Monday, August 2, 2021
banner
Home /  NATION  /  Technology lights up dark world of the sightless at QSCCB

Technology lights up dark world of the sightless at QSCCB

Technology lights up dark world of the sightless at QSCCB


Living in perpetual darkness; unable to appreciate the beauty around, or the pleasures of accessing the social media or online games! If that is what you think about the visually challenged, then we present Rashid to prove you wrong.
Rashid al Fuhaidi, an 18-year-old Qatari, was born with a congenital flaw that prevented him from seeing. His teachers and supervisors at the centre describe him as"technology obsessed" for the outstanding skills he has shown in that field.
The Qatar Social & Cultural Center For Blind (QSCCB) hosts brilliant, talented Qatari people who have been visually challenged since birth. Rashid is one of many members of the centre who receive aid and support to integrate into society.
QSCCB Head Faisal Kohajy said that the centre is keen to promote the talents of its members."We have focused recently on new ways to link our members with the outside world, and we included technology to be in line with society," said Kohajy, who himself lost his eyesight when he was a teen, and is now learning technology designed for the blind.
Young Rashid, who always carries a PDA (personal digital assistant), designed especially for the blind. (This device works in Braille and receives commands and reads out text shown on the smart phone). This device is connected to his smart phone via Bluetooth, through which he can access all applications, tweet and follow-up with his beloved online games. He developed his skills through a software developed by a blind person that enables people who can't see to get involved in games through special coding of sound commands.
"I always keep in-touch with all my followers on Twitter, and I have my friends online who I lead in an online game", Rashid said.
Rashid assured that he is the best in his team and plays faster than them, but he regrets playing online games, as it prevented him from pursuing his self-learned programming language development.
Kohajy assured the centre's keenness on enhancing the blind facility culture in the country by spreading awareness in society to define the principles on how to deal with blind people. He says the centre aims to create an atmosphere for the blind to survive independently in a manner of creating more facilities for them."We are trying to make all public areas fit for the blind by introducing Braille language in public areas and making public signs readable for the blind, alongside spreading awareness for those who are able to see. We are trying to extend our efforts outside the walls of the centre," said Kohajy.
The centre, which was opened in 2004, helps visually challenged Qatari youth to gather in a hub to develop their social and cultural skills. But it took time before it became a home for such talent from both genders.
"The centre took shape in mainly three phases. The first was to find an appropriate place to gather the blind people. Phase 2 was to gain the confidence of their families as such institutes never existed here before," Kohajy explained."After establishing our headquarters and gaining good reputation among families of the visually challenged, we started seeking new methods to enhance talents and the integration process," Kohajy added.
The centre also offers special courses for Qatari women to integrate into society. These courses vary from teaching beauty techniques and household chores, and how to dress up in abayas properly, as it is the traditional costume of a Qatari woman."We respect the privacy of women, and so we are conducting courses to equip them to become wives, mothers, and even to help them have a profession," said Koahjy.
The centre also has a fully-equipped computer lab to conduct courses for members.
Besides the national tournaments for the blind, the centre also organises different sports and tournaments for its members.
Kohajy explained that there are two types of technology learning at the centre: using ordinary computers like anybody else, and mastering special software designed for the blind to enable members hold careers and jobs.
Mohammed al Marri, a telephone operator at a public sector institution, who was born blind, has proved excellent in his command over poetry. The father of seven says that the centre has adopted his talent and given him precious opportunities to display his skills by representing Qatar on several national and regional occasions."I started writing Nabati poetry which is the most common in Gulf States, but since I joined QSCCB they helped me in promoting my poetry to standard Arabic poetry.

Pages