Blind World Magazine

United Arab Emirates.
World's first Arabic braille ICDL courseware to be available by the end of 2006.

AME Info (United Arab Emirates).
Monday, March 06, 2006.

This is part of ITEP's efforts as an organisation devoted to enhancing IT literacy in the UAE.

Developed as part of a path breaking initiative by ITEP and Tamkeen, the courseware seeks to improve IT literacy among the region's visually impaired by providing ICDL's curricula in an accessible format.

'In today's information-rich age, widespread IT literacy is key to the progress of any country,' said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director of ITEP. 'We are delighted to launch this world-leading initiative, which will assist visually impaired people in gaining basic IT skills that will give them greater access to IT education. This is one of a series of initiatives that ITEP and Tamkeen are working on,' he added.

'Tamkeen is building the resources to help visually-impaired people contribute actively to our country's social and economic development,' said Awatif Akbari, Head of Training, Tamkeen. 'Through initiatives like the ICDL courseware in Braille, we are keen to equip visually-impaired people with the skills necessary to take advantage of the information economy.'

The ICDL courseware will enable the visually impaired to study for obtaining the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), a globally recognized credential that certifies an individual as competent in using computers. Accepted as the standard for computer literacy in over 140 countries, the ICDL is designed for a person to 'drive' a computer with the same ease as they might drive a car. There are more than 13 million ICDL-certified people in the world today.

ITEP and Tamkeen will display a sample of the unique courseware at their stand at REHAB 2006, the region's premier rehabilitation show to be held in Dubai from 7-8 March at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

ITEP and Tamkeen officials will be present at the stand to demonstrate the use of the new Braille ICDL courseware. They will read from the courseware and demonstrate adaptive technologies that enable the visually impaired to use computers and access the internet.

ITEP has been instrumental in promoting IT literacy with learning solutions that provide IT training to various sectors of society including students, teachers, public sector workers and those with special needs. It is now the largest IT training provider in the UAE and has trained around 76,000 people since its inception. ITEP has also provided training to physically-challenged members of the Al Thiqah Club for the Handicapped.

End of article.

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