the courses being tailored to the needs of local and regional training of adults. The professional training is focused on organizing specialised, master and postgraduate courses. Our institution has experience in: -

European projects implementation, training (certified qualification courses, development courses, initiation and specialisation courses, master and postgraduate courses)

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Projects implemented by Bistrita-Nasaud Chamber of Commerce in the field of employment:

Year

European Union programme

Project number

reference

Title

1999 /200 0

Leonardo Vinci

da RO/99/1/083664/FI/5 .1.1.b/FPC

New training scheme for SMEs

2000

Leonardo Vinci

da RO/2001/PL87094/E X

Women in SMEs a new challenge on the labour market

2000

Phare

98PH655

Centre for counseling

2003

Socrates Grundtvig 2

02-G2-24-BN-FRRN

Employment Europeene Interculturelle

2004

Socrates Grundtvig 2

04-G2143-BN-RO-C

European Entreprenurial Culture Disadvantaged People in the Labour Market

2005

Socrates Grundtvig 2

05-G2-61-BN-RO-C

Core skills development – The Capacity of changing people Lifestyle

2005

Phare

02-RU-PH-063

Qualification for harness operator

2005

Phare

02-RU-PH-062

The increase of informing, profesional counselling and labour mediation services in Bistrita-Nasaud County

2006 2007

Socrates Grundtvig II

06G2-92-BN-RO-CR

Core skills development – The Capacity of changing people Lifestyle

2006 2007

Socrates – 224953-CP-1-2005EUSDET – Enlarged European Sustainable Grundtvig 1.1 1NL- Development Training Course GRUNDTVIG-G11

2007

Phare

2006 2008

Leonardo da EL/06/B/F/PPVinci – 148223 Community Vocational Training Action Programme – Pilot projects

Vocational ePathways for agriculturalists in a changing business environment

2006 -

Leonardo da I/06/B/F/PP-154064 Vinci – Community

SMA – Succession Managers for small and medium sized family businesses

2004/016772.04.02.02.01.01.6 16

for

The Development of managerial competencies in Human Resources Field in Bistrita-Nasaud County

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2008

Vocational Training Action Programme – Pilot projects

2008

Phare

2008

Leonardo Vinci TOI

2009

Phare

018-147.04.02

Mobile professional counseling mediation center for Roma People

2007 2009

Grundtvig Partnership

07-PAR-32-BN-ROC

Rural Opportunities for Organisations AgroTuristical Systems - ROOTS

2008 2010

LDV Partnerships

2008-1-CZ1-LEO0400186

ITC Bridges - Information and communication technologies as a force for change

2005/017-553.04.02

da UK/08/LLPLDV/TOI/163_132

Support, Training and Assistance for Unemployed People EU Women

and

labour

in

-

Organisation of training programmes (in IT, trainer for trainers, project management cycle, human resources, qualification courses, master programmes organised together with Babes Bolyai University aso.),

-

Events organisation: local, regional and international conferences, seminars, round tables

-

Conception and design of different promoting materials

-

Networking activities

-

Market research at local, regional and international level

-

Quality procedures

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Spain, Lawton School S. L. Lawton School, based in Spain, is a private, limited company specialised in vocational training through language competences. Training courses in English, French, German and Spanish are geared to general language competences as well as specific purposes such as Exam Preparation, Business, Engineering, Medicine, Finance, etc. Since its foundation is 1973, Lawton School has developed language communication skills projects for clients from a wide range of companies, professional associations, trade unions and official bodies. Participants in these courses range from management to technical or secretarial staff. Our centres are approved by the Direcci贸n General de Formaci贸n del Gobierno del Principado de Asturias (Dept. of Employment & Training of the Principality of Asturias) and are ISO 9001 qualified for Design, development and implementation of training courses and activities in the field of language learning. Lawton School is an Official Examination Centre for Trinity College (London), Pitman Qualifications and the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry and has years of experience successfully preparing for the suite of Cambridge University examinations and well as preparing students to pass or improve their score on both the TOEFL test and the TOEIC test. The School maintains its tradition of high quality thanks to constant renovation and investment in new methodologies and technologies. As an altenative to class based learning we offer on line courses designed for people who want to combine the convenience of online delivery with personal support from expert tutors. Apart from the field of languages, the company has designed and implemented vocational courses in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Rural Tourism, Business analysis for land based industries, Employment and health and safety legislation for land based industries, Supervision and Management, Integrating tourism and leisure and Planning Equine Facilities. For the past fifteen years Lawton School S.L. has partnered and co-ordinated transnational education and training projects funded by the European Union through Grundtvig and Leonardo da Vinci programmes achieving considerable experience in working with blind and visually impaired people. The development and implementation of a virtual language school, integrating VOIP, accesible to the blind user, providing free access to vocational language courses, is the product of a transnational project in which Lawton School was responsible for the development of the language modules. http://es.langschool.eu/about is a digital language school center which offers language courses in English, German, Spanish and Italian at various levels. The courses are well accessible for the visually handicapped, but they are useful for all students who want to raise their knowledge of a language. Lawton School is currently working on freely available screen reader assistive software for blind people needing access to web applications, e-mail, Word processing, in Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian and Polish, a speech synthesizer for the voiced output of contents which reads out the presented information in the appropriate language and a tutor training

