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Some 125,000 children with disabilities live in Uzbekistan.
Computer-based training program for rehabilitation the people with eyesight disabilities.

According to the UNICEF in Uzbekistan the number of children registered as disabled increased from 70,000 in 1996 to 125,000 in 2005. They are cut off from their families and community from an early age, often segregated in large facilities and special schools. In Uzbekistan almost 20000 disabled children are currently in institutions for disabled.

Many of them do have one or both parents and could be with them, if more support were provided to the families and inclusive education facilities provided on a wider scale. "Across the region, children unanimously say they want to be with their families and want to get good quality education like their peers" said Reza Hossaini, Representative of UNICEF Uzbekistan Office.

The report finds that poverty and disability go hand in hand, each fuelling the other. Families with children with disabilities tend to be poorer than other families. Disability continues to be poorly diagnosed and often goes untreated, thereby leading to lasting disadvantage. Lacking proper support from the State and with limited access to quality basic social services for treatment and care of their children, parents see institutionalization as the only viable alternative. The reality is that many parents feel that they have no choice but to give up their children. What these families need is strong social and economic support.

The UNICEF report acknowledges that the region has made some progress on protecting the rights of children with disabilities. There are signs that attitudes towards disability are changing - most countries now have legislation to address the reality of these children and more children are being integrated into society. Indeed, Uzbekistan is the first CIS country that adopted a law on social protection of people with disabilities, as well as a state program on the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Work is also underway in the country in terms of inclusive education and promotion of the right of children to live in a family environment.

There remains a lot more work to be done. The event called for action from all concerned parties in Uzbekistan, to make a positive difference in the lives of children with disabilities and their families and make their voices heard. Only by working together will our abilities have no limits, UNICEF said in its release.

Meanwhile, since 2005 Parus conducts the computer-based training program for rehabilitation the people with eyesight disabilities. This private charitable program is approved by the Institute for the blind of Uzbekistan that provides the program with the students.

The program is based on the use of the most popular screen reader JAWS for Windows, which works with PC to provide access to today?s software applications and the Internet. With its internal software speech synthesizer and the computer?s sound card, information from the screen is read aloud, providing technology to access a wide variety of information, education and job related applications. JAWS also outputs to refreshable Braille displays, and Braille printers.

Unfortunately at present time it is it is impossible for us to provide the program with Braille displays and printers. Subject to other sponsors assistance, this program would serve much more people including children with eyesight disabilities.

Dmitriy A. Pitirimov The programm coordinator.
Learn more. Support this program.

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