The Resource Centre ‘Barrier-Free Ukraine’ of the NGO National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine developed and installed the most modern universal mimic boards at special general education boarding school No. 5 named after Y.P. Batyuk. The most modern universal mnemonic signs, designed specifically for this educational institution, were installed at the Y.P. Batyuk special boarding school No. 5 in Kiev.
Mnemonic schemes are a means of orientation and navigation for the visually impaired, one of the types of tactile accessibility elements (TEA). In accordance with a number of regulations of Ukraine, first of all, GSN B.2.2-40:2018 “Inclusiveness of Buildings and Structures” (DBN B.2.2-40:2018 “Inclusiveness of Buildings and Structures”), mimics must be installed in public facilities, educational, rehabilitation institutions, transport infrastructure facilities, etc.
Kiev special secondary boarding school for children with visual impairments for the first time installed mnemonic schemes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. Specialists in the field of visual impairment and professional designers worked together on this development; the mnemonic schemes have undergone the necessary approbation and are accessible to all users – children and adults with visual impairments.
Ruslan Rubel, technical director of the POG RCBU, comments on the installation of mnemonic schemes in the school:
“When there are no specially designed clear signposts, blind people orient themselves by the landmarks they have. It may be a ledge, a hole or a bright smell. Recently, there have been signs or diagrams to facilitate orientation indoors or in the street. Of course, it is much easier and easier to navigate using mnemonic schemes than by smell, for example, and this evokes very strong positive emotions. Here we worked for the sake of the children, investing our efforts and knowledge in their future development. And it is inspiring to keep working.
Provided that they are of good quality and meet all accessibility, usability and safety standards, mimics installed in schools for children with profound visual impairments should fulfil a number of tasks and functions: teaching, developmental, safe and free navigation in the building. The use of mimics will enable pupils to correctly represent the overall layout of the school, and this in turn greatly facilitates orientation skills and creates psychological comfort and confidence. It is extremely important, because for the spatial orientation of visually impaired people – blind and visually impaired people – the most important thing is not the technical means, but their own attention, memory and formed system of spatial perception of the world around them.
The development, production and installation of mnemonic schemes in the premises of boarding school No. 5 named after Y.P. Batyuk. The development, production and installation of mnemonic schemes for the boarding school №5 named after Y.P. Batyuk were planned a long time ago. All this was made possible with the financial participation of SmartiwayUA company (director – Valery Muratov). The management and staff of this company not by words but by real deeds show how the leading values – social responsibility and inclusiveness, and not only financially, can be implemented. The Resource Centre “Barrier-free Ukraine” would like to sincerely thank our partners from SmartiwayUA for their good work and effective care for the pupils and teachers at the boarding school.
Our specialists have been working with the Y.P. Batyuk special general education boarding school No. 5 for a number of years. Y.P. Batyuk. At the end of 2018, the Resource Centre “Barrier-free Ukraine” developed universal information signs with a tactile component (in Braille) for the school’s classrooms, made with enlarged flat print on a contrasting background. This makes it possible for everyone to read and navigate around the room on their own.
There is an explanation for our cooperation with the school and the special attention it receives. Visually impaired children attend the school, and the solutions designed for them have been implemented by our specialists. That is why we systematically and consistently implement in this school the most modern approaches to the organization of accessible space, according to all criteria of Ukrainian regulations.
By creating and implementing accessible space in a special school, we not only address the issues of safety and comfort, provide teachers and students with accessible relief and tactile visuals for orientation lessons, but also teach children to use this accessibility from childhood.
Thus, as a result of systematic work over many years, Kyiv special general education boarding school No. 5 named after Y.P. Batyuk. As a result of systematic work over many years, the Y.P. Batyuk Special Boarding School No. 5 in Kiev has become one of the first schools in Ukraine to install the most modern, high-quality and beautiful universal mnemonic boards, and the school pupils have already come to appreciate their usefulness and convenience.