A voluntary initiative to record audio books for the blind
- Light is an unofficial, non-profit voluntary initiative, independent and not affiliated with any party or organization. It targets the blind and visually impaired in various stages and places.
- It was launched on 1 December 2018.
- Haya Mustafa Akkad.
- Batoul Yassin Abu Ali.
Based on our belief in the sustainable development goals, the need to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education, and the enhancement of lifelong learning opportunities for all without exception, and based on our vision that education is the way to advance human life and society, we launched Light Initiative, which seeks to secure equitable educational opportunities for people with visual disabilities. It also seeks to provide scientific content in suitable formats for those people and services that help them complete and develop their education through different stages.
In our work, we rely on two main pillars:
The first is the holistic aspect of the proposed solution and not being confined to a particular group, whether in terms of age or location, and the second is the achievement of quality standards through a set of mechanisms adopted in auditing and reviewing the submitted content to be in the best possible format.
- Supporting the blind and visually impaired in pursuing their school, university and postgraduate education by providing a set of services, the most important of which are: audio recording of scientific content, content preparation and content formatting to be printed in Braille.
- Providing a high-quality audio archive uploaded to the Internet, free and available to everybody, including records of school and university textbooks and the references required to facilitate study for all blind people pursuing their educational attainment.
- Keeping up with the renewed scientific content, the development of the curricula and the updating of the records.
- Ensuring accuracy and scientific integrity through communication with specialists to provide solutions and scrutinize information.
- Empowering both the blind student and the blind teacher through the preparation of school curricula for the blind, and preparing books approved by the Ministry of Education and adapted to be printable in Braille.
- Communicating with various authorities, institutions and associations in the context of achieving every cooperation that can provide services to support the blind and visually impaired.
- Educating and making people aware of all blind-related matters and how to deal with them.
- Enhancing youth volunteer culture by encouraging and supporting volunteers.
There is no headquarters for our initiative on the ground, as work and coordination are completely conducted via the Internet (email and social networking sites), and thus it is most likely for interested volunteers to take part anywhere and at any time.
Light currently works with a team of about 600 volunteers distributed between the audio recording team and the braille content team.
Agencies and organizations that it has been networking with
- Syrian Virtual University
- Syrian Youth Gathering
- Special institute of Education for Rehabilitation of the Blind in Damascus.
- Department of People with Special Needs Care at Al-Bath University in Homs.
- The Syrian Society for Prevention of Blindness in Aleppo.
- Recording the Syrian Virtual University (SVU) law degree program and making it available through both Light channel on YouTube and the SVU website.
- Recording the official school curricula; where what have been recorded so far are the curricula of sixth-grade, ninth-grade, and high school, the basic subjects of tenth and eleventh grade, and some subjects of elementary school. In addition, some necessary explanations and answer keys have been provided and made available through Light accounts.
- Recording books, lectures and scientific references for blind students in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in different majors.
- Preparing and formatting more than 30 books within the project of preparing school curricula in association with the Special Institute of Education for the Rehabilitation of the Blind in Damascus as a first step in the framework of providing a school curriculum for the blind student to be printed later in Braille.
- Light has reached more than 7000 followers on Facebook and more than 2500 subscribers to the YouTube channel. It is being followed up daily by dozens of students from school, university and graduate programs in various majors (Arabic literature, law, Sharia, English, sociology, business administration) and blind professors specialized in Arabic, English and social studies subjects. Light provides these teachers with recordings to help them prepare their lessons and teach their students..
- Expanding the services that support the blind on the personal, scientific and professional levels.
- Diversifying the presented content so that it is not limited to scientific content only.
- Being independent in terms of securing publications and special supplies.