Drive to offer restaurant menus in Braille
Manama, July 10, 2013
Restaurants across Bahrain could soon have menus in Braille language, as part of an initiative to integrate blind people into society, a report said.
A group of 25 students from the Applied Science University (ASU) hope to turn the project, Spotlight, into a national movement to provide more services to the visually impaired in Bahrain, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
They displayed the scheme at the 'Ripples of Happiness' regional programme, which encouraged Arab youth to become socially responsible and engage in civic service.
They took home the first prize after establishing a special stand at Bahrain City Centre, which gave people the chance to experience life without the gift of sight.
They also distributed Braille menus at restaurants inside the mall to raise awareness about the plight of blind people.
"We wanted to continue with this initiative whether we won or not," said project spokesman Ahmed Al Najdi.
"We planned to have a second phase where menus in restaurants and malls are printed in Braille language. We want this initiative to keep inspiring people and raise awareness on the visually impaired and their struggles.”
The group, comprising undergraduate and postgraduate students, won $10,000 during a ceremony held at the Kempinski Grand and Ixir Hotel, Bahrain City Centre, to roll out the project across the country.
"We do not want to limit it to university students but spread it to have more volunteers from all over who are interested," he said. "We want to lighten up the way for the visually impaired."
The competition, organised by inJAz Al Arab and Coca-Cola Foundation, was held for the second year. Ten universities from five countries took part in the event, where teams were given a budget of $300 to come up with an idea in four weeks.
The ASU team visited the Friendship Society for the Blind to learn about the different obstacles facing the blind in Bahrain, before they created the menus.
Shaikha Hessa said such initiatives were designed to encourage young people to introduce social changes in their communities through entrepreneurship.
"Today our youth have shown success in responding to social needs facing their society," she said during the ceremony. There are around 750 visually impaired Bahrainis, according to a 2012 report by the Social Development Ministry. – TradeArabia News Service