Missions, Activities and Lots of New Things from Sao Mai Center

Submitted by Sao Mai on Wed, 07/12/2017 - 22:03

Dear Readers,

You may be wondering how you got this email. To answer that question, we are the people from Sao Mai Center for the Blind, and this is our first newsletter. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletters, you are using free services by Sao Mai Center, e.g. Digital Book Library and Sao Mai AccessTech Magazine, or you are a volunteer taking part in our activities.

Sao Mai Center for the Blind


In this newsletter, we would like to update Sao Mai's missions and new activities, with hope to connect and appeal you to join us in our activities to support blind people. If you have any other questions, please fill in the form Contact us on our website; or email us at: info@saomaicenter.org.

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Introduction and Missions

Sao Mai Center is a non-profit organization, established in 2001, now located at 52/22 Huynh Thien Loc Street, Hoa Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City. In June 2014, "Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind" was renamed "Sao Mai Vocational & Assistive Technology Center for the Blind" (Sao Mai Center for the Blind). Our main missions are:

  1. Empowering the blind by using and developing assistive technology in education, employment and daily living activities.
  2. Solutions consultation and providing assistive products for the blind.
  3. Vocational, job training and placement for the blind.
     

You can find more information about us and people at Sao Mai Center in the menu About on our website. You may also like to watch the video clip about Sao Mai's 15th Anniversary (2001 – 2016) on our Youtube Channel. And don't forget to visit our Image Gallery to have a look at the photo stories organized into a timeline with many events since the establishment of Sao Mai Center!

Main Activities

Assistive Technology

Sao Mai Center has developed a lot of useful software for jobs and education for the blind such as DictTalk (a talking dictionary), EditTalk (a talking document editor), NetTalk (a talking web browser), CalTalk (a talking calculator) and especially VNVoice - the Vietnamese speech engine. Among those, the Vietnamese speech engine VNVoice has been the main tool that all people with visual impairment in Vietnam are using on Windows platform. We also trained about 2,000 people from all over the country in computer skills. About 300 of them attended our training courses for source teachers and technicians from many provinces/cities throughout the country. At present, Sao Mai are providing 2 types of training, 1)  face-to-face training and 2) online training. For more details, please refer to Training.
 

A training course organized by Sao Mai
A training course organized by Sao Mai

We are proud of the key achievement of supporting 23 provinces/cities in equipments and training programs to establish 26 computer labs, which helps to promote the application of technology in jobs and education for the blind. You can find some photos and information about supported provinces/cities here.

Vocational activities

Recognizing the difficulties in finding job opportunities for the blind, since 2014, Sao Mai has had another mission, which is providing vocational training and job placement. We have organized a number of classes to train specialized skills and soft skills for students with visual impairment. After that, Sao Mai Center becomes the bridge between students and potential employers.

Visually impaired students found their jobs after attending training courses conducted by Sao Mai
Visually impaired students found their jobs after attending training courses conducted by Sao Mai

Over the past three years, we have successfully introduced more than 30 blind students to different companies, including Vina Cacao, Tablet Plaza, Vietnam Computer Institute, Dai-ichi Life, etc.

Materials Production

Most of the current learning materials are published under the formats that blind people cannot access. As a result, blind students have a lot of difficulties in learning and doing researches. Up to now, Sao Mai's Materials Production Team has supported and converted about 2,000 books into accessible formats including ebooks, audio, DAISY and Braille books. Please refer to Sao Mai's Book Library for more information.

Support Sao Mai

Sighted volunteers are learning to use white canes
Sighted volunteers are learning to use white canes

As a non-profit organization, we face considerable challenges to maintain and develop activities to support people with visual impairment. Therefore, we are sincerely looking forward to your company in all upcoming useful and meaningful activities. Please refer to Support Sao Mai to know how you can contribute and support us.