Monday, October 22, 2018

Running Events helps to empower the Blind Community through technology upgrade

Gavin Plowright (second left), IT support officer at Food for the Poor Jamaica explains the Ncomputing X-Series Zero Client Virtual Desktop capabilities to (from left) Catherine Goodall, director of project development at Food for the Poor Jamaica; Daemion McLean, chairman of the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) and Conrad Harris, JSB executive director, ahead of the presentation by Running Events Jamaica and Food For The Poor of 24 HP personal computers, specially equipped with the Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software to the JSB on Monday October 8, 2018 at the JSB Headquarters.
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.

Community development and empowerment
For patron of Running Event’s Everyone’s A Winner 5K & 10K, Senator Dr Floyd Morris, the increased access to technology for persons with visual disabilities provided by this initiative is key to the development and empowerment of the community.

“I am happy that Running Events joined forces with the Jamaica Society for the Blind, along with Food for the Poor, to make this technology available for blind and visually impaired persons to have access the latest offerings on the internet,” stated Senator Dr Morris. “Because the truth is these technologies are expensive and the ordinary person with a disability cannot independently purchase the computer, much less the necessary software.

“This is also an extremely important gesture as it constitutes an initiative that is going to empower persons with visual disabilities. I am stressing the whole issue of empowerment because that is what we are about in the community of persons with disabilities. We don’t want anybody to come and give us any handout that today it will help the individual, but tomorrow we have to come back to you for assistance. We want real tangible assistance that is going to transform the lives of person with disabilities for a sustainable period of time,” he explained.

 “I am so proud to have been associated with this run and I must thank the over 2,000 participants who attended the run as they helped to generate the finances to make this initiative a success,” concluded Senator Dr Morris.

Senator Dr. Floyd Morris will return as the Patron of the 2019 Everyone’s A Winner Running Events 5K & 10K.

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