Seminar on ICTs for Education for the Visually Impaired in Bangladesh

The WHO estimated in 2011 that 15% of Bangladeshi citizens have a disability. One million citizens were considered visually impaired in the same year. Many of the country’s educational systems are ill-equipped to educate those with such disabilities, given the lack of accessible publications and technology more broadly.

In response, the United International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh held a seminar on education for visually impaired citizens on September 19, in collaboration with “Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Bangladesh Visual Impaired Peoples Society (BVIPS), Access Bangladesh Foundation (ABF), Disability Rights Fund (DRF), Federation of DPOs Sitakunda and UIU Electrical and Electronics Club.”

The seminar, entitled “Scope of Education for Visually Impaired People and Facilitating Access to Public Works,” had the following goal: to raise awareness on accessible books, publications, and technology. Its keynote speaker, Vashkar Bhattacharjee, demonstrated the use of DAISY books, and discussed the ways in which ICTs can help students with disabilities access books and other publications.

Another speaker, Arif Reza Anwary, presented on Adaptive Technology Refreshable Digital Braille and the Easy Digital Braille Learning program. Another speaker presented a DAISY book on an Android operating system, while others covered the Marrakesh treaty, and raising awareness more broadly. The Marrakesh Treaty is a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty mandating that Parties develop limitations and exceptions to copyright law to allow blind, visually impaired, and persons with other disabilities to access published materials.

With changing copyright laws in the country, the state’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, and the United International University’s advancements in accessible technology, education for students with disabilities is certainly on track to improve in the country.

Click here for more information on the Marrakesh Treaty.

Source: The Daily Star, WIPO