Lecture on how we should welcome Ramadan

On 7th July 2013, right before start of Ramadan, a lecture by a renowned scholar Sheikh Fawzi Khalaf Salem Al enzi was organized at association premises. He enlightened the attendees by highlighting the importance of the wholly month. The lecture was organized in collaboration with the Department of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf Sharjah. A large number of members were present at the occasion.

Collaboration with National Library

Board Chairmen Mr. Adel AlZamar and his deputy, Dr. Ahmed Al-Omran met Dr. Ali Al-Tamimi, manager of Kalima project, at National Library – Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage on Thursday to discuss ways to collaborate for making the books accessible for visually impaired. The association officials were assured of full cooperation from the library and it was also agreed that the permition to produce titles in accessable formats including audio and braille will be granted. Subsequently, the books can also be uploaded on BookShare, a leading provider of accessible books for visually impaired with more than 180,000 titles available. This is a significant step towards making the books available for print disable and will make the access easier than before.

Sight me 2, Biggest exhibition of technology for visually impaired organized by EAVI

Emirates association for visually impaired, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, organized 3 days 2nd largest exhibition of technology for visually impaired in Sharjah in which a total of 35 companies showcased their products and services. The exhibition was attended by a large number of visually impaired from GCC and other countries as well as service providers, parents of visually impaired children and people interested in such products. 18 notable companies with their cutting edge products for visually impaired exhibited the latest models of their products while other used this opportunity to aware people about their services. Ministry of health offered free test to the visitors for the eye diseases. CDs containing audio information on the laws for PWDS were distributed among the visitors by the ministry of interior. Ministry of social affairs allowed visually impaired people to submit their documents to get Disable card as well. A number of associations, institutes and universities set up their booths to apprise people regarding their specialized activities for the empowerment of visually impaired.

Many companies offered big discounts up to 50 percent on their products to attract more customers on the occasion.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Deputy Minister of Health, Assistant Director General of Sharjah Medical Zone, accompanied by Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre, inaugurated the exhibition.

During the three days a number of workshoppes addressing different topics related to visual impairement were held, which were attended by a great number of visitors. The topics of the workshoppes included factors affecting the success of assistive technology, its impact on the students with visual disabilities and how to become more indipendent with the use of assistive technology. Presentations were also held to demonstrate latest features of Capton GPS, a helpful nevagational ade available in Arabic and Arabic OCR camra system.

Hims International, Perkin Products, Acapela group, Dolphin Computers, Human ware EMA, PLEXTALK, Nattiq Technologies UAE, Al Noor Instatute Qater, Prince Mohd. Bin  Fahd University, Club Of Blinds, Index Braille, The Imaging Source Europe, Sightsavers Middle East, Handy Tech Elektronic GMBH, Cobolt Systems LTD, Dolphin Computer Access Ltd, ACAPELA Group, PLEXTALK / Shanino Kenshi, Queen Alexandra College, Arabian Medical Eqpts. FZE are included in the list of the companies who exhibited their products at the event.

Organizing this event comes from the general strategy of the United Arab Emirates, which gives special attention to the people with disabilities and the visually impaired category specifically, said EAVI President Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi in his remarks On the occasion of the conclusion of the exhibition.

more details regarding the event can be found on its website www.sightme.net

Informatory Discussion with Media

Emirates association for visually impaired (EAVI) hosted a group of selected generalists from the prominent News organizations of the country on January 16, 2012 at its head quarters in Sharjah. Mr. Adil Alzamar, Vice president of the association, briefed the media on the services and activities of the association. Dr. Ahmed Al-Omran, Chairman of planning Commission, apprise the generlists of the significants of SIGHT ME2, 2nd biggest exhibition of technology for blind in Middle East to be organized by EAVI next month under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. A number of eminent international companies working in this field are going to showcase their latest products during 3 days event. A large number of blind and sighted visitors are expected to attend the exhibition.

