If you are reading these words then you will have little idea of what it must be like to be blind. Things we take for granted become difficult or downright impossible – driving, parking, crossing a busy street or picking up a newspaper to check the classifieds for a job. How would we negotiate our way around our computers or check email, things we all take for granted?
As ‘seeing’ people these are things we never have to concern ourselves with but, if we were blind, arguably our greatest difficulty will be finding a way to make a living in a society that simply isn’t geared towards the sight impaired who, aside from not being able to see, are in every other way normal and intelligent human beings.
However, for a group of blind people living in KwaNobuhle Township, the answer was simple. They would help themselves! And with that the Help The Blind and Partial Sighted Society was started by sight impaired people, for sight impaired people.
The group set about finding funding and offices and today they offer braille lessons and teach the visually impaired in the community to use computers with braille facilities. In this way the organisation aims to equip their students in order to find employment and to function normally in a working environment.
Today, Monday 13 February, The Boardwalk’s CSI department visited KwaNobuhle with a donation of a special computer with specific software (JAWS) and a special screen. The package includes a printer and fax machine, all to the value of R23 500.
First developed in 1995, the JAWS (Job Access with Speech) screen reader has brought freedom to countless blind societies around the world. The special screen reader programme in Microsoft Windows allows visually impaired and blind people to read the screen, either with a text-to-speech option, or with a refreshable braille display.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/02/helping-the-blind-see/