Sakhr wins UN Award for accessibility software

Ibsar application to enable blind and visually impaired computer users wins e-Inclusion prize

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By  Matthew Wade Published  November 8, 2007

Kuwaiti firm Sakhr Software has received the World Summit Award for e-Inclusion for its ‘Ibsar' program, a piece of software that helps blind and visually impaired users interact with computers.

The award was presented to the firm's CEO, Fahad Mohammed Al-Sharekh, on Monday evening by Stjepan Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia, Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, and Alfred Gusenbauer, Federal Chancellor for the Republic of Austria, as part of the World Summit Award (WSA) ceremony.

Held in Venice, Italy, this event formed part of the UN-backed World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).To determine the winner of the e-Inclusion prize and the event's seven other e-prizes, a grand jury of 36 jurors met in Croatia beforehand, examining over a thousand electronic projects from companies spanning 160 countries.

Expressing his pride at receiving the award, Al-Sharekh said it fitted perfectly with the company's philosophy of giving more people across the globe access to new technology.

"Every day at Sakhr, we seek to enhance knowledge democratisation by helping the blind and visually impaired to deal skillfully with personal computers and their related applications. Our objective is to enable them to find a social and economic role for themselves by pursuing employment and enabling them to meet the demands of their jobs to the fullest extent," Al-Sharekh commented. "We would like to share this award with them."

Ibsar is a comprehensive and integrated solution for the blind and visually impaired, and one of the most widely used screen readers throughout the Arab world. Its conversion of text to high-quality, audible human voice enables users to deal with most computer applications. Indeed the solution has been already adopted in many Arab countries, including Kuwait itself, Syria, KSA and Iraq, as an essential tool within social development programs, helping integrate the blind into their surrounding communities.

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