To read more about SightMe please visit www.sightme.net

EAVI Attends meetings of the General Assembly of the World Blind Union

Dr. Ahmed Al-Omran, Chairman of the Development Committee, and member Mona Al Hammadi attended the eighth annual summet of the World Federation of the Blind and Education Forum held in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, from 11th November to 19th November2012. Following is the list of key activities that took place during this period there.

The election of a new Board of Directors of the World Federation of the Blind:
Mr. Arnt Holte from Norway was elected chairman of the Federation and Mr. Erik Shroder from the United States got elected Senior Vice President. Luis Anrika from Spain  became 2nd Vice President and Tavina from Indonesia general secretary.

2. the review of financial reports and reports of the activities of the World Blind Union and for the period from 2008 to 2012.
3. Review of the achievements of the World Blind Union during the period referred to. The union under took efferts to
Facilitate efferts to accomplish access to information treaty.

Every possible effert was made to facilitate the visually impaired access to information through books and magazines available in accessible formats and worked to remove all the restrictions that prevent access.
Work is underway to prepare a draft of international convention for the lifting of restrictions on the books for visually impaired. adoption of this agreement by the General Assembly of the United Nations would enable the print disabled to have access to millions of books on the Internet.

Projects were under taken to creat awareness among employers that will help them recognize the special needs of people with visual disabilities in the workplace. A web site was also developed for this purpose.

Efferts were made with coordination of institutions of civil society in the Member States in order to increase efforts to implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.



Region’s first visually impaired friendly ATM launched

Sharjah Islamic Bank announced today the launch of the first visually impaired friendly Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the country and the region.
The announcement was made during a press conference held at the Emirates Association for the Blind in Sharjah, under the patronage of Sheikha Jamila bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) and in the presence of Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, Adel Al Zamar, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Association for the Blind in Sharjah, a number of senior directors of departments and branches and representatives of the IT solution provider.
The launch of the first visually impaired friendly ATM is consistent with the country’s intention to meet the needs of people with special needs and is in line with the eagerness of HH Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah to remove all obstacles which stand in the way of carrying out projects in aid of the visually impaired.
HH Ruler of Sharjah has recently ordered banks to offer facilities to the blind in response to a telephone call made by Manar Al Hamadi, a blind lawyer, to Al Bath Al Mubasher Program. SIB has opened a bank account for her and soon after announced the launch of the new ATM.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, said, ‘We are thrilled to launch the first visually impaired friendly ATM in the region. We have many reasons to be proud, as we have succeeded to live up to the ambition of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah in serving the visually impaired who are part and parcel of mainstream society. We have set a new precedence in our country in this field and proved, once again, our commitment to carry out our corporate social responsibility programs. This step will boost the banking sector, in general, and Islamic banking, in particular’.
Meanwhile, Adel Al Zamar, Vice Chairman of SCHS, said, ‘The launch of this service reflects both the interest of decision makers in the role of the visually impairedin society and the commitment to help, support and take extra care of this important segment of society. This step is a good omen of many other services to come. The initiative demonstrates the SIB’s leadership in offering this high end service which significantly benefits the Emirates Association for the Blind’.
The new ATM features a large Braille keypad, high resolution screen, wide keys, headphone and external speaker to ensure the user’s privacy. The system has fewer options than the normal one for greater user convenience. The machine is designed for the visually impaired, but can be also used by others.
CNS, the local agent of the German Wincor company, said. ‘As a result of our negotiation with the Sharjah Islamic Bank, we speeded up in implementing the directives of designing an innovative product for visually impaired people. We have developed a solution that facilitates banking services for the blind through a sophisticated ATM’.
The company asked the journalists and media representatives at the press conference to inaugurate the machine by closing their eyes to feel the experience and develop a greater understanding and sympathy for the service that will be offered to the blind. Journalists highly appreciated the experience of the functions and services it will deliver to users. They asked that this service be enabled cover as large an area the country as possible in the soonest time possible.
The ATM is located in the Emirates Association for the Blind in Sharjah’s headquarters where the visually impairedpeople will be trained to use the machine by a team from the bank in collaboration with the EABS.