The Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT), after very successfully convening two international workshops on ‘ICTs for Development: Mainstreaming the Marginalized’ during the last two years, organized its 3 Day Training Workshop on ‘Non-Visual Display Software for the Visually Impaired’.
The Workshop was held from July 30 to August 1, 2018 at COMSATS University Islamabad. The workshop was organized in collaboration with Pakistan Disabled Foundation (PDF), IGNITE National Technology Fund, Ministry of IT and Telecom, and COMSATS University Islamabad.
The Workshop trained nearly 25 blind participants with at least intermediate education enabling them to use a computer and associated mobile devices independently. The trainers for the workshop Mr. Ahmed Karim, Mr. Farhan Ahmed and Ms. Shakila Yasmeen were all blind since birth and very competent in the use of technology.
The workshop focused on three areas of training. On the first day, the participants were divided into groups as per their IT competencies ranging from first time computer users to frequent users. The training on the first day focused on the use of JAWs – a screen reading software that helps the blind navigate through the computer desktop. The first-time users were introduced to the basic outlay of the computer and the operating system in general. The intermediate users were given an overview of Microsoft office and its applications. The experienced users were given an overview of the advanced features of Microsoft Office.
On the 2nd day of the workshop, the first half of the day was spent on facilitating the participants in practicing the skills learned in the previous session. The focus was that each participant to attain the next level of competency in the use of computer applications. In the 2nd half of the day, mobile applications were introduced, and the participants were divided into three groups based upon the nature of blindness i.e. by birth blind, late blind and partially blind.
In this session, a brief introduction to mobile applications available on android and iphone was given to the participants. The applications like Money Magic, Helpmeblind, Navigation, and Accessibility tools on mobile were introduced to the participants. On the 3rd day of the workshop, the participants were introduced to technologies for the blind like a talking measuring tape, smart cane, and AI Tools for smart home were introduced to the participants.
Overall, the Workshop was warmly received by participants. The closing ceremony of the Workshop was attended by Member Human Resource, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication who praised the efforts of the participants, trainers and organizers in conducting a training with such socio-economic impact for the disabled.
Mr. Tahir Naeem (Executive Director, INIT) thanked the trainers and participants for their contribution and participation in the Workshop and commended the organizers for the successful conduct of the event. The closing ceremony concluded with the certificate distribution among the participants.
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