Nattiq looks for more vendors

Nattiq, a value added distributor of computing accessories for blind people, is looking for more vendors to work with it in the Middle East to provide better access to specialised products and training for blind people.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  July 7, 2005

Nattiq is looking for more vendors to work with it in the Middle East. The company specialises in the value added distribution of products and training for blind people. The company believes there is an opportunity for more vendors to invest in this niche area and strengthen the channels to market for products aimed at visually impaired people. “Arab governments need to be more aware of, and invest in, their disabled. Currently blind people have to rely largely on the goodwill of others. At least vendors such as HP and Microsoft have social responsibility programmes. We are looking for companies such as these to invest in and partner with us, so they can help us to bring the price of assistive products down and make technology more accessible to blind people,” said Auda Hazeem, CEO at Nattiq Technologies. The World Health Organisation cites that there are around seven million blind people in the Arab world, but Hazeem disagrees, saying there are many more. He claims there are 3.5 million blind people in Egypt alone, and far more then seven million in the whole region. As a company Nattiq says its aim is the empowerment of blind people. “Our goal is to provide blind Arabs with the tools to input and gain skills using computing and communication equipment. It is an easily achievable goal and we can provide all the necessary means through our services and training. In the west, by virtue of being blind, people qualify for help, over here they don’t get anything,” continued Hazeem. Nattiq works to Arabise and then distribute core technologies from specialist providers such as Dolphin Computers, based in the UK, Clearview and Talx. These technologies include award winning Hal/Supernova screen reading software for computers and PDAs, Ease Publisher software that turns any electronic text into a talking book and Talx talking mobile phone software. Nattiq products are currently available though non-profit organisations that sell on the products covering only their own costs, such as the Esbar Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the Friends of the Blind Association in Palestine. Also, individual users of the products act as small-scale sales agents in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Alongside its products Nattiq provides training services aimed at getting blind people into the same jobs as sighted people.

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