& The Visually Impaired
Solutions for Blind Readers ,
library for the blind
Pass the ICDL Exam with Arabic Hal Screen Reader
Blind and Visually Impaired in Syria - Dr. Nour Eldin Cheikh
My vision about Blind & Visually Impaired
- Nabil Eid
What is vision
How can the Blind and Visually Impaired Handicapped use a
How can the Blind and Visually Impaired access web servers?
Activities of Blind
And Visually Impaired students on computer system.
ICTARB project for Blind and Visually Impaired.
How can the Blind and Visually Impaired Handicapped use a
There are two categories of visual impairment; Those that are
partially blind, and those that are totally blind. For those that are partially
blind, they may make use of computer systems by means of screen magnification
devices, as well as through special software that display text on the CRT
through the use of extra large fonts.
For those that are totally blind, they will be unable to use their
sight as a means of input and will have to rely on other senses. This could be
in the form of braille output devices, which converts text that is displayed on
the screen into braille characters on a 'touch-pad'. The user then 'feels' what
is on the screen. Another approach is through the use of text-to-speech
synthesizers. These text-to-speech synthesizers, working together with screen
reading software packages seems to be the more common, and economical approach.
When the blind needs to know what is displayed on the screen, he
uses a screen reading software such as Vocal-Eyes. These are
terminate-stay-resident (TSR) programs that 'talk' to the speech synthesizer
hardware to produce synthesized speech. The selected characters are captured off
the screen by these screen reading TSRs and passed to the synthesizer hardware.
Parameters such as speed, pitch and volume may be adjusted through the use of
control keys on the QWERTY keyboard. The user may even selected other parameters
such as local echo, whereby the character he/she types is read back to
As the system overhead of generating synthesized speech is rather
high on machines without dedicated DSPs(Digital Signal Processors) such as the
Intel 80x86 family, the speech generating hardware operates as an external unit,
independent of the processor. Interface to this hardware is made possible
through the use of either the serial(RS232C), or the parallel port. In this
manner, system performance is not compromised when the screen is being 'read' to
the user through the speech synthesizer and screen reading software.
As such, text based software applications such as WordPerfect for
DOS, The MS-DOS Text editor as well as some programming language editors are
suitable for use by the visually handicapped.
How can the Blind and Visually Impaired access web servers?
A web-based special education infrastructure holds
promise for opening up new windows of opportunity for students with special
needs. For example, because web page content usually consists of electronic
text, a blind student can use a screen reader to audibly present and
navigate the information. The font of most web browsers can also be easily
increased for persons with low vision. However, aside from some of the
inherently accessible properties of the Web, many barriers can be
unnecessarily created on both the client and the 'service' side. The phrase
client-service, instead of client-server, is emphasized because providing
education is a service, and all services should accommodate persons with
On the client side, many types of adaptive technology exist, including
alternative mouse systems, alternative keyboards, voice recognition systems,
refreshable Braille displays, and screen readers. These systems make it
easier for persons with disabilities to access their computer and the
Internet There are several World Wide Web browsers available that vary in
their accessibility features. Browsers can have keyboard equivalents for
hypertext links, frame navigation and built-in alternative display modes.
When creating a distance education infrastructure, it is best to create a
site that is browser-independent and to avoid the use of proprietary browser
features or custom HTML tags. Forcing everyone to adhere to a single type of
browser is not optimal for the diversity within the special needs
Just like using other text based software applications, the
visually handicapped are able to log on to internet providers through the use of
text based communications software, such as QMODEM and KERMIT.
Their access is then limited to VT100, or ANSI based emulation.
Recently developments in text to speech applications also allow
Graphical User Interface to be accessible by the visually impaired.
How can the Visually Handicapped view web pages?
The Visually Handicapped may use a text based Hypertext viewer such
as internet explorer or Lynx to look at WEB pages. Although no pictures may be reproduced, the
text are reproduced without any difference in content. In this manner, the
visually handicapped can still surf the NET for resources that may be essential
Activities of Blind And
Visually Impaired students on computer system.
New courses for Blind and Visually Impaired on Electronics program
My vision about Blind & Visually Impaired
- Nabil Eid
I hope I may be able to introduce my vision about SCHR
– CAI center for the welfare of the visually impaired &
the blind and how to
visualize an idea about our aims to have
an impact in social mobilization.
Some of conceptions related to our project
Prevailing world -
wide social knowledge of visually impaired needs.
