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IDPP Presents at 1st National Conference for Blind Students in Vietnam

Presenters at First National Conference for Blind Students in Vietnam (photo)IDPP Regional Coordinator Mr. Muhammad Joni Yulianto presented at the first national conference for students who are blind in Vietnam on 7 December 2012. The event, which took place in Ho Chi Minh City, was organized by Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind in collaboration with the Vietnam National Blind Association and MATA Center for the Blind. IDPP Assistive Technologies Consultant Mr. Phuc Dang Hoai is director of the Sao Mai Computer Center for the blind.

In his presentation, Mr. Yulianto gave an overview of the IDPP and introduced the Master's in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program, which is currently accepting applications and offering fellowship opportunities. He emphasized the collaboration between IDPP and its partners, including ICEVI, in the development of IDPP's Inclusive Higher Education Principles Project. In addition, as a role model for blind students studying in an inclusive higher education setting, Mr. Yulianto shared his personal experiences of achieving success in his higher education studies.

Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind is the Vietnam country partner of ICEVI's Higher Education Initiative. ICEVI - the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment - is an outreach partner of the IDPP. Supported by The Nippon Foundation, ICEVI's Higher Education Initiative in Vietnam has been able to facilitate better access to universities for hundreds of visually impaired students through the production of accessible materials and assistive devices.

The objective of the conference was to identify the barriers encountered by students who are blind in Vietnam to higher education, and to formulate a set of recommended actions to remove these barriers. In addition, the event hosted the official launch of a national network of blind student groups in Vietnam. According to Mr. Phuc, this network has the potential to become a strong advocacy group for students who are blind in Vietnam to raise their voices of the need for increased access to the higher education community.

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