By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor
The Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Secretariat, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Thursday, officially unveiled equipment which the CARICOM Secretariat had previously donated to the Belize National Library Service for the visually-impaired.
The CARICOM Secretariat had donated and installed software for the visually-impaired at the Belize National Library Service in 2015 for public use at the Leo Bradley on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. That was identified as the ideal location because of its proximity to several high schools, university and technical vocational institutions,and also because it is near to the Stella Maris School, which caters to students with special needs.
The two software programmes installed at the library are: JAWS, Job Access With Speech – the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on the PC; and the MAGic® Screen Magnification Software: a screen magnification and screen-reading solution for low-vision computer users. MAGic enables more efficient work with business applications, documents, email, navigating the Internet, and engaging in social networking. It delivers smooth, crisp letters, even at the highest magnification levels.
Secretary General LaRoque witnessed first-hand how the donated software benefits visually challenged Belizeans and he used the opportunity to speak to them and the library’s support staff.
Belize is one of the first CARICOM Member States to have the software installed.