Training trainers to enhance information literacy for persons with disabilities
The information literacy competency of a group of Indian special educators and library professionals working in special institutions for the disabled has recently been considerably increased thanks to a Workshop that was organized at Madras School of Social Work (MSSW).
The 5-day Workshop, that was held from 6 to 10 November 2006, was organized by MSSW, together with the Society for the Advancement of Library and Information Science (SALIS) and in collaboration with UNESCO.
It was designed to:
- raise awareness about information literacy, its needs and uses;
- facilitate the provision of better information services for the disabled by information professionals and special educators;
- provide an overview of the Indian Right to Information Act and freedom of information;
- develop information literacy programmes for the disabled;
- develop competency standards in information literacy.
The workshop was spread over 10 technical sessions and supplemented by practical sessions, live demonstration sessions, and field visits to ensure a holistic learning. This workshop was conducted with a mix of lectures, discussions, exchanges, case-studies and hands-on training. There were two field visits. The first one was at the National Institute of Visually Handicapped, Channai, where the delegates were oriented about various training courses like typewriting, computer, electronics, etc. conducted for the visually challenged students. The second field visit was at the Central Library of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), where participants were taken to various sections of the library, and observed various technologies used, services offered, programmes organised at IITM library.
The workshop was conducted by experts from information services as well as special education fields. A total of 30 participants from different states of India had taken active participation in this event.
As a direct outcome of this Workshop, SALIS will develop an e-Learning solution on 'Information Literacy Competency Development for Special Educators and Library Professionals' for the wide dissemination of knowledge across the world. This online e-learning portal will be developed using Moodle learning management system. The modules of this e-learning portal will be similar to the workshop content.