Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

Disability inclusion is central to the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future. Furthermore, those with disabilities are often the ones most able to make lasting and meaningful contributions to society.

The Government of Uzbekistan has prioritized ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities and providing them with opportunities for education and work. The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan at a plenary session on 28 May 2021 approved the law on the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The adoption of the convention provides unification of the national system of social protection of persons with disabilities based on advanced international standards, as well as strengthening of the social and legal approach to persons with disabilities in society.

Representatives of the UNDP in Uzbekistan, Ministry of Mahalla and Family Support of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Embassy of the Government of Japan, Tashkent State University of Information Technologies and STEM Center staff and graduates participate in the awarding ceremony.  Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

Tashkent State University of Information Technologies hosted a certificate awarding ceremony on 29 June 2021 for the graduates of the STEM Center for people with disabilities.  The initiative is part of a UNDP joint project with the Ministry of Mahalla and Family Support of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and was organized with the  generous support of the Embassy of Japan in Uzbekistan.

In total 54 students with disabilities, 26 of whom are women and girls, completed the two-month IT courses and were awarded with Certificates of STEM Center. High school graduates, students of Tashkent State University and unemployed youth were among the courses attendees. These courses were conducted on the premises of ICT Academy of the Tashkent State University of Information Technologies with the involvement of four trainers and four sign-language translators.

UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Mahalla and Family Support an the NGO "Mehr kuzda" established the STEM Center for people with disabilities. Ten laptops and one Wi-Fi router were provided in order to organize the classes.

Experts developed special training programmes for the course participants. disabilities. The main topics were dedicated to basic computer knowledge, use of online public services (how to apply for a job, how to buy medicines online, how to apply to receive a new passport, and how to use online notary services).  Course participants also received training in using Zoom, Skype platforms, and different emails platforms. The STEM Center plans to continue the course starting from September 2021.

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