Home 5 Articles and Reports 5 “Kalimat” Speaks to Children’s Minds Through ِARA

“Kalimat” Speaks to Children’s Minds Through ِARA

Kalimat: Completion of ARA’s 1st phase of distributing 30,000 books

 

As the very first initiative to conduct surveys of children with blindness, visual impairment, or other print disabilities in the Middle East, North and East Africa, the Kalimat Foundation’s “ARA” initiative has become a global role model for empowering blind and visually impaired children and ensuring their right to knowledge resources.

In response to the surveys, which indicated that accessible books are scarce in the Arab world and most blind children don’t have access to them, the initiative’s exceptional efforts were launched in response to this finding. Moreover, blind children are not offered equal opportunities to sighted peers in a troubling way. The initiative produced 30,000 accessible books in braille, large print, and audio format. In 11 countries, these books are available to more than 45 public and private institutions.

Countries across three continents, namely; Asia, Africa and North America benefited from the ARA Initiative, including the UAE, the KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Oman, Algeria, and the USA.

The ground-breaking success is the first phase of the initiative’s adjectives that seek to support blind and visually-disabled children, help them develop their capabilities in literacy by providing reading content in accessible formats, highlight the efforts aimed at helping them to integrate better into society, as well as educate publishers about technologies and tools used to produce and publish accessible books.

The initiative did not stop at those local and international milestones, but also produced more than 100 EPUB3 titles, giving visually-impaired children the opportunity to access a library of books whose text size and colour can be easily modified according to their needs.

Amna Al Mazmi, Manager of Kalimat Foundation (KF), said: “Today, we celebrate the distribution of the first batch of accessible-book production. We were able to achieve this remarkable success thanks to the vision of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and Chairperson of KF, and her full support to blind and visually-disabled children, in life with her firm belief in their right to access sources of knowledge, and bolster their presence and participation in social and creative life on par with their peers.”

“Our future plans comprise the production of new titles of accessible books. We will also offer training to more publishing houses on the production of EPUB3 books to further enhance the integration of visually-impaired children with their sighted peers, and bridge the critical shortage gap in the public libraries across the Arab world in terms of accessible Arabic books,” she added.

Over the past six years, KF achieved tangible accomplishments in forging international treaties and opening collaboration channels with like-minded entities as well as offering education and training opportunities to elevate the accessible-book ecosystem. In 2018, it signed off a cooperation agreement with ABC to produce accessible Arabic ebooks. In 2019, it offered training to 10 MENA-based publishing houses about the mechanism of accessible EPUB3 book production. ARA also organised a series of workshops to raise awareness about the importance of blind children’s integration in their communities in the Middle East, North and East Africa.

Through the ARA initiative, KF became UAE’s first non-profit to secure publishing rights under the Marrakesh Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The UAE Ministry of Economy authorised KF to facilitate access of the visually-impaired and print-disabled to published works in line with the terms of the treaty, to reproduce, distribute, and make copies of published works available in accessible formats for the blind, visually-impaired, and otherwise print-disabled.

 

Recent News

23May
Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman, bestselling author of the YA Heartstopper books, has raised nearly £20,000 for children in Gaza in a special auction organised by Save the Children.  Not Alone: The Alice Osman Fundraiser for Children in Gaza included Alice Oseman bookplates and Heartstopper enamel pins as well as ‘signed and doodled’ Alice Oseman books.  Save the […]

23May
‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by “Kairos,” a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with its exploration of love against the backdrop of political turmoil.   Eleanor Watchel, chair of […]

23May
Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron’s lost memoirs revealing how he “set his mind to evil” has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house. The “bad boy” poet gave his memoirs to a friend […]

Related Posts

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by "Kairos," a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with...

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron's lost memoirs revealing how he "set his mind to evil" has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house....

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

We’ve had chic lit, cosy crime and romantasy – now make way for ‘healing fiction’, the latest genre to be identified by publishers.  In a fascinating article in the Bookseller, Justine Taylor, managing editor at the Zaffre Publishing Group, described healing fiction...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest