Since 2010, AlManarah has operated an accessible computer center with custom computer stands, state-of-the-art Braille printers, electronic magnification devices, electronic braille keyboards, and myriad other specialized tools and programs focused on accessibility. In this center, AlManarah holds courses for the blind from different age groups. AlManarah has prepared lesson plans in three levels of courses: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Dozens of courses by trained professionals have been held here for people with disabilities. During the courses, participants were given the opportunity to learn well how to use a computer, magnification software, and screen readers for academic and workplace studies, including blind typing in three languages (Arabic, Hebrew, and English), computer activation, desktop, folder and file management, text processing through Office Word and Excel software, Internet browsing, searching for information online, and accessing social networks.
Also, with an eye for increasing access to online content, iPads have been acquired with the aim of training people with disabilities in their use, with the goal of increasing independence in many daily tasks.
A new, accessible, and even more advanced computer center is being set up in AlManarah with the support of the National Insurance Institute’s Services Development Fund. The new center will replace the association’s old computer room and will be a “multi-disability” technology center that will provide access to a wide range of disabilities – physical, neurological, sensory and mental. The center will include 12 fully equipped computer stands in all the latest and most accessible technological capabilities for people with motor disabilities, including accessible desks, special mice and keyboards, computer switch boxes, tablet devices, magnifiers, speech access, and braille monitors among other accommodations.
The following is how the courses in computer literacy will be conducted:
Finding Candidates: During this stage, the relevant candidates will be identified for participating in computer recognition courses.
Diagnosis of the Basic Knowledge of Computer Knowledge: During this stage, a test will be performed for each candidate. The assessment method will be a knowledge test via computer. The test will be developed in advance by the professional teachers who will be recruited. In addition, the exam will include a personal interview by the professional teachers for each of the candidates. Based on the test and personal interview findings, the candidates will be divided into the two different levels of knowledge to which the courses will be adapted.
Course Material Development: The course materials on computer literacy will be developed with reference to the levels of participants diagnosed. The materials will be developed by the professional teachers selected for the course.
Accessibility of the material for people with disabilities: In this phase, the course materials will be accessed according to the types of disability of the course participants. These accommodations include, but are not limited to, braille, magnification, recording, and transcription.
Quality control: Various actions will be taken to ensure the quality of learning in the course, including,
Professional supervision of the study material developed by a certified computer instructor.
Control of the level of material transfer in the classroom – Each teacher will be supervised at the beginning of their work by AlManarah staff.
Participant Feedback – Feedback questionnaires will be sent to course participants three times (initially, mid-course and end-of-course) and this feedback will be integrated into the program.
Feedback received in individual and group conversations with participants – Individual calls are held by the program coordinator once a month throughout the program, and group meetings are held once a month by the program coordinator. Furthermore, phone calls and sample calls will be made by the AlManarah project manager to receive ongoing reports from the coordinators.
Assessment of progress in the course:
During the course, progress will be assessed in two stages, mid-course and end-of-course. A test will be taken at each of these points, and the test results will be compared to ascertain participant growth.