Sharjah Book Authority reaches out to all segments of society, including visually impaired children.
Marking the start of the UAE’s Month of Reading, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) spread the joy of reading among visually-impaired children in a workshop organised in collaboration with the Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired (EAVI).
Through the activity, SBA has continued its mission to engage all children and youth, including those with special needs, in reading and other knowledge-based activities to enhance their creative and linguistic ability.
The workshop featured readings delivered by EAVI experts who read from a selection of children’s books in Braille at the SBA headquarters in Sharjah .
Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fairs and Festivals at SBA, said: “Encouraging reading among pupils as well as grownups comprise our annual efforts, which are doubled during the UAE’s Month of Reading. In this month that is specially dedicated to bringing the UAE community closer to books and reading, we fuel our efforts to reach out to all segments of society, including visually impaired children, who depend on books in Braille and other accessible learning materials to expand their horizons.”
Established in December 2014, SBA is dedicated to encouraging investment in creative industries and offering a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange between people from different civilisations and cultures. SBA aims to highlight the significant role of writers and their influence in promoting community awareness in view of the technological advancements and diversity of knowledge sources.
It also seeks to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general, and the publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s books in particular.
According to WAM, the UAE has developed legislative frameworks and sustainable action programmes and integrated strategies to build a cultural and cognitive renaissance by raising awareness amongst youth about the role of reading in refining the personality, developing intellectual and critical abilities and skills, said Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, on the occasion of the Month of Reading.
The National Month of Reading was launched in accordance with the Cabinet decision, which set the month of March of each year as a reading month, with the aim of promoting a culture of reading among the different segments of society.
“The month of reading is an annual event in which our educational and cultural institutions, governmental and private, launch their initiatives, projects and programmes that stimulate the community to read and make reading a daily habit in our lives across the country.”
“The UAE has developed legislative frameworks and sustainable action programmes and integrated strategies to build a cultural and cognitive renaissance by raising awareness amongst youth about the role of reading in refining the personality, developing intellectual and critical abilities and skills and instilling a passion for knowledge and culture in the minds of future generations and equip them with the tools of the future that enable them to confront challenges,” she added.
The national law of reading establishes binding frameworks for all governmental bodies in the educational, community, media and cultural sectors to consolidate reading among all groups of society at different ages.
The law seeks to consecrate reading as a fixed