Blind internship at the Garage Museum of Modern Art

    Hi, my name is Daniel, I am 19 years old, I am a student of State Public Educational Institution of Pedagogy № 2 .

    In the summer of 2018, I did an internship in the information technology department, information and digital technology department of the Garage Museum of Modern Art , which I want to share with you now. This was my first real job. It was she who, perhaps, finally convinced me that I was doing the right thing, wanting to connect my life with the field of IT technology.

    The internship was not quite ordinary. The fact is that I have only 2% of my vision. I move around the city with a white cane, and I use the phone and computer with screen access programs. Who cares what it is, you can read here ( "Development at a speed of 450 words per minute") Well, first things first.

    How it all began?

    In the spring, I realized that I was not interested in spending the whole summer in the country and decided that it would be nice to go to work. Through my acquaintances, I learned that an internship in their inclusive department will be held at the Garage Museum. I contacted the organizer Galina: it was not quite what I wanted, but on the whole it would be interesting, and we agreed on an interview. According to his results, another girl was taken for this internship, and I was offered to work in the information technology department. Naturally, I gladly agreed.

    What did I do there?

    The internship was much more focused on training than on work, for me it was also a huge plus, since I knew only Microsoft Office and a little Pascal. My main responsibility was to register applications from users in an Excel spreadsheet, distribute applications among employees of the information technology department, monitor their implementation and remind colleagues of the need to give users feedback and close the application. In a word, a kind of Service Desk system. In my free time, when the flurry of applications subsided, I studied. At the end of the internship, I started working with HTML and CSS, mastered JavaScript at a basic level, learned what APIs, SPA and JSON were, met NodeJS, Postman, GitHub, learned about Agile philosophy, Scrum, Kanban frameworks, and started learning Python with IDE Visual Studio Code.

    How was everything organized?

    The Department of Information and Digital Technologies consists of 3 departments. The information technology department is everything related to infrastructure, workstations, telephony, network technologies and other traditional IT services. The digital technology department, in which the guys are engaged in multimedia installations, AR, VR, organizing conferences, online broadcasts, film screenings, etc. The development department, here colleagues are developing information systems for the back and front office.
    I had a personal mentor from the IT department Maxim, who gave at the beginning of the day what I needed to do. At the end of the day, I wrote a progress report. At the end of the week there were meetings with the head of the department, Alexander Vasiliev, and the development of a plan for the next week.

    I would like to emphasize that the team has a very friendly atmosphere, everyone was always ready to help if there were any difficulties. If you had any questions, you could immediately turn to Alexander, since he was sitting a few meters from me.

    Workplace.  Open space
    Photo: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art press service.

    I was not the only intern, Angelina, a first-year student at the Higher School of Economics, worked with me, who came to the internship after Alexander's lecture at the Higher School of Economics from the basic department of information technologies in the field of culture. Since I also plan to enter this university, it was interesting to talk and find out more about him.

    There is a cafe in the Garage Museum, where they ordered me free tasty dinners. Also, it was possible to take coffee or tea with sandwiches and various snacks. This is also a huge plus.

    Cafe for office staff
    Photo: press office of the Garage Museum of Modern Art

    Were there any difficulties with moving?

    Absolutely none. At first, Maxim or Galina met me near the metro in the morning and escorted me in the evening. After some time, I began to walk myself. Galina and I specifically chose this route so that later I could walk along it myself. At first, I also asked to accompany me around the office, and when I got used to it, I began to move about on my own.

    What impressions did the internship make?

    The most positive. I’m happy to go on an internship at the Garage this summer.


    For me, an internship at the Garage Museum is a huge experience, interesting acquaintances and the development of important connections, without which, as you know, in our world there is nowhere. At the end of the internship, they gave me a letter of recommendation, which, of course, will help me with further employment and with admission to the university. With Alexander, we also worked on my resume, looked at several vacancies for which I could apply as a novice specialist.

    In conclusion, I would like to say that many companies, unfortunately, are afraid to hire people with disabilities. It seems to me in vain. I believe that if a person really wants to do something, he will do it, despite the difficulties that may arise. I know that now the Garage is developing a course for the blind and visually impaired, who somehow want to work in the IT industry. The course will teach blind and visually impaired pair programming with sighted developers. This is a great success for me and I will be happy to take part in it.

    You can find my project, which I did as part of the internship, on GitHub using the link

    Daniil Zakharov.

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