Getting the families of visually impaired
situations to create healthy and helpful
Providing a mechanism
to link visually impaired family with the information data base .
Issuing a postage
stamp dedicated to the blind and visually impaired .
information mechanism to the rural , areas so that movable stations might
be ready to help. That can be facilitated when means of transports are
It's obvious that the
visually impaired program to a great extent depends on voluntary activities
.The thing which makes it insecure to live long in the future.
There must be
future solutions .
There is an existing
necessity that Ministries of ( Education , Culture , High education ,
Information and Communication Technology ) assist the program by updating
curriculua that support and deal correctly with the issues of the visually
Learners and students
will get the idea that visually impaired is not only a person to be
for but also it is someone of creativity and has the right to live and
The issuance of
postage stamp about visually impaired would give much support to their cause
It's suggested that
we may consider a WORLD DAY for the visually impaired .
facilitating efforts to setup communities with clear mottos and targets .
web sites that care for the blind and
the visually impaired.
booklets and lecturing on the visually impaired people.
Providing the center
with specialized psychiatrist to help socializing the visually impaired.
of cooperation between the related parties …. And concerned ministries to
deeply cement the program and providing it with it's vital components (
programs – instruments – device – trainers teacher …., if we are really want
to have a sound launch to a achieve the goals of our program.
What is vision impairment?
Vision impairment means that a person's eyesight cannot be
corrected to a "normal" level. Vision impairment may be caused by a loss of
visual acuity, where the eye does not see objects as clearly as usual. It
may also be caused by a loss of visual field, where the eye cannot see as
wide an area as usual without moving the eyes or turning the head.
There are different ways of describing how severe a person's
vision loss is. The World Health Organization defines "low vision" as
visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/400, with the best possible correction,
or a visual field of 20 degrees or less. "Blindness" is defined as a visual
acuity worse than 20/400, with the best possible correction, or a visual
field of 10 degrees or less. Someone with a visual acuity of 20/70 can see
at 20 feet what someone with normal sight can see at 70 feet. Someone with
a visual acuity of 20/400 can see at 20 feet what someone with normal sight
can see at 400 feet. A normal visual field is about 160-170 degrees
Vision impairment severity may be categorized differently
for certain purposes. In the United States, for example, we use the term
"legal blindness" to indicate that a person is eligible for certain
education or federal programs. Legal blindness is defined as a visual
acuity of 20/200 or worse, with the best possible correction, or a visual
field of 20 degrees or less.
Visual acuity alone cannot tell you how much a person's life
will be affected by their vision loss. It is important to also assess how
well a person uses the vision they have. Two people may have the same
visual acuity, but one may be able to use his or her vision better to do
everyday tasks. Most people who are "blind" have at least some usable
vision that can help them move around in their environment and do things in
their daily lives. A person's functional vision can be evaluated by
observing them in different settings to see how they use their vision. A
functional vision evaluation can answer questions such as these:
Can the person scan a room to find
someone or something?
What lighting is best for the person
to do different tasks?
How does the person use his or her
vision to move around in a room or outside?
Vision impairment changes how a child understands and
functions in the world. Impaired vision can affect a child’s cognitive,
emotional, neurological, and physical development by possibly limiting the
range of experiences and the kinds of information a child is exposed to.
Nearly two-thirds of children with vision impairment also
have one or more other developmental disabilities, such as mental
retardation, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, or epilepsy. Children with more
severe vision impairment are more likely to have additional disabilities
than are children with milder vision impairment.
You can learn more about vision impairment below, including
answers to the following questions:·
How common is vision impairment?
What causes vision impairment? Can it
What is the cost or economic impact
associated with vision impairment?
What resources are available for
people with vision impairment and their families?
How can we improve the health of
people with vision impairment?
How can kids learn about vision
Where can I go to learn more about
Links for Blind and Visually Impaired
Strategic Program of Information and Communication
Technology for the Socio-Economic development
Visually impaired people and Community Center
Dr. Nour Eldin Cheikh Obeid
Visually Impaired in Syria
According to the Syrian Central Bureau of statistics there are 9580 blind
But reality is totally different …number of visually impaired exceeds 55
Level of visually impaired education!!!
