World Book Day an occasion to raise awareness of people with vision disabilities: SIGI

Middle East, April 25 2017

AMMAN: World Book and Copyright Day, marked every year on April 23 should be an occasion to minimise hindrances facing people with vision disabilities, especially women, SIGI said in a statement released on Sunday.

Initiated in 1996 by UNESCO, World Book Day seeks to acknowledge the fundamental role of books in promoting cultural heritage and encouraging creativity and education.

This year, UNESCO chose Conakry in Guinea as the global book capital, highlighting its quality programmes, which focus on social integration.

“It is said that how a society treats its most vulnerable is a measure of its humanity. When we apply this measure to the availability of books to those with visual impairments and those with learning or physical disabilities [with different causes], we are confronted with what can only be described as a ‘book famine’,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said on the occasion.

There are around 39 million people with vision disabilities in the world while around 246 million others suffer from critical sight problems, SIGI said, citing World Blind Union statistics.

In Jordan, 160,155 women with vision disabilities and 2,384 from blindness compared to 3,161 men, SIGI said, citing 2015 population census figures.

SIGI called for minimising obstacles facing people with vision disabilities, especially women, to help them read and write

Regarding book publication, SIGI says the situation in the Arab world is “worrisome”, especially when compared to the rest of the world with a total publication ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 books in the Arab world, most of which are school textbooks.

Although Jordan came first in the online content contribution rating, producing 75 per cent of the total Arab content, the overall Arab content online remains limited, comprising only 3 per cent of the total internet content according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union.

Source: jordantimes

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