Unified Arabic Braille Portal
The Unified Arabic Braille Portal from Mada Center, Qatar, aims to develop the Arabic Braille table in math and science signs/ symbols, as well as to develop the first eight-dots Arabic computer braille table to take advantage of Its multiple features, such as writing or reading a single code in a single cell and supporting some computer signs. Braille is the only way that enables blind or blind-deaf people who have difficulty accessing printed materials to read and write using assistive technology.
The Most Important Features of the Portal
The portal will benefit the blind, deaf-blind people, experts, teachers, students, software developers, and assistive technology manufacturers in Qatar and abroad.
8-Dot Arabic Braille
The portal provides an 8-dot Arabic Braille coding system that enables science coding such as mathematics and chemistry. The portal also provides digital content explaining how to use the system.
Learning Braille Coding
The portal contains detailed references on simple Arabic Braille, abbreviations, contractions, mathematics and science, and 8-dot computer braille, as well as simplified lessons to learn to read and write in Arabic Braille.
Liblouis Software Library
The portal provides support for the various Arabic tables listed in the Liblouis Software Library, with the aim of helping the blind to read and produce braille documents more efficiently, and write in braille via computer and various electronic platforms.
The ambition of every person who is a beginner with using braille is to have a website that they can use to identify the dots of letters and symbols that may be shaped on these letters. Thus, providing an Arabic Braille website is an important addition for those wishing to learn braille, parents, academics, and those wishing to stay up-to-date with Arabic Braille.
It is not unusual for Qatar to consistently be proactive with such accomplishments, Arabic Braille needed since a long time to be looked at closely and developed.
The 8-dot computer braille table is a tremendous addition that will assist users of braille displays and speaking computer programs in a smoother use of braille. I invite all Arab users around the world to use these new tables, and to share their observations and comments, furthermore, I invite everyone who can contribute and add to this work not to delay serving Arabic Braille, as all these kind efforts will help in eradicating the illiteracy of the Arab blind and facilitate their access to printed materials.
Hussein Khalil Nazar, General Director of the Friends of the Visually Impaired Foundation in Qatar
There is no doubt that the development of and update to Arabic Braille font is one of the most important needs for visually impaired people to better adapt the braille font to computer systems and to continue technological developments. Providing a renewed educational resource that serves those who wish to learn about Arabic Braille and its characteristics and developments is also an important turning point. We hope that the relevant academic and governmental institutions will begin to adopt the portal and consider how to further improve and develop it, so that it becomes a more advanced, unified, and stable code for the entire Arab world, as is the case with the Unified English Braille.
Faisal Al-Kohji, Legal Advisor of The North Oil Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar Social and Cultural Center for Blind
I would like to express my appreciation for Mada’s team working on this portal and continuously following-up with braille development through the Liblouis Library. With their efforts, they have the credit for involving the Arabic language in the 8-dot Arabic Braille. The idea of making the seventh and eighth dots a means of representing more symbols, shapes, and braille signs will result in many symbols being represented in one cell instead of two or more cells. On the other hand, many scientific and mathematical symbols were not represented in the old braille system, and now, with the developed 6-dot braille or the 8-dot computer braille system, it can be said that all mathematical, engineering, and computer symbols will be represented in the Arabic Braille table.
Badr Al-Adwani, Kuwait
I think that having a website specialized in Arabic Braille will be an important addition since there is no website in the Arab world that specializes in braille, its techniques, and its development in general. With this step, the website will be a great contribution to creating an organized platform, becoming a reference for braille technologies, and developing Arabic tables, which have long remained undeveloped in the past.
Ali Al-Omari – Oman