Blind - Haiti Observer Blog

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Nearly 80,000 people are blind in Haiti, 1% of the population

By the definitions of WHO, the World Health Organization, 1% of the population of Haiti is classified as blind. For children who are visually impaired, progress through life can be especially challenging, sometimes, even more so than others with more physical impairments.

This sentiment is that of Dr. Michael A. Pean from SHAA, the Haitian Society for Aid to the Blind.

One of the greatest handicaps meted out to a visually impaired child is the lack of access to education and the need for particular instruments to aid their learning. A child must be completely proficient and skilled at Braille, the writing technique that utilizes a blind person's sense of touch, before they can matriculate into the regular school system. This skill, if acquired late, can be the reason why a blind child enters school early, late, or just on time in life.

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Roger Dorsinville Sound Library an Education Tool for Visually Impaired

Knowledge and Freedom Foundation and Haitian Blind Aid Society (AAHS) have joined forces to create a library for visually impaired Haitians, an underserved population in Haiti. The European Union (EU) has provided much of the funding in partnership with Libraries Without Borders (BSF).

The sound library, named because all works are recorded on audio tapes by volunteer readers, follows a format based on a Canadian model. The books have been recorded in both Créole and French by students and artists. The material chosen is suited to the age and interests of the readers. The readers have shown a spirited interest in the project, signing up to be volunteers.

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