ReefNet in Syria
ReefNet means Rural Net
Community Centers and the Community Portal are dedicated to bridging the
digital and knowledge divide between urban and rural areas in Syria
ReefNet is one of the ICT4Dev Programme projects. ICT4Dev supports the use
of ICT for the socio-economic development.ICT4Dev is a cooperation program
between the Ministry of Communication and Technology/Syria and the United
Nations Development Programme/Syria
Salameih Community Center
Opened on the 20 December 2004
Internet: broadband connection
International fax and phone
Photocopier and printers
ICT training for the public at large
for handicapped people…especially for the visually impaired
Thanks to a cooperation program with ICTDAR,
The Visually Impaired Facility opened in June 2005
Visually Impaired: The Salameih Center is equipped with:
Four Screens Reader
Broadband Internet Connection
staffed by specialized trainers and volunteers
Enables users to access the Internet and read Arabic and English Web sites.
users to send, receive, write, read, and manage E-mail.
-Converts the output of the screen into high quality human voice.
can use most of the software programs in Arabic and English.
-The system benefits:
Maintains the users' independence and privacy.
Provides assistance for blind and visually impaired users in
terms of education, culture, and career development.
However, good reading of Arabic texts depends heavily on
Good understanding of texts without diacritical marks depends
cultural level of the visually impaired.
month results 31 blinds trained
Most users are young
Gender issue persists
Most beneficiaries are educated people
A screen reader is vital
The majority of users are students
More preferable than Braille
Samples of their typing
انا المتدربة الما المحمد على برنامج إبصار الذي حقق لي الأهداف
المرجوة في دراستي العليا وفي الانطلاق في عالم الكتابة وصياغة
المقالات الفكرية والاجتماعية .
كما حقق لي البرنامج على الصعيد المعرفي القدرة على التواصل مع
المعلومات بالدخول على الإنترنت والحصول على نسخة من أي كتاب بوساطة
الماسح الضوئي مما يوفر على البصير عناء البحث عمن يقرأ له هذا الكتاب
أو ذاك .
ولا يقل تعلمي الطباعة بشكل سليم أهمية عن تفصيلات العمل على البرنامج
إذ أصبحت أستطيع طباعة أطروحتي أو أي مقال دون اللجوء إلى مراكز
الطباعة والوقوع معهم في إشكالات إتقان العمل .
كان مثل هذا البرنامج حلما من أحلامي وها هو يصبح حقيقة ولكني لا
أستطيع أن أنكر أن لكل سعادة غصة فالبرنامج غالي الثمن ولايمكن أن يصبح
في متناول محتاجيه إلا بمساعدة شبكة المعرفة الريفية وذلك بنشره على
نطاق واسع في مراكزها الحالية وفي مراكزها المستقبلية في المحافظات
كلها وأن تنشأ مراكز خاصة في الجامعات ليتمكن الطلبة البصيرين من
التواصل مع برامجهم الجامعية دون العقبات الكأداء التي يعانون منها اآن
البرنامج بحالته الحاضرة يقدم كل الخدمات المطلوبة للطالب البصير ،
ولكن ينبغي تدعيم ذلك بمحاضرات تعريفية بالبرنامج وأهمية استخدامه في
البصرية وفي تدريب الأصحاء على تعلم الطباعة ومهارة العمل على الحاسوب
يمكن توجيه الاهتمام الشديد للعناية بالأطفال البصيرين ذلك أن تدريب
هؤلاء منذ نعومة أظفارهم يقوي لديهم مهارة استخدام الحاسوب ويساعدهم
على تناول المعلومات فيجعلهم بذلك في مصاف رفاقهم الأصحاء ولاتعود هناك
مشكلة تحول بينهم وبين منافسة رفاقهم والتفوق عليهم .ومما لاشك فيه أن
حب المعرفة والرغبة في مطالعة الكتب المتنوعة تشمل البصير كما تشمل
الأصحاء لذلك فإن إنشاء مكتبة الكترونية لاتقل أهمية عن استخدام
البرنامج نفسه ، ويمكن أن يستخدم هذا البرنامج في إنجاز مثل هذا
المشروع الهام وذلك بتحويل الكتب المطبوعة إلى نسخ الكترونية ونسخ
مطبوعة بلغة بريل مما يسهل على هذه الشريحة بمراحلها العمرية كافة أن
تتواصل مع أي مصدر أو مرجع .
إن من واجبي بل من صميم قلبي أن أوجه الشكر الجزيل والدعاء بالخير لمن
كان له الفضل في جلب هذا البرنامج والتوجيه لإقامة التدريبات علي ،
ولمن كان لهم الفضل أيضا في إنجاز التدريبات المطلوبة ، ولكل من ساهم
في إنجاح العمل على هذا البرنامج .
