The groundbreaking Vision Project at UNRWA's Al-Nour Center for the Visually Impaired in Gaza City opens up new horizons and brings state of the art "text to voice" technology to low-vision and blind students and teachers -- offering a vision of hope to the next generation.
The Vision Project will eventually provide education opportunities for hundreds of learners with special needs in UNRWA schools and institutions all over Gaza. And it's solar powered, so electricity shortages should not be a problem.
49 teachers at Al-Nour have been trained on iPads. Many of the teachers are themselves visually impaired or blind but they are already able to empower students to reap the maximum benefit from this innovative technology.
Using the apps, they can "read with their ears" documents searched out on Google, and they can access emails, digital books and other on line documents.
217 visually impaired students from grade 4 to 9 are trained to use the cutting-edge Voice Dream Reader app and iPad technology.
The curriculum with all its subjects is imported as books from a Drop-Box to the students' and teachers' tablets.
The texts are read by a voice in Arabic and the students can choose between a young voice, an old voice, a man's voice or a woman's voice and they can control the speed of reading.
Low-vision students with limited some visual ability are learning to set up the iPads according to their individual vision status. They can choose the colours and level of magnifications when they read the texts in the curriculum.
The educators at UNRWA's Al-Nour Center emphasize that mastering Braille remains the foundation of the rehabilitation and education of blind or visually impaired persons. But thanks to the Vision Project, lives are being transformed. Hope is being restored to a potentially lost generation.