Nattiq helps blind utilise IT

Alongside its products, Nattiq also offers training for visually impaired people, ranging from basic personal computer usage to web adaptation and specific job training.

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By  Gitex Times Staff Published  September 25, 2005

Nattiq Technologies is displaying its latest range of assistive products developed for visually impaired people at Gitex this week. This includes screen readers, optical character recognisation (OCR) technology products for scanning and reading back Arabic text and devices for mobile phones. These products include award winning Hal/Supernova screen reading software for computers, as well as a personal digital assistant version, Ease Publisher software that turns any electronic text into a talking book and a second generation talking mobile phone software called Talx. “This is our first time displaying on our own. This year the show will be all about raising awareness of the number of blind people and the help they need, that’s our first priority,” says Auda Hazeem, chief executive of Nattiq Technologies. “After that we also have the opportunity to convince employers that blind people can do anything that sighted people can do. We train blind people to do exactly the same jobs that sighted people do in an office environment,” he adds. The company was established specifically to cater for the blind Arabic market in 2002 and has a dedicated office in Sharjah, though it has representatives working through out the Middle East. The software company develops and Arabises products from companies such as UK-based Dolphin Computer Access, Humanware, and Scansoft. The products Nattiq carries are available through individuals based in cities around the GCC who carry and promote the products. They are also available through non-profit organisations that sell the products on at no extra cost, such as the Esbar centre in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Friends of the Blind Association in Palestine. Alongside its products, Nattiq also offers training for visually impaired people, ranging from basic personal computer usage to web adaptation and specific job training. “Our goal is to provide blind Arabs with the tools to gain the skills in using computers and communication equipment confidently and competently,” says Hazeem. “This is an achievable target that we promote through our services and training,” he adds.

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