The South African libraries For The Blind Project will ensure reading and online access materials are available for visually impaired rural people. This will be done by installing specialised computers for the visually impaired.
This new found type of hope for visually impaired rural people is good news as many blind people in these areas are unemployed and have fewer opportunities.
Mr Collins Thovhakale, director of library services in the province stated that disabled people are still overlooked when they apply for job. There is a high rate of unemployment amongst the disabled. The project is meant to empower disabled people through job creation and offers.
Disabled people in the province are overlooked with regards to good jobs as well as good education.Their libraries lack librarians even though there are many people who are qualified to do the job – according to Tjokovakale:
“In most cases we only think if disabled people when we want to host events to celebrate their disabilities. But when it comes to serious issues like unemployment we do not consider them. People with disabilities must be employed in high numbers and they must be given first preference when they apply for jobs”
Spokesman for disabled individuals in Vhembe, Ndishavgelafhi Mphaphuli said that most educated disabled people do have good qualifications but seem to be unemployed.
“We also need proper jobs as we have our own needs. But it seems like people are not prepared to hire us as we are only offered short term contracts which are not enough to sustain us. We have been complaining about this issue for years. The only solution we can use to create jobs for ourselves is to start our own businesses as it seems like it’s the only way out of this situation which we find ourselves in”
Francois Hendrikz, CEO of South African Library for the Blind said that people with visual impairment should be treated the same as sighted people.
“We all have the right to access information and this project gives that opportunity to blind people”