I am so proud and excited to share news about the first textbook in audio/visual format that has been produced in Montenegro. A proud moment for UNICEF and a great leap for children with disabilities worldwide.
The initiative started in 2013 following a massive awareness raising campaign on inclusion of children with disabilities “It’s about ability”. One of the major successes of the campaign is the increase from 20% to 65% of citizens who find acceptable that a child with a disability goes to the same class with their children. In parallel, there has been a five fold increase in the number of children with disabilities with educational programs tailored to their needs enrolling mainstream schools from 2009 to 2013.
With the aim to further support inclusiveness and improve quality of learning, UNICEF and the Ministry of education of Montenegro decided to take a pioneer step and start adapting textbooks for children with visual impairments, but also with other types of disabilities, into audio format. A broad coalition of dedicated partners: Resource center for Children with Visual and Physical Impairments, Textbook Publishing Agency and the Advisory Board consisting of representatives of all partner institutions, together with textbook authors, started adaptation of six textbooks for primary school. Technical equipment and training in Daisy Format were provided by UNICEF for the Resource Center staff. UNICEF made a partnership with Drama Academy whose teachers and students volunteered and gave voices to the textbook. Therefore our biggest THANKS goes to the young people – drama academy students who contributed to this historical change in teaching practices for their peers with disabilities, as well as to their teachers and fellow actors, for their outstanding example of commitment and effort in ensuring the rights of all children to quality education.