Ensuring "physical" access to culture
Key objectives of the measure:
The list of educational institutions (Yerevan State Technical College No 10 and Gyumri State Technical College No 1) in need of replenishment of amenities required for persons with limited capabilities, has been drawn up and submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Armenia. Adjustments (ladders, ramps, handrails, elevators) have been made. The works have been carried out by the Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Armenia. The guideline for “Adjustments at educational institutions for students with limited capabilities” has been developed and was approved during the session of the National Council for Vocational Education and Training held on 23 December 2014. The guideline presents instructions on how to make an educational institution more accessible and comfortable for persons with limited mobility, difficulty with mobility and persons with disabilities. At the same time, the programme for adjustments at educational institutions for the needs of persons with limited mobility, difficulties with mobility and persons with disabilities for 2015-2020 has been drawn up, including music, art and artistic educational institutions as well. Thus, for example, adjustments have already been made in the 5th-9th buildings of the State Engineering University of Armenia; a software programme turning books into audio books for visually impaired visitors and visitors with vision problems is downloaded on one of the computers in the reading hall of the Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan. The faculty for special education provides a sign language interpreter for hearing impaired students during oral exams. The First floors of the buildings of Yerevan State University of Languages and Social Sciences after V. Brusov are adjusted for students with mobility issues; for that reason, the classes for students with mobility issues are held on the first floor. In the nearest future, the University is planning to obtain special devices for disabled students with vision and hearing problems. It is planned to make a transition from general education to universal inclusive education by 2025. For that purpose, an Action Plan for Introduction of the System of Universal Inclusive Education has been developed, according to which the conditions within the buildings and the conditions for education at all general education schools in Armenia will gradually be adjusted for children in need of special education as well. For the purpose of ensuring accessibility of library services for persons with limited mobility, difficulties with mobility and persons with disabilities, the Family Librarian Programme has been implemented, within the framework of which 27 419 books have been provided through the libraries of the Lori and Shirak Marzes between 2013 and 2015. Every year, the “Mobile Library” (Bibliobus) visits the marzes (regions) of Armenia, and nearly 10 000 books have been transferred to community libraries; a number of community libraries have been provided with books published by state order. The “Sun” software programme was introduced in 2008 and has been applied at the National Library of Armenia, National Children’s Library after Khnko-Aper and ten regional libraries of Armenia ever since. The programme was developed at Yerevan Computer Research and Development Institute and is designed for people with poor eyesight. “Sun” is a special self-learning computer programme that allows visually impaired persons and persons with poor eyesight to “read” by listening. Disabled elders and pensioners are also beneficiaries of the programme. The reading halls of the above-mentioned libraries are provided with Braille script and audio books. In the reporting period, the mentioned programme has served nearly 200 readers (mainly elders) a year. Between 2013 and 2015, the branches of the “Special Creative Centre for Children” SNCO in Yerevan, Vanadzor, Gyumri, Spitak, Stepanavan and Gavar have held extracurricular aesthetic and handicraft educational programmes for 614 disabled children, children with special needs and socially disabled children at special boarding schools and orphanages. In 2013, the First Integrative Republican Festival of Youth Art was held in the city of Gyumri city of Shirak Marz with the purpose of identifying the artistic potential of children with disabilities, as well as of socially disabled children and those deprived of parental care and helping these children become fully integrated into the modern world. There were 427 participants from 22 institutions. In 2014, within the framework of HIGH FEST International Performing Arts Festival, the “Do not leave me” dance performance was performed by the first professional inclusive dance group. The group was established within the framework of the “Dance without borders” project of the British Council and operates under the Small Theatre of the National Centre of Aesthetics. The project was launched in 2013 when four Armenian dance instructors took part in the training courses conducted by Candoco Dance Company of the United Kingdom. Later, the Candoco Dance Company selected members of the first professional inclusive dance group after the five courses conducted in Armenia. Out of the eight dancers included in the performance, four dancers are actors with disabilities, and the other four are professional dancers. The First Integrative Republican Festival of Youth Art was held in Gyumri with the participation of 427 participants from 22 institutions in 2013. A scientific-practical conference was held within the framework of the festival, and over 70 field experts took part in the conference. In the same year, the first Navasard Games were held in the republic for the first time. There were 310 participants nominated in 12 categories.
Area(s) of Monitoring