187


programme for those who are to support the use of the products within the target group face-to-face or remotely. http://www.screenreader4free.eu/DicompTransfer/index.html Lawton School has been a partnered several in Leonardo da Vinci mobility projects with institutions in Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Ireland and Romania. http://www.lawtonschool.com

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Meetings Kick off meeting Graz

More photos: http://my.opera.com/Ondrash/albums/show.dml?id=641413

Conference ICT Bridges

More informations: http://handicap.vsb.cz/wiki/index.php/Conference_ICT_Bridges

Meeting Gijon

More photos:http://www.cciabn.ro/poze/spania/trimise/

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Meeting Bistrita More informations: http://handicap.vsb.cz/wiki/index.php/Meeting_Bistrita%2C_Romania

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Author Index A Adam Silvia Veronica, 119 Arcalean Raul, 90

N Nimigean Gabriela Elena, 110 Nogler Julia, 22

B Berbecar Alexandru Augustin, 93 Berrocoso Francissco Pulido, 131

C Campean Camelius, 97 Cocos Maria, 100 Corbelle Lester Suarez, 135

D Dacal Pili Castellano, 138 Dopazo Francisco Javier Menendez, 142

O Ogris Dietmar, 25

P Padilla Manuel García, 167 Participant Austrian, 30 Pérez Miguel Ángel Becerra, 171 Pérez Soledad Liébana, 174 Pešková Kateřina, 51 Pop Marius, 113 Pralea Dana, 122 Procházka Michal, 59

R F

Ryška Vladislav, 80

Farcas Paula, 104

S G G. Sebastian, 9 García Ana Rosa Luisa Hevia, 147 García Violeta Úrsula Suárez, 151 Găurean Dana, 127 Ghereb Alexandru, 107

Sedláček Miroslav, 63 Schaar Hans-Peter, 32 Schwarz Kerstin, 35 Sidková Markéta, 68 Sikorová Ivana, 73

Š H

Švarcová Dana, 76

Helebrantová Petra, 38 Hilscherová Lucie, 47

T K

K. Claudia, 12 Klimša Petr, 84 Klinkan Simone, 14 Koch C., 16

L Lenz Olga, 18 López Amelia Fernández, 154 López Vanesa Pelaez, 159

M Marinkovic Suzana, 20 Martin Iván Pintado, 163

Telnarová Zdeňka, 86 Ţuţura Mirela, 116


ICT Bridges Stories Handbook

Vydal

Vysoká škola báňská – Technická univerzita Ostrava

Editoři

Danuše Bauerová Hana Poštulková

Grafický návrh obálky Ondřej Bauer Autoři

Kolektiv autorů

Vydání

první

Rozsah

192 stran

Rok a místo vydání

2010, Ostrava,

Náklad

20 kusů

Tisk

Vysoká škola báňská – Technická univerzita Ostrava

ISBN

© VYSOKÁ ŠKOLA BÁŇSKÁ – TECHNICKÁ UNIVERZITA OSTRAVA, 2010 Za jazykovou a formální správnost příspěvků odpovídají autoři. Distribuci zajišťuje Institut inovace vzdělávání, Ekonomická fakulta, VŠB-TU Ostrava. Neprodejné.


Handbook ICT Bridges Stories  

Handbook ICT Bridges

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