Alma, a PhD candidate
الحج بدنا برنامج
هين يكوين متوفار ورخييص
Ali started learning writing 5 months ago
The very high price of ICT equipment
for visually impaired people
Lack of support from society
So, our Community Center is being transformed into a
Community Café for visually impaired people
Efficient Document Reader (OCR)
انا الطالب شرحبيل من برنامج المعرفة الريفية لفاقدي البصر
الذي يحتوي على فقرات جميلة ولكي يكون البرنامج مساعدا ومفيدا
اقترحُ الاهتمام بالماسح الضوئي لقراءة المحاضرات واطالبُ
بالحرص على انشاء المكتبة السمعية وفقا لمعاير تصنيف الكتب في
المكتبات العامة وبوجود مكتبة سمعية خاصة تحتوي على كتب
تتبناها الكليات التي تتضمن عددا من طلاب ذوي
الاحتياجات الخاصة في مختلف السنوات والفروع. وفي نهاية المطاف
أتمنى أن ينتشر هذا البرنامج في كل سوريا ويحقق كل الفوائد
ICT4Dev- Syria-Visually impaired-ICTTA'06
Blind girls Pass the ICDL Exam with Arabic Hal
Jordanian Girls Pass
the ICDL Exam with Arabic Hal Screen Reader
In Amman, Jordan when a group of 16
Jordanian blind girls passed the ICDL exam with two
girls achieving higher scores. What made such an
event unique is the fact that the blind girls took the Arabic ICDL
exam without any sighted help. The girls obtained training in the
Saudi Jordanian Institute for the Blind in Amman
which qualified them to take the exam. The exam was
offered and supervised by the UNESCO’s office in Jordan.
The institute celebrated the success of the
16 blind girls in the presence of H. H. Prince Raed
Bin Zaid, H.E. the Minster of Islamic Affairs in
Jordan, H. E. the Saudi Ambassador to Jordan as well as representatives of
the UNESCO’s office in Amman. Nattiq’s representative
in Jordan, Mr. Mohammed Al-Shara, attended the
ceremony and received a certificate of appreciation from
H. H. Prince Raed Bin Zaid for Nattiq’s role in facilitating the
tools required for blind users to take the ICDL exam.
Nattiq invested considerable resources to
enable its State-Of-The-Art Arabic screen reader,
Hal, access all required ICDL materials and exams. Hal enables
blind people to access standard computer systems which opens to them
doors of opportunities in pursuing challenging
careers and advanced education.
Nattiq rewarded Miss. Hanan Al-Gharagheer
and Miss. Rafeeda Al-Jawazmeh with a gift of Talks
mobile phone screen reader for achieving the highest two overall
scores in the ICDL test.
few blind users in the Middle East passed the ICDL in the past, but they
always required extensive help from a sighted person which defeats
the purpose of proving that blind users can be
completely independent in achieving any IT task.
Arabic Hal screen reader provided those bright young ladies with the
independence they were hoping to obtain in taking the ICDL exam. As a
result, they succeeded magnificently”, said
Auda Hazeem, Nattiq’s CEO.
Dozens of blind people are expected to pass
the ICDL exam independently before the end of the
year with Hal’s help
talking library for the blind
Libraries are silent zones and it is no different at Farook College near
this Kerala city. But sometimes in its quiet ambience you may hear a voice
reading aloud in English in an accent that is not native. It is the Digital
Talking Book Library. The college installed this facility at the library for
the benefit of visually challenged students and aptly named it 'Insight'.
'Insight' helps 32 blind students at the college to delve into the vast
world of books without the help of Braille. The library has four computers
to help such students.
The facility consists of a few computers, a scanner and a set of speakers
and also headphones. Through voice prompts it helps the user operate the
"Visually challenged students find it very useful. They spend hours at these
machines reading books and periodicals," said M. Ayub, the
"Its operation is simple. You scan the pages you want to read. The computer
will convert it into sound bytes. The students have learned to operate the
system and they are doing it without help from others," he added.
The gadget looks ordinary, but the software may baffle you.
"We are using the software Jaws and Kurzweil to operate these systems," says
Habeeb C., a guest lecturer and a former student of the
college, as he operates the system with astonishing ease. He is visually
The college is planning to bring out compact discs of lectures and to
install a printer which can print scanned materials in Braille. The printer
is costly and it has to be imported," adds Ayub.
Farook College, affiliated to Calicut University, is run by the
Rousathul Uloom Association.
