Visit and training by American expert
“First Step Georgia”, with the support of the US Embassy in Georgia, invited Grace Ambrose-Zacken, an expert in orientation and mobility, who conducted several-day training of teachers, occupational therapists and other specialists working with persons with disabilities and vision problems.
The training included two important topics: 1) how to make a functional evaluation of low vision; 2) orientation and mobility. Ms. Ambrose-Zacken also introduced to the participants of the training the white cane and other tools, which help blind and visually impaired people in mobility and adaptation.
“First Step Georgia”, as an organization which provides services to children and youth with disabilities, plans to advocate problems of blind and visually impaired people and include persons with this type of disability in its programs in future.
During her visit to Georgia, Ms. Ambrose-Zacken also held meetings at the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. We hope that Ms. Abrose-Zacken will stay involved and further consult the Georgian government on various issues related to blind and visually impaired people.
Promoting inclusive education for preschool
First Step Georgia with the support of Open Society Georgian Foundation implements a pilot project which aims to promote inclusive education for preschool in Georgia. 6 public kinder gardens from Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi are involved in the project aiming to ensure promoting of integration of the children with special needs and increase their engagement in public kindergartens where they will be able to participate in pre-school educational process together with the children with typical development.
Within the above mentioned project, the professor of Kentuki University and Expert of Inclusive Education Jennifer Grisham-Brown conducted trainings for the specialists of Early Intervention program who are involved in this project.
Based on the research analysis of needs and conditions of public kindergartens in Georgia provided by us, Jennifer Grisham-Brown developed a training course for trainers that included the following issues: to arrange the necessary environment in the kindergarten for the children with special and typical needs and develop a special type of educational program to promote childrens development and social integration. Training course was based on modern methodology, approaches and tendencies of promotion of inclusive education for preschool. After the training the EI specialists of First Step Georgia will be able to re-train and impart acquired knowledge to teachers who are involved in the pilot project to better learning process and maximally promote childrens development by innovative methods.