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CYBERCAFÉS AS A TOOL FOR INCLUSION. Presentation by Mr Christophe OULÉ, trainer in accessible IT tools U . N. – A . B. P. A. M. National Union of Burkinabé Associations for the Promotion of the Blind and Sight-impaired

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cybercaf s as a tool for inclusion

CYBERCAFÉS AS A TOOLFOR INCLUSION

Presentation by Mr Christophe OULÉ, trainer in accessible IT tools

U . N. – A . B. P. A. M.

National Union of Burkinabé Associations for the Promotion

of the Blind and Sight-impaired

_________________________________

Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO

ITU Workshop on Accessibility, Nairobi, Kenya,

27 – 30 September 2011

sight impaired persons must get access to icts
Sight-impaired persons must get access to ICTs
  • After completing their training, trainees do not have access to accessible equipment, which is extremely expensive.
  • Cybercafés – even if they are going out of fashion – are still the best means of accessing the Internet for the majority of people in our countries.
  • Poverty, lack of or unreliable power supply and uneven geographical distribution of infrastructures prevent the connection of households to the Internet.
  • The accessible cybercafé for sight-impaired persons, whose establishment we announced at the ITU workshop on accessibility in Mali in 2009, came into being in July 2010.
  • It is the fruit of an agreement between the Burkinabé Government and ITU, which financed the equipment.
  • The environment offered in our centre enables our young people to familiarize themselves with the tools and language of IT, and to be «cool».
  • The revenues generated from the paying public, even though they are inadequate, contribute to defraying operating costs.
why did we choose a cybercaf
Why did we choose a cybercafé?

More and more students with sight disabilities are going to university or seeking to undertake vocational training.How can we guide young students to take up the disciplines of their choice when the teaching materials are not available in Braille?Realizing that IT is an opportunity for the effective insertion of persons with sight disabilities, we began providing accessible IT training in 2007.We thus give our students the chance to use IT tools to improve their results. They thereby have access to many more documents.For those seeking employment, IT skills are a big asset. An accessible workstation removes any problems of written communication between a blind staff member and his/her sighted colleagues.

cybercaf equipment
Cybercafé equipment
  • 4 accessible computers (2 for the blind and 2 for the partially sighted) and 2 regular computers (for sighted persons)
  • 1 server computer
  • 2 Braille touchpads and 2 scanners
  • 1 colour printer and 1 Braille printer. Accessible software: screen reader, screen magnifier, Braille transcription, character recognition. 3 computers of which 2 are adapted in order to increase the intake capacity of our training unit.
  • The Ministry for Posts and Information and Communication Technologies (MPICT) ensures the provision of a permanent high-speed Internet connection.
  • With this equipment, the cybercafé is open to sighted, blind and sight-impaired persons. Everyone works in the same environment.
  • If this is possible in a cybercafé, why would it not be so in an administrative office or a private company?
impact of the cybercaf and management challenges
Impact of the cybercafé and management challenges
  • The inauguration of our cybercafé offered the opportunity to bring together four ministers and their aides and show them the committed action we are taking to ensure our socio-economic insertion.
  • The many outsiders who come into the cybercafé leave with the conviction that the sight-impaired are quite capable of using IT tools.
  • During the academic year, our students use the room to carry out research for group presentations.
  • Many of our young people have opened messaging accounts, which they unfortunately use without any confidentiality, since they have not yet been trained.
  • We recall the promises given by the ITU representative at the inauguration of the cybercafé in respect of our needs in terms of training and capacity building.
  • Similarly, we are expecting our MPITC to act with a subsidy for our training unit and the cybercafé.
  • The project needs to be replicated at Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso’s second city.
  • The cybercafé is an opportunity for the blind and sight-impaired in Ouagadougou to extricate themselves from the ditch and make their way at least onto the verges of the information highway!