New opportunities for visually impaired people in Bhutan

The development project in Bhutan which started in 2006 and continues until 2011, is a collaboration with The Norwegian Mission and is supported by The Norwegian Mission and The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). Good results are already achieved in this project.

Story by: Magne Lunde - 29.04.2010

Computer Centre

In 2008 a fully equipped Computer Centre was established in Bhutan. Our partners in Bhutan describe the results of the training they have received from us and the impact of the computer centre. Here is a sample from their report:

"A few years back, computers for the blind in Bhutan was merely a dream, a dream that they thought may never become a reality. Reading articles or listening to the news, being able to participate equally in studies or jobs with the help of assistive devices seemed like a fairy tale. Yet, this was something that they hoped and dreamt so much would become a reality. The difficulties faced in those days now seem to be a story of the past. Thank you to NORAD and to MediaLT for hearing their voice, understanding their dreams and answering their prayers."  

You can read the full report here.

Computer Courses

The development project has completed two computer courses for visually impaired of working age. Each participant received their own laptop with the necessary assistive technology. Below are a few extracts from the  report describing what this training has meant to those involved: 

"None of them had been able to avail themselves of such computer courses in the past. While they had typing skills using an ordinary English keyboard typewriter, (as taught in the institute) they had no knowledge of the use of a computer. The one-month training had brought a pivotal change in their lives, be it in their studies, jobs or in their day to day lives. "

The visually impaired teachers have benefitted greatly from the course:

"Transcription of questions by blind teachers for sighted children was a major issue. The teacher had to write in Braille for his / her reference and then type using an ordinary English  typewriter which was very time consuming. The computer training allows the teachers to type the quesitons directly . "  

You can read the report here.

Good strategy

For us in MediaLT the Bhutan project confirms that the strategy of knowledge transfer to visually impaired resource persons in developing countries is the right strategy. We hope we will have the opportunity to try out this strategy in other developing countries.

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