From 18 to 24 November 2018, Mr. Dang Hoai Phuc/Sao Mai's Executive Director and Mr. Phung Minh Tuan/Media Staff went on a trip to Mongolia to study and suggest plans for the MNFB's technology development programs.
We had chances to observe their education and business activities, then talked to the Executive Board, a group a teachers and blind students to find out more about their situation in organizing and developing assistive technology for the blind. Understanding the advantages and challenges, we shared our experience from Sao Mai Center to help deal with the accessibility issues in Mongolia.
One of the biggest challenges in Mongolia is that only one third of the population is settling in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, while the rest are still living their shepherd's life. This makes it more difficult to help the blind access to technology products, not to mention the lack of support from the local government and the traditional conception that parents should keep their blind children at home.
We were glad and excited to have two days of working with IDC and a team of developers who are developing a Mongolian speech engine. With their remarkable achievement, the speech engine is going to be completed by soon and widely released with the demo version to welcome user feedback then improve the product.
Thank you to all our friends from Mongolia. We hope our cooperation between Sao Mai Center and the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind will be fruitful and help empower people with disabilities, including the blind in Mongolia.