Abu Dhabi: Forty visually impaired participants will be competing in the fourth annual Braille Reading Competition under the theme, ‘Everyone Can Read'.
The competition, which began on Tuesday, is organised by the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and under the patronage of Shaikh Hazza Bin Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Na'ema Al Mansouri, Blinds Printing Press Manager, said: "This year, the competition is divided into five categories, including university students.
"Moreover, each participant has to read up to five books and they will then be asked about them in front of a committee. The winners will be announced at after Ramadan."
Since the competition was established in 2006, awareness about the organisation began to spread, which led to collaborations with other organisations across the region.
"While this is the fourth time that this competition is being hosted in the UAE, we have received correspondence from organisations in Bahrain and Qatar who were interested in enrolling their students in the competition.
"We are looking into expanding the Braille Reading Competition to become a regional one next year," Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of Special Needs Sector, said.
According to Na'ema, there are over 250 visually impaired students who are a part of the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care's various programmes. In addition, there is a good level of awareness among the public about visually impaired individuals and their potential, both socially and in the workplace.
"This is the first time I participate in such a competition and I'm excited to be a part of it. I have three books to read according to my category and I can't wait to go home and start reading them.
I love reading, especially about cultural topics because I can get lost in the books while also learning something new," said Hesham Saleh Badi Al Wahidi, 24, a fresh graduate with a university degree in Arabic language, culture and literature.
- Abu Dhabi 9
- Al Ain 12
- Dubai 6
- Sharjah 1
- Ras Al Khaimah 4
- Umm Al Quwain 1
- Ajman 4
- Fujairah 2
- Al Sheb'a 1