Sabato De Rosa

Technical support during the time of the lockdown.
Lucilla Boschi

Sabato De Rosa - for friends and colleagues Sasà - is a constant presence in the premises of the Istituto Cavazza, first as a student, then as a consultant. After obtaining his degree as a programmer/electronic analyst, he worked, from 1986 to 1990, with Telecom Italia, after which thanks to a partnership between Asphi, Telecom Italia and the Istituto Cavazza, he was seconded to the Istituto to carry out consulting, training and project collaboration activities in the field of assistive technology for the blind, which he still does to this day.


A few days ago, I had a chat with Sasà to understand how his work changed during the lockdown, what were the problems he encountered and how he addressed them, being himself in telework from March until July. The thing that stands out the most is the activity related to distance learning during the period of school closure from March. At that time, the Cavazza Institute set up the computer support service, to assist with remote learning for students with visual disabilities and their families, but also with the curricular and support teachers, and educators for blind youth. Neither users nor teachers were prepared to use technology for teaching and learning in an inclusive and accessible way, primarily because of the limits set by some platforms chosen by schools for distance learning, but also because of the mainly visual forms of this type of teaching. In addition, much work has been done by the service to remotely support and assist teachers with visual disabilities, who have found themselves having to manage packages and educational platforms whose necessary features were not always accessible.


Screenshot of the form to register at the Typhlotechnical and Computer Centre

Of course, Sasà continued to carry out his regular activities in his office, from the assistance for typhotechnical aids through telephone contact with users, to the monitoring and assessment of websites on behalf of INVAT (National Institute of Aids and Technology Assessment). Precisely in this last field has emerged a critical issue of telework by a visually impaired person, who typically carries out subjective tests for Web platforms. The difficulty is due to the fact that in some cases the pages have to be examined with the help of a sighted person, as it happens that on the same pages there may be elements that screen reading software cannot capture.


As we chat, Sasà talked about the limitations of agile work, because of the difficulties related to technical constraints such as those just mentioned, but also to the huge loss in terms of human relations.


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