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Baku, 5 April 2021 – Azerbaijan's first Inclusive Art School has been successfully relocated to the newly opened Baku DOST Center No. 4.
The Inclusive Art School was founded as part of the project "Addressing the rights and well-being of women with disabilities and veterans of the Karabakh conflict" initiated by the First Vice President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva. This project, which is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), aims to support the government's efforts to ensure the rights and well-being of vulnerable people.
The Inclusive Art School offers free of charge lessons to students with disabilities over the age of 16 and charges a symbolic fee for students without disabilities for classes in painting, weaving and wood carving. The school has been furnished and equipped based on the principle of universal design, making it accessible for all.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the school switched to online education and provided students with the necessary equipment and tools for online learning. To date, 10 live and 71 online lessons have been organized for 22 students.
Last year, on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an exhibition of handicrafts was organized, presenting an opportunity for the school’s students to earn money from handicrafts. Handicrafts and drawings made by the students can be viewed on the Virtual Laboratory for Skills Development and Training (V-Lab) www.vlaboratoriya.sosial.gov.az platform.
The school is now ready to accept more students, and people with and without disabilities who wish to enroll in classes can apply by filling out the appropriate application form. If necessary, a special vehicle will be provided for students with disabilities to travel to and from school.
The project “Addressing the rights and well-being of women with disabilities and veterans of the Karabakh conflict” is being implemented in Baku, Salyan and Masalli regions. Launched in 2019, the project has helped improve the quality of life of 2,500 women and war veterans with disabilities by creating job and vocational training opportunities and making public spaces more accessible.