A year ago, on 13 November 2012, the World Sight Day*, Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine together with Lviv Polytechnic National University launched a project to support the Resource Centre of Educational Information Technology for People with Special Needs. Together with our partner Lviv Polytechnic, we bought blind aid equipment (Braille printers, consumables, specialised software) costing more than UAH 600,000. During the year, with the help of the specialised equipment, the Centre continued printing special ABC books adapted for the needs of visually impaired children (the publishing house A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA), and started to produce new educational materials: an ABC book with embossed illustrations, tactile letters and numbers, embossed materials, etc.
Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine continues to support projects to help visually impaired people
In May 2013, the Resource Centre designed a new initiative: adaptation of cartoon films for low vision children. The pilot project was named ‘A Cartoon for the Blind’. The project was implemented due to joint efforts of Andrii Demchuk, a postgraduate student of National Lviv Polytechnic University, Oleksandra Bonkovska, a leading actress of Zankovetska National Ukrainian Drama Theatre, and Oksana Potymko, the head of the Resource Centre. After two-month work, they produced the first cartoon film in Ukraine adapted for the needs of visually impaired children (‘Soniachnyi korovai’).
Following the success of the first cartoon film for visually impaired children produced in Ukraine and the response of low vision students of Lviv special school for visually impaired children No. 100, who took part in the cartoon testing, Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation has decided to continue allocate funds for this initiative of the Resource Centre. In 2014, 24 cartoon films adapted for low vision audience will be produced with the financial assistance of the Foundation.
"As part of our Targeted Assistance program, we support people with special needs, including people with visual disabilities," says Victoria Mykolayuk, programs manager of Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine. "We arrange required treatment and support social initiatives. As Ukraine has virtually no educational materials for visually impaired students, next year, Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation will support the production of audio recording of lectures in 35 subjects, which visually impaired students of Ukrainian medical schools (in the cities of Lviv, Kyiv, Henichesk, Kharkiv, Chernivtsi) require during their three-year studies."
* 13 November was chosen by the World Health Organization as the World Sight Day as 13 November of 1745 is the birthday of Valentin Haüy, a French educator and founder of schools and associations for blind people in Paris and St. Petersburg. He was the pioneer of such institutions as no schools for the blind had existed till the eighteenth century.