Jeevan Mathew Kurian can be contacted at
in Cairo. Most Telecentre lack software for the blind users. photo: Meddie
Solutions for Blind Readers ,
Kurzweil 1000 is software
program that makes printed or electronic text readily available to people
who are blind or visually impaired. It combines accessibility, communication
and productivity tools to ease and enhance their reading, writing and
The program speaks text
aloud in a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified to suit
individual preferences. In addition, it provides users with document
creation and editing as well as study skills capabilities for note taking,
summarizing and outlining text.
This program delivers
quick access to a wealth of information including online books, magazines
and encyclopedias so users can pursue any reading interests. They can also
take their reading wherever they go by sending files to Braille note takers
and embossers as well as portable devices such as DAISY and MP3 audio
Kurzweil 1000 is easy to
use for beginners, yet powerful and flexible for advanced users. With its
wide array of useful features, users save time and gain independence –
whether at home, at school, or at work.
Specification of program:
Recognition and Completion
provides easy access to most printed forms and presents them with the
fields, labels, boxes, and text areas in the appropriate reading order. You
can fill in the fields, edit, save, and print. You can easily insert your
handwritten signature into a form, or any Kurzweil 1000 document, once it's
scanned into your computer.
Choices for More
Accurate Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
engines, ScanSoft© OCR and ABBYY™ Fine Reader, provide the most accurate
available OCR. For the best possible scanning results, Kurzweil 1000 also
has the ability to correct many errors. In addition, a noise filter option
lets users ignore regions near the edge of a page that were incorrectly
identified as text.
Clear, natural-sounding Voice Text voices from NeoSpeech and ETI-Eloquence™
voices from Nuance deliver the highest quality text-to-speech (TTS), making
reading a pleasure to hear. You can choose and adjust our many voice options
to suit your individual preference.
with Audible Reminders
Keep track of
your schedule with our easy-to-use calendar application. You can create,
add, edit, and delete your calendar entries simply from the desktop taskbar,
as well as set audible reminders that will play any sound file on your
computer you choose.
text notes, and annotations; skim, summarize, and create outlines for your
work, and have your documents open to the last position read. Professionals
and students find Kurzweil 1000's comprehensive time-saving study tools
extremely useful. Plus, you'll have access to eighteen bilingual
Quick Access to Scan,
Photocopy, and Fax Features
Kurzweil 1000 functions to your scanner buttons for faster scanning, copying
and faxing. Once configured, pressing a single button will perform the
Create Documents and
Work with Tables
editing documents are simple with our audible text editor, built-in
dictionaries, thesaurus, and spell checker. In addition, proofreading
keystrokes for reading one word at a time include punctuation and
capitalization reporting. You can also create, edit, and read tables with
the same ease, plus convert blocks of text to tables and vice versa.
Link Documents and
Settings You can link settings to documents, saving you time and effort.
Search and Retrieval
Enjoy quick access to information from a variety of sources, including
e-books, magazines, encyclopedias, and the Merriam-Webster medical
dictionary. Based on your criteria, Kurzweil 1000 will search select
Internet repositories such as Bookshare.org, NLS Web Braille, AccessWorld,
Talking Newspaper Association of the United Kingdom, NFB Publications, the
Columbia Encyclopedia and Wikipedia (in multiple languages), and present you
with your download choices.
DAISY Format Support
opens, reads, edits and saves text-only DAISY files, including original
tables, bookmarks, links and notes. You'll also have DAISY Type 2 file
support for audible document navigation.
Read Files Away From
Home and Burn CDs
can send your files to BrailleNote™, BookPort™, Book Courier, Maestro™ and
other handheld devices so you can read and reference important material when
away from your home or office computer. You can also create CDs of your
files within Kurzweil 1000 if you have a CD burner.
Create and Play Audio
It's easy to
convert your Kurzweil documents to MP3, WAV and DAISY audio files. If your
document contains bookmarks, Kurzweil 1000 will use them to create separate
audio files so your selections will be easier to manage on your portable
player. In addition, you can listen to audio files from other sources in
Kurzweil 1000 along with the option to use Reading and Navigational keys for
audio DAISY, and Bookmarks or Notes to annotate MP3, WAV, and WMA files.
Broad Range of File
Any file type
that you can print through an application installed on your computer can be
opened with Kurzweil 1000 (including PDF), which greatly expands your
Other Notable Features:
Supports Windows Vista® operating system
Supports low vision users with magnification and
Provides easy access to common business
applications (Calculator, Photocopier, and Fax)
Scans within Microsoft Word
Sends files through popular e-mail applications