Skip to comments.Blind in Basrah get talking software
Posted on 12/07/2009 3:37:48 PM PST by SandRat
BASRAH — Under the former regime, many elements of civil society were neglected here, including the handicapped. Upon hearing of the needs of the Basrah Blind Association, the U.S. State Department's Provincial Reconstruction Team asked how it might help.
"It's an honor to meet Americans," said BBA President Surror Yousif Nasar when meeting representatives of the Basrah PRT. "I have always understood the United States is a country that cares about all segments of society."
Nasar, who is blind and a leading advocate for the BBA, teaches Social Studies in the Basrah school system.
Despite the many needs of the BBA, it receives no support from the central or local government. Many BBA members, Nasar explained, have never learned to use the Braille method to read and write.
For others, there is new voice software that enables computers to talk. With this technology, Nasar said, BBA members could email and surf the Internet.
The Basrah PRT turned to the U.S. Baghdad embassy to fund equipment and training to help the BBA. The request was approved in record time, and the first class of 25 students graduated the last week of November from the 18-day BBA course and 50 more members are slated for training in the next two months.
The PRT is encouraging the provincial government, private sector and religious institutions to take a leadership role in supporting groups like the BBA in the future.
(A Multi-National Division - South release)