Fully equipped library for the blind opened

SHARJAH - A special, fully equipped section of the Sharjah Public Library has been built exclusively for the blind and was officially inaugurated on Saturday on the occasion of the World Book Day.

By Lina Abdul Rahman

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Published: Tue 27 Apr 2004, 9:57 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:01 AM

The library was established on the instructions of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who wanted the blind to enjoy a fully equipped library that can help them read books and acquire more knowledge with the help of advanced equipment.

The library is supervised by Adel Abdullah Al Zomer, a UAE national who is blind. Mr Al Zomer told Khaleej Times that the library will provide equal and fair chance to the disabled to learn more and widen their horizon.

"The main aim of setting up the library is to overcome the difficulties facing the blind who are willing to read like other normal readers. Suffering from a vision problem or losing vision totally does not mean that a person should stay idle, blaming himself for being blind. On the contrary, he should hold his head high and endeavour to prove to others that his disability is not a shame but destiny from God that he should accept and face with strong faith and courage."

The main equipment availabe at the library, apart from the computer systems, include various Braille display devices that function in the same way as monitors and comprise 80 cells which provide various options to a user.

"For those suffering from vision impairment, we have special equipment for enlarging and doubling the size of words. Poet reader is another compact easy- to-use device that looks like a scanner and can speak out any printed English material. There is also another device that can convert any book's content to Braille format files," he explained.

Mr Al Zomer stressed that many people with special needs are not aware of the existence of the library or any other organistaion which serve their needs, attributing this ignorance to the media. "I urge the media to cooperate with us and help the people with special needs know that there are plenty of facilities that help break the barriers and help them integrate in the society."

Mr Al Zomer disclosed that there are plans for producing electronic books by converting various significant books into Braille format files. He added that various courses aimed at enhancing the computer skills of blind people are scheduled to take place soon.

To help reading

. Various Braille display devices that function in the same way as monitors and comprise 80 cells which provide various options to a user.

. Special equipments for enlarging and doubling the size of words.

. A device that converts any book's content to Braille format.



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