The Primary and Secondary School Milan Petrović in Novi Sad, Serbia, is one of the probably best-equipped and best organised schools for students with physical and mental disabilities in Serbia. The children here can rely on the comfort of the latest technologies and highest standards, which certainly helps them receive excellent education, as well as an opportunity to live independently and with dignity. The school was a partner of the Serbian Get Online Week 2014 campaign, organising activities aimed at promotion of IT and the importance of easier and more successful inclusion into community and employment.
It is a well-known fact that ICT has greatly helped disabled people by making them to take careers in web design, photography, free-lance writing, ceramics, trade crafts etc. This school has been actively engaged in preparing children for these and various other jobs made available for the disabled through ICT. They use either standard or hardware that is modified to the specific needs of the disabled person. Pupils here are assisted in acquiring various e-skills and then they get an opportunity to be engaged in the school's Occupational centre performing different services requiring IT knowledge. Two pupils of this school shared their thoughts about ICT they use every day:
"My name is Marina. Two years ago I have completed the secondary school here, at the department for Digital printing operator. Now I work in the Occupational Centre. At the beginning it was a bit strange but now I've got used to this working environment. This year we started working with Photoshop. We create a catalogue of products made in the Occupational Centre. I use a specialised keyboard for persons with disabilities. However, I prefer working on text processing so I hope that there would be more tasks requiring this in thr future. ICT has helped me in many ways, for example, to communicate, to navigate from one place to another and also to gain employment opportunities. Knowledge of IT and using it for productive activities helped me build my self-esteem.”
„My name is Nikola. I have completed the secondary school “Milan Petrović”, department for Digital printing operator. I have always been interested in computers. In addition to formal education, I independently research, learn, improve my e-skills. Internet is unavoidable, necessary for my full pleasure of working on a computer: I search and collect new raw material available online, and then I use Photoshop and some specific applications to further process it, design, experiment and create my own segments of digital world. Also, I use the Internet as an endless source of information that I need for constant improvement. Social networks allow my frequent contact with people I don't get to see often, but thanks to Facebook and Twitter we stay in touch and we are updated about various events in each other's lives. I currently spend time in the Occupational Centre in the ICT classroom. I participate in different projects: design of catalogues, creating ICT training for basic e-skills, for Photoshop and Word, which are intended for my friends who also come to the Occupational Centre and have no e-skills, or haven't had contact with computers before.“
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