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Unique ‘Talks’ software introduced into Tamkeen curriculum

Arab philanthropist, George Kordahi, puts new educational tools through their paces

Dubai, UAE – Visually impaired people in the UAE can now make greater use of the latest telecommunications technologies thanks to Tamkeen and ‘Talks’, a powerful new software, which runs on Nokia’s Series 60 Symbian-based operating system. Tamkeen, an initiative of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, is dedicated to empowering the visually impaired and has now extended its curriculum to include mobile phone usage to take into account the necessity of mobile telecommunications as part of every day life.
Students will be taught how to use independently developed ‘Talks’ software which verbalises menu functions on Series 60 compatible devices to access the full features of the phone thus enableing them to stay connected to their communities.
“As part of our commitment to bringing technology innovations to the service of the visually impaired, we are delighted to introduce this mobile phone software to the UAE, the first time it has been used in the MENA region. It will help open new opportunities for those we serve and assist them in being more independent and productive members of society, particularly given the increasingly central role of mobile communication devices in every part of our lives,” said Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, General Manager of Tamkeen and the CEO of Dubai Knowledge Village.
During a launch ceremony in Dubai’s Knowledge Village, Dr Al Karam presented the enriched curriculum to United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and Lebanese Cedar Medal holder George Kurdahi to test the first Talks-enabled devices.
“This is an excellent development in an already worthy curriculum that will help empower visually impaired people in the Emirates,” said George Kordahi. “I am impressed with the innovation and sophistication of the tool and am sure that many people will find this of benefit.”
Tamkeen will shortly celebrate the graduation of the first group of participants trained in the use of the new software. Each of Tamkeen’s graduates will receive a Nokia 6680 phone equipped with the Talks software.
Tamkeen, which was inaugurated May 19, 2004, operates in association with Dubai Knowledge Village and is mainly sponsored by Emirates Airlines. Its training partners include the British Council, Biz-Ability and the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum IT Education Project (ITEP).

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