The Idea ICC
The idea ICC is simple – and this simplicity seems to be its power: Support Centres at Linz University, Austria, and the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany offer support to blind and partially sighted students in their inclusion into mainstream studying. The usage of computers has been a prerequisite from the beginning in the late 80s. Like wheelchairs – enhancing the physical mobility of the physically disabled – the computer enhances the „literal“ mobility of the print disabled. It opens a door to the „digital universe“ to be accessed through computers adapted to their needs. Having high skills in ICT is a must for this target group, much more than for the average population. Additionally, the process of making a profound decision what and where to study, finding out how to structure and setting up a study or where to get support asks for counselling and supply with information. The high complexity of this process for blind and partially sighted people in terms of technical, pedagogical, as well as social aspects asks for an early start of preparation. To be able to get in touch with possible students at an early stage, to show up higher education as possible career path, to give counselling for studying, to introduce modern ICT as a mean for successful studying and to motivate them for international and intercultural exchange is the core idea of ICC. Of course the ICT focus changes rapidly but this core idea to accompany young students to higher education paths stays the same.
The International Camp on Communication and Computers:
- Makes visually impaired students aware of technology and their ad vantages, necessary computer skills, needed efforts to enhance their technical skills and the level of flexibility / mobility as well as their social skills.
- Supports the students in getting to a decision for their educational and vocational future and motivates them for an early and profound preparation before starting their career in higher education.
- Is an excellent opportunity to make contact with partially sighted and blind peers from other countries and to exchange interests and experience.
The Concept ICC:
- Internationality: From local minorities to an international interest group
- Motivation: Workshops from „Introducing ICT“ to “Computers & Communication”
- Self–Experience: Challenging leisure time activities
- Personal Support: Without „overprotection“
- Co–operation & Networking: With and by recognised experts
- Awareness Raising: By, with and for the designated „target group
It is clear that a single „Camp on Computers and Communication“ is not able to solve all the issues related to the inclusion of visually impaired people – in social, political, economical, ethical, pedagogical or technical dimensions – but every change and evo lution needs a starter and the necessity for such a start is obvious. ICC is proud to be motivator and enabler.Besides this, ICC bears a broad field for experts taking part to learn – hands on, from each other, to get to know concepts and methods applied in other countries. Teachers and specialists from all over Europe accompanying the groups of students and preparing workshops have a unique opportunity to learn from other colleagues, other cultures and form a very dense network concerning their professional working area.
Last but not least ICC offers a unique chance to the local organisers to make the public aware of their work and the need for inclusion. The camps always get big audience – as „sensational events“ with technical, social and international highlights in local, national and international press, radio and TV – supporting the local organizer‘s PR work.
The refreshing and creative international atmosphere away from the well known everyday (working) life, the freedom in contents and methods to concentrate on the student‘s necessities and abilities bring our goals into grasp.
Locations and Numbers
In the last 15 years, ICC brought together 1305 youth from all over the world and 1033 experts accompanying and tutoring them.
15 ICCs were hosted in 11 different countries (in alphabetical order):
- Austria (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996) Linz and Graz
- Czech Republic (2005) – Brno
- Finland (2007) – Espoo
- France (1998) – Lyon / Clermont–Ferrand
- Germany (2000, 2006) – Stuttgart and Königs–Wusterhausen
- Hungary (2004) – Budapest
- Slovenia (2001) – Skofja Loka
- Sweden (1999) – Stockholm
- Switzerland (2003) – Zollikofen
- The Netherlands (1997) – Zeist
- United Kingdom (2002) – Loughborough
ICC 2009 returns to Austria: BBI (Federal Education Institute for the Blind) Vienna 2 Weeks – 2 Different Foci For our two different age groups, we provide activities and workshops with different focus (beneath specific ICT and AT) and subject areas:
For the younger group from 15 – 17 years:
- Daily life skills and independent living
- Communication and Networking
- Integration–paths towards higher education For the older group from 17 – 20 years:
- Integration into higher education
- Job application, assessment
- Labour market integration and
- Going / studying