Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Running Events delivers on technology upgrade for JSB

Diane Ellis (right), director of Running Events Jamaica and Daemion McLean (centre), chairman of the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) tests one of the 24 new HP personal computers, specially equipped with the Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software during the handover ceremony on Monday October 8, 2018 at the JSB Headquarters. Sharing in the moment is David Mair, executive director of Food for the Poor Jamaica.


Before the running of Everyone’s A Winner Running Events 5K & 10K held on Sunday, April 29, 2018, road race organisers, Running Events Jamaica, committed to support the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) with the race proceeds.

On Monday, October 8, the partners delivered on their promise, in collaboration with Food for the Poor Jamaica, to present 24 HP personal computers, specially equipped with Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software to the Society.

“At Running Events, we love road running,” noted Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, director of Running Events Jamaica. “But we love road running especially when it comes to raising funds for worthy causes, it is so much more fulfilling. We are happy to be a part of this God-blessed initiative as we are now able to recognise the effort and the dream of the JSB.

“We will continue to support the JSB and to help raise the profiles and concerns of persons with visual disabilities in Jamaica; and we hope others will be inspired to join us in this effort,” concluded Francis.

NVDA allows blind and vision impaired individuals to access and interact with the Windows operating system and many third-party applications. Major highlights include: support for popular applications including web browsers, email clients, internet chat software, music players, and Microsoft office programmes; built-in speech synthesiser supporting over 50 languages, plus support for many other third party voices; reporting of textual formatting where available such as font name and size, style and spelling errors; and support for many refreshable braille displays, including input of braille via braille displays that have a braille keyboard.

In other words, members of the blind community are able to interact and access webpages, pay bills, send and receive emails, utilise Microsoft Office Suite, among other things, through the assistance of NVDA.

For Chairman of the JSB, Daemion McLeon, the upgrade for the computer lab goes beyond the physical assets.

“This is not just a computer lab we are thinking about,” declared McLean. “This is employment opportunity; training; and educational opportunity. Somebody who doesn’t have a computer at home attending university or high school, they can now have an outlet with updated computers, modern technology that can help them to get homework done. Somebody in online marketing, getting online jobs, this is an opportunity for them to get it done. It will serve persons who simply want to learn the technology, learn to use the computer. You may be getting a promotion at work and it requires computer use, this is an outlet to prepare these individuals for such an opportunity.

“There is so much potential in the blind Community and we look forward to finally being able to tap into some of it,” concluded McLean.

The JSB will return as charity partners for the 2019 staging of the Everyone’s A Winner Running Events 5K & 10K.

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