Tuesday, January 12, 2021

19-Year-Old Rezhin Ahmad Reprints Storybooks for Blind Readers


Finding stories to read in Braille is a big enough challenge for those who speak English. For 19-year-old Rezhin Ahmad, who is blind and speaks Kurdish, this proves an even bigger challenge. "I was looking around and noticed that there are no Braille books available for visually impaired readers. Even if there are any, they would be in English and Arabic," Rezhin told the Associated Press.


The lack of books available inspired Rezhin to convert a story to Braille for the first time. She decided on the story Beautiful Words, writing each copy out by hand and using her teacher's Braille printer in order to finish printing the books. In total, Rezhin made six copies of Beautiful Words to distribute to other blind readers.


Rezhin and her fellow readers are from Duhok, a city in Iraq. In Duhok, those with visual impairments receive very little in the way of support and accommodations. Those who are blind or have low vision can typically only receive an education until secondary school. For this reason, those who were able to read Rezhin's story have been extra appreciative. 


"There weren't any [books] available. Even during first year of studies, the program was in normal writing. There wasn't any Braille, neither in books nor on forms," said Heyhat Asaad upon learning of and reading Rezhin Ahmad's reprinting. "Now, we are very happy that a book has been written for us, one that visually impaired people can enjoy reading."

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