The project seeks to develop a simple and effective method for children with diverse disabilities to express or communicate their life priorities and human rights issues through the use of ICT and other resources. The project also aims to achieve the transferability and scalability of this method, utilizing accessible ICT, by designing education activities and resources for governments, services providers, and community members both in the target country and globally.
More about the Innovative Project Giving a voice to children with disabilities:
Heike Albrecht is studying in Munich/Germany and using a tablet and Verbavoice speeech-to-text-translation technology
On the tennis court, I know what to do. I focus on the ball, the ground underneath my feet, the movement of my hand, and the rush of the game. I always knew what I wanted – to play tennis – and so I did. There are always obstacles to face, of course: injuries and challenges, matches that can’t be won. But it’s up to me. It is my game. A lecture hall, however, is a completely different thing. I depend on other people giving me the information I need to succeed, depend on them to speak clearly and to look at me while talking. I depend on the fact that people understand what it means to be hard of hearing. When I finished secondary school, I was at a loss. Should I try attending university? Did I want to face this challenge? Would I make it? To follow lectures all day, in a big room with bad acoustics, too far away to lip-read? And how about all the loanwords and unknown expressions? How about the stories I knew about people dropping out of university, giving up their education and settling for the easier way just because they couldn’t perceive what was said and were tired of depending on the help of their fellow students? For hearing impaired people it is not just tiring but sometimes literally impossible to go to university without any assistance. Then I heard a presentation about speech-to-text reporters who type every word the professor says. I sat in a small room and listened to the idea of the VerbaVoice online platform and learned about speech-to-text reporters and sign language interpreters who work remotely. That’s when I decided to give it a try! I am now in my fifth semester at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. Using my tablet I can follow each lecture by reading the live text – and I just need to scroll back if I missed something. This mobile solution makes me feel independent: I am flexible and the interpreter is not sitting next to me, but instead is somewhere else in Germany or even at the other end of the world! I am just like any other student using a computer or mobile device, and people hardly notice. Playing tennis is still my greatest passion. But when I started university, I knew that I could follow all kinds of dreams – sports, education, and a career.
Hoang Nguyen was born with limited eysight in a poor rural area in Vietnam. Today he works as a technician in a library in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hoang Nguyen was born into a poor family in a small village in Dong Nai province, Vietnam. A family of five, both Hoang and his father have limited eyesight. Hoang`s sight continued to worsen such that by the time he went to primary school he could not see the blackboard or read normal print textbooks. The Nhat Hong Centre supported him with eye care, scholarship, and low-vision aids so that he was able to study at the local ordinary primary and lower secondary schools. At age 15 Hoang had to move to the Nhat Hong Centre in Ho Chi Minh City to get additional support so that he could attend high school. There he began to study computer technology using Zoomtext software, which magnifies the screen in order to read and write, and he used closed-captioned TV and magnifiers for reading
After high school Hoang entered the Ton Duc Thang Technical University to study Information Technology. Although he faced many difficulties, with the assistance of technology devices, friends, and support teachers he earned a Bachelor’s degree in IT, and has since worked as a technician at the General Science Library in Ho Chi Minh City. Hoang has also gotten married, and today he is living happily and independently.