Group Empowers Blind People, Calls for Social Intervention


Oluchi Chibuzor

As part of plans to support Persons Living With Disability (PLWD) in Nigeria, Total Cooperative and Anglo-Nigerian Welfare Association for the Blind has organised training on Job Access with Speech (JAWS) for 40 persons with virtually impaired challenges.

This is a computer screen reader program for Microsoft windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen of computers unassisted, consequently gaining employable skills for living.

In a statement signed by Head, Legal and Communication, Total Cooperative Society, Hector Henry-Amiwero, the company noted that with the growing economical challenges people with disabilities face in the society, the need to offer a safety net becomes imperative at this critical moment.

The statement further reveals that the worrisome part is that the number of people with visual impairment is high in developing countries with Nigeria inclusive, adding that policy support is needed to increase awareness of their social well-being.

According to him, “in Nigeria, the physically challenged people are seen as inactive members of the society due to their disabilities. While a good number of them can proudly compete with sighted people, of the 285 million visually impaired people worldwide, 10 per cent are likely to get a job or have access to education.

“We know by giving them an avenue to have a livelihood, every other aspect of their lives will be affected positively, especially their health and overall well being which is more important to us, considering a lot they go through on a daily bases. With this more organisations will be challenged to assist them also.

“So we thought of JAWS, which is the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse.”

In recognition of the gesture, trustee of Anglo- Nigeria Welfare Association for the Blind, Dr Danlami Basharu, said support from Total Co-operative Society was timely.

He said: “The trainees of the six months long computer training programme on JAWS screen reader has given hope to all who participated in it and we solicit for more social inclusion programs for our members.”