The 6th Barrier Free Information Days was held….The Importance of Activities carried out for Accessible Information Services was emphasized

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Added On: 25 December 2018, Tuesday, 09:29
Last Edited On: 25 December 2018, Tuesday, 09:29

The 6th Barrier Free Information Days was held….The Importance of Activities carried out for Accessible Information Services was emphasized

Near East University played host to the Barrier Free Information Days, one of the most significant events in TRNC that focused on raising awareness on barrier free life. The event provided platform to discuss the importance of accessible information in removing the barriers that limit the persons with disabilities in the society and ensuring an accessible and inclusive society for all.

Organized by the Societal Research and Development Center that affiliated with the Center of Excellence, and Near East Institute in collaboration with the TRNC Prime Ministry Coordination Committee for Persons with Disabilities, the 6th Barrier Free Information Days was realized at the Near East University Grand Library. The event was participated by the Barrier-Free Information Platform of the Republic of Turkey, Günay Kibrit, President of TRNC Prime Ministry Coordination Committee for Persons with Disabilities, respective experts, associations, NGOs, representatives of public institutions and organizations, a large number of academics and students.

The Directorate of Press and Public Relations Office of Near East University released that the Chairman of NEU Board of Trustees, Associate Professor İrfan S. Günsel, and NEU vice Rector Professor Tamer Şanlıdağ also attended the event. The event provided a scientific platform to point out not only the importance of activities carried out in collaboration to raise awareness and ensure an accessible and inclusive society for the persons with disabilities but also the significant role of accessible information in this process.

The event began with a moment of silence and followed by singing the National Anthem to which the students of NEU Atatürk Faculty of Education accompanied with sign language. Then, the Co-Chairperson of the Societal Research and Development Center, Professor Zehra Altınay, the Chairperson of Center of Excellence, Professor Nedime Serakıncı, and the Chairman of TRNC Coordination Committee for Persons with Disabilities, Günay Kibrit delivered a speech respectively.

The 6th Barrier Free Information Days was held….The Importance of Activities carried out for Accessible Information Services was emphasized

Emphasis was attached on the Importance of the Awareness for Accessible Information and Social Transformation…
Underlining their commitment to exerting great effort for removing social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude the persons with disabilities from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society, accessing to basic resources, such as education, information technologies and other services, NEU Societal Research and Development Center Co-Chairperson Professor Zehra Altınay stated that they attached great importance on conducting project-oriented scientific studies aiming at raising awareness and ensuring collaboration for an accessible and inclusive life for all.

Prof. Dr. Zehra Altınay also said that they worked devotedly in the line with the university’s innovative research and development mission and generated scientific projects oriented to raising awareness for accessible information and providing contribution to social transformation. Expressing that they had been moving forward confidentially in collaboration with many institutions and organizations devoted to accessible and inclusive society, Professor Altınay underlined that their efforts towards being a model in adding value to the society in terms of awareness and scientific studies would be continuing as an act not in discourse.

An Accessible and Inclusive Society should be ensured without otherizing the persons with disabilities…
Underlining that they had been carrying out activities and generating scientific projects within the scope of Barrier Free Information Days, which has been organized annually by Near East University since 2013, Professor Serakıncı stated that they had provided not only various employment opportunities for persons with disabilities but also significant contributions to their lifelong learning skills through seminars and congresses.

Highlighting the importance of an accessible and inclusive society in embracing all people regardless their physical limitations, disabilities and enabling them to benefit equally from all educational, social and employment opportunities as well as information technologies, Professor Serakıncı stated that a desired level couldn’t have been achieved yet despite the steps taken towards the goal. Indicating that children might be born with disabilities despite all the best efforts at prevention, Professor Serakıncı points out that the rate of persons with disabilities from birth in a society corresponds to 2-3% population of that society. She underlines that the rate of acquired disabilities due to other reasons such as accidents corresponds to 6% of the society. Professor Serakıncı highlights that we can’t see persons with disadvantages in our streets at that rate due to obstacles which have not been removed so far because of our impossibilities.

Underlining that they had been carrying out activities including projects, workshops, seminars and congresses for raising awareness and ensuring accessible education, accessible tourism, accessible information and an inclusive life for the persons with disabilities since 2013, The Head of NEU Center of Excellence, Professor Nedime Serakıncı stated that they had achieved well-established collaborations with NGOs and state organs. Underlining NEU’s devotion to removing all barriers in all areas of our lives by using education in an effective and systematic manner, Professor Nedime Serakıncı indicated that Near East University had realized many activities regarding basic issues such as accessible campus, education, tourism, health, urban and inclusive society adding that they had shared the outcomes of these activities with the relevant authorities. Indicating that they provided contribution for ensuring an accessible and inclusive society without otherizing the persons with disabilities, Professor Serakıncı stated that Near East University had brought the Audio-library, Activity Center and Accessible Cinema into service as an indicator of her devotion to embrace persons with disabilities.

The 6th Barrier Free Information Days was held….The Importance of Activities carried out for Accessible Information Services was emphasized

Steps should be taken to create an Accessible and Inclusive Society…
Highlighting the importance of collaboration in ensuring a barrier free life, TRNC Prime Ministry Coordination Committee Chairman, Günay Kibrit stated that the Coordination Committee, which was established to struggle for the disabled, could be effective in maintaining the collaborations and bringing the actions into life quickly. He underlined that the policies devoloped at the state level could be applied within this context. Mr. Kibrit noted that the issue was addressed and discussed delicately at the meetings held with state and governmental authorities adding that concrete steps had been taken towards creating an accessible and inclusive society. In his final remarks, he extended his appreciations to everyone who provided contribution.

Students with special education need performed a dance and choir show…
Following the opening speeches, Nicosia Education Center and Business Education Center Choir took the stage. The songs that sang in sign language by the students with disabilities received great applause from the attending body. Then, the dance team of Gazimağusa Special Education Center took the stage. The dance show performed by the students with special needs received great admiration and applause. Then, the students presented the handicrafts that they created with their hand labor to NEU Board of Trustees Chairman Associate Professor İrfan Günsel. The event was also interpreted simultaneously in sign language to persons with hearing disability.

Successful Studies carried out in the field of information technologies and services for the persons with disabilities were addressed…
Following the choir songs and dance show, the Head of Turkish Barrier Free Life Academy, Adem Kuyumcu delivered a speech on barrier free activities, accessibility, the rights of the persons with disabilities and proper communication.

Mr. Kuyumcu addressed the significance of activities carried out by various sectors and associations for the persons with disabilities in Turkey and shared information regarding successful works carried out in the field of information technologies and services for the disabled.

Within the scope of the 6th Barrier Free Information Days, a panel was held on TRNC barrier free activities and information science. Throughout the panel that curated by Prof. Dr. Fahriye Altınay, the projects and proposals of the associations and the scientific studies and perspectives of the academics were discussed. Bahire Çoşkuner Doğru, Melek Çaluda, Mutlu Soykurt, Sibel Dinçyürek and Mukaddes Demirok Sakallı were attended the panel as panelists.

Works to build up a barrier free future will continue…
Coordinator Mustafa Özhan Kalaç, who carries out the secretariat of TR Barrier Free Information Platform, sent a message to the event, to which he wasn’t able to attend due to his discomfort. In his message, Mustafa Özhan Kalaç wished success for to the 6th Barrier Free Information Days; which had been organized annually with the collaboration of Near East University since 2003 to create an accessible and inclusive society where the persons with disabilities can engage in social and economic life and benefit from educational and other opportunities equally. Mr. Kalaç underlined their commitment to working together and providing contribution to build up a barrier free future for all.

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