Today in Myanmar, there are over one hundred thousand people who have vision disability and there are only a limited number of disabled who are capable of using IT technologies.
In the developed countries and some of the neighboring countries of Myanmar, disabled persons are supported to be able to use IT products by using their language and voice. In that case, Myanmar National Association of the Blind is trying to make disabled persons in Myanmar to be able to use IT products.
Visual disabled type the text in Myanmar language using computer. That’s why, a script reading software was started writing since 2013 to enable the typer hear the text. That software was financially supported by The Nippon Foundation based in Japan and Viet and some other countries corporated to write this software.
“Now Version. 1 of this software has released. But it still has weakness. Myanmar language is somewhat difficult. In some cases, there are different sounds in writing and reading. Based on these differences, there will be many things to be amended and make improve. We are now trying to release Version. 2 after Version. 1” said U Aung Ko Myint, President of Myanmar National Association of the Blind.
Meanwhile, people who have vision disability are using the IT products in English language.
“Disabled who are taking advantage of IT technologies might be as low as one percent, I supposed. Because these technologies are out of their range and people in undeveloped and isolated areas don’t have knowledge about these technologies. And even though they know, they don’t know how to use these IT products,” president of Myanmar National Association of the Blind, U Aung Ko Myint continued.
“Although a small number of disabled can use IT products, such capability is getting on a track which can lead all the disabled in Myanmar to be able to use IT products,” a visual disabled U Aung Naing Htun explained.
“Visual disabled who can write softwares and programs are emerged. There are also disabled translators who translate between Myanmar and English language by using computer. And some disabled can do office works with computers.” U Aung Naing Htun continued.
That’s why, IT technologies are helping visual disabled. He added that increasing and decreasing number of disabled who are using technologies depends on support they get. The more opportunities for disabled can be created, the more number of disabled will enter IT field.
In the meantime, interested persons, technicians, and financial support are required when trying to make visual disabled persons to be able to access the IT products.
In according to the National Census in 2014, number of visual disabled persons had reached to 2.5 percents of the population of Myanmar.