The UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, in cooperation with the Raad Charity Complex, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, the University of Applied Science and Technology and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology organized a two-day capacity building workshop on the “Innovative Use of ICTs for Persons with Disabilities with a focus on Open Educational Resources (OER)” in Tehran on 24-25 October 2018.
The two-day workshop took place in Ra’ad Charity Complex and brought together 40 participants from different governmental organizations including Ministry of Education, Special Education Organization, State welfare Organization and NGOs working in the field of persons with disabilities.
The meeting was opened by Mr Ahmad Mirzakhani, Chair of the managing board and the member of the Board of Trustees of Ra’ad Charity, Dr Maryam Soltanzadeh, Officer in Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, Dr Farhad Etemadi, Head of Communication and Information Department of Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Shahriar Farahmand, Head of the provisional branch (West), the University of Applied Science and Technology and Mr Mahmoudi, Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The importance of ensuring accessible lifelong learning opportunities for persons with disabilities was highlighted in the opening interventions.
The objective of the workshop was to familiarize participants with the concept of open educational resources (OER) and the potential benefits of OER supporting ICT in education with a focus on accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The workshop was facilitated by Ms Zeynep Varoglu, Programme Specialist for ICT in Education, UNESCO Communication and Information Sector in Paris, Ms Naeema Zarif, Consultant and expert in the field of OER and Prof. Dr. Alireza Darvishy, Head of ICT Accessibility Lab, Zurich University for applied sciences.
During the workshop, issues such as UNESCO’s mandate in the area of OER and its working definition, digital accessibility, open licensing, accessibility issues related to ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities, UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT) and the ICT CFT Harnessing OER project were extensively discussed. On the second day participants engaged in interactive working sessions on OER. The meeting concluded by identifying two recommendation; OER development in institutions with a focus on accessibility, and training of instructors / teachers in the use of OER in support of ICT for Education.