its first batch of IT students
Training centre for the visually impaired celebrates its third
graduation and the launch of its new website
an initiative of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, aimed
at empowering visually impaired people, today graduated its
first batch of IT students.
A ceremony conducted at
the centre awarded certificates to 16 Tamkeen students.
H.E. Colonel Saeed Matar Bin Bleila, Director of Dubai
Nationalisation and Residency Department, Dr. Abdulla Al
Karam, Director of Tamkeen and a number of human resources
officers of Dubai based organisations attended the graduation
Tamkeen, which was established in 2004,
empowers vision impaired people of working age with vocational
skills to enter the modern workplace and become economically
independent. In today’s working environment, achieving
computer literacy is important to the career development of
"We cannot ignore the vital role
which the visual impaired can play in contributing to the
advancement of society. They only need our support and
encouragement to find appropriate job opportunities. This can
be achieved only through providing proper training and focused
education programmes of the kind we see here in Tamkeen,”
said H.E. Colonel Saeed Matar bin Bleila, after awarding
certificates to the graduates.
Dr Abdulla Al
Karam, Director of Tamkeen, thanked Mr. Bin Bleila for his
support and said: “Visually impaired people in this region
have a lot of untapped potential,” said “Teaching our
students to use technology helps them discover their abilities
and breaks down barriers preventing them from entering a
Tamkeen’s course, which took three months
to complete, provided vision impaired students a basic
knowledge of touch-typing, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft
Office, and the Internet.
“Earlier I couldn’t use
a computer,” said Muneera Ragheb, Tamkeen IT graduate.
“With the skills I have learnt at Tamkeen I now hope to find
work that involves the use of PCs,” she added.
2004, Tamkeen offered three computer literacy classes. All
students who took the course will graduate in March.
“The computer classes are very good,” said Abla
Sowayeh Al Kaabi another graduate of the class. “The course
taught me how to use programmes with a screen reader which
reads out what the computer displays. Using this tool I learnt
how to use the internet and Microsoft
Tamkeen’s other career-driven courses
offered in 2004 included written and oral English provided
with the support of the British Council, and business soft
skills such as customer service and sales techniques taught by
Dubai Media City-based company Biz-Ability.
Tamkeen’s latest graduation coincided with the launch of its
new portal. Designed by the IT Education Project (ITEP),
www.tamkeen.ae , is the first of its kind in the Middle East.
With content provided in both English and Arabic, the site
offers a version designed specifically for the visually
impaired and another for sighted users.
portal is an invaluable resource for the visually impaired,”
said Dr. Al Karam. “It will enable them to communicate
ideas, exchange information and maintain friendships,
regardless of their location.”
The portal also
allows users to personalise their settings. This allows
partially-sighted users to increase the lettering size
depending on their needs. In addition, visually impaired
people who use screen-readers to navigate the site can choose
how much information they want displayed on the page.
The back-end of the site is updated by the visually impaired
staff of Tamkeen. The site includes updated information on
Tamkeen’s activities and courses, a chat forum and a
facility that allows students to post their CVs for the
consideration of potential employers.
in association with Dubai Knowledge Village and is mainly
sponsored by Emirates Airlines. Its training partners include
the British Council, Biz-Ability and the Sheikh Mohammed Bin
Rashid Al Maktoum IT Education Project (ITEP). Its technology
partners include the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind
(RVIB), an organisation established in Australia for over 150
years, Braille House, Microsoft and HP.