Higher Education Programme – Update
The higher education program being implemented in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam and Laos with the support of The Nippon Foundation is one of the flagship activities of ICEVI. This program has made a profound impact in the field of higher education in the ASEAN region. The project is implemented with the objective of creating inclusive environments at the higher education institutions and improving the technology skills of visually impaired students to cope up with their studies. The program, which was started in 2007 in Indonesia and is currently operating in the seven countries, has assisted more than 2300 students with visual impairment in pursuing higher education. The project has also facilitated employment for 239 graduates. The project data to the end of 2017 are as follows:
||2006 – 2007
||2006 – 2011
||2006 – 2014
||2006 – 2015
||2006 – 2016
||2006 – 2017
||2006 – Dec-2017
||2015 – 2016
||2016 – 2017
||April – December 2017
||Total Since 2015
ICEVI is pleased that the Zero Project Austria recognized the Higher Education project as one of the innovative practices in employment in 2016. ICEVI and the Overbrook School for the Blind are collaborating with The Nippon Foundation to release a publication that highlights the positive impact of The Nippon Foundation on the lives of persons with visual impairment through their funding and support of the ICEVI Higher Education program and the Overbrook-Nippon Network on Education Technology (ON-NET) program. This publication is likely to be released in 2020.
Voice of Students:
Provincial Off ice of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia
“Basically, my work is not so difficult. I encountered a few problems but I can always solve them”
“Greetings! My name is NOV Sokneang and I am 24 years old. I am currently working at the Provincial Off ice of Culture and Fine Arts of Kampong Cambodia. I am an administrative and human resources officer. I have been working here for one year. I am satisfied with my work because arts and culture is my favourite working field. Basically, my work is not so difficult. I encountered a few problems but I can always solve them. When I face problems, my senior colleagues, deputy and head of department give me some advice, telling about the problems that they used to have. They share their experience in order to make our work better. For instance, when I submit request forms containing inadequate details, I can ask support from my colleagues in order to be sure that I make the right decision. The main factor that led me to success was the education I received at Krousar Thmey from primary school to high school until I took exam to enter the Provincial Off ice of Culture and Fine Arts in 2015.”
Before, Krousar Thmey supported me, but now I can care about myself, earning my own money. Generally speaking, all employers do not discriminate against people with disabilities. If we have good knowledge, we can work as well as the others [sighted]. Please take the chance to hire disabled people! I would like to send the message to all friends, people with disabilities and persons with low vision.
“Please do not feel hopeless, try to study hard as you have the ability to do it”
Ochirrenchin Chuluundolgor was born on 26 February 1998. He became visually impaired because of illness. Although he first went to ordinary school for one year, his sight started deteriorating and therefore transferred to special school for blind children where he received his full secondary education. Now he has joined Journalism at the School of Radio, Television and Media Arts of the University of Culture and Arts.
He says: “Hello I, Ochirrenchin, and my classmates are happy to have been involved in the Student Project that is being implemented this year. The project has been very beneficial for our studies and in many other ways. We are using computers and other items which we were granted through the higher education project in our studies and I am able to study alongside our peer students. We would like to express our sincere thanks to you.”
His name is Misbahul Arifin, usually called Misbah. He is now studying in the fifth semester of special education in UNS University – in Solo, Center Java. Misbah is a young blind person who had protective parents. On the first day of our pre-employment soft skill training in Surabaya, he was very quiet. If trainers asked him to talk, he just answered with very short sentences and according to the facilitator, he was a serious learner. He showed it during the group discussions, group assignments, as well as individual assignments. Uptill the second day of the training, facilitator needed to encourage him more to talk. Surprisingly, on the third day, he started asking or answering questions, or giving comments. On the last day, especially during communication session, he demonstrated maximum changes, especially in his verbal communication. On self-presentation session, again, he showed his verbal communication capacity which changed during the four day training. Considering the changes he made, the facilitator’s team finally selected Misbah as the best male trainee.
“I was very delightful when I was selected to participate in this training. I never thought before that there was such training for blind persons. It’s surprising to me very much that I am selected as the best male trainee. But I realize that I still need to learn a lot about soft skills. This is only a beginning for me. I really want to be a teacher for blind students, therefore I would develop my communication skill furthermore”, Misbah stated this when he accepted the award during the closing session on the training.
Ma. Bless Adriano
Independence and Technology
One of the most common problems experienced by individuals like me who were sighted before is how we will adapt to a new system of writing or reading. We not only have to train our remaining senses with the orientation and mobility, but also learn how to use the slate and stylus. But even if you are able to read and write with the braille system, it was difficult to cope and go along in a classroom filled with sighted classmates and teachers. But of course, our disability should not be a reason to be understood and excused. As much as possible, we must prove that our visual limitation is not a hindrance to learn or even to become top of the class. Thank God that we are already in the world of technology and gadgets like laptops or recorders give us the ability to create our own outputs, take down the necessary notes, and review our lessons thus getting high scores in examinations and even create our own PowerPoint presentation during class reporting. But another problem is that not all of us can afford to purchase such kinds of assistive technology which was supposed to aid our limitations. That’s why we felt so blessed when we knew that all of these expensive gadgets were within our reach through the help of the Resources for the Blind and ICEVI. All we have to do is to maximize the functions of these gadgets and do the best that we can. I pray and hope that God will continuously bless these organizations so that they will be able to extend their hands more to students like me in reaching our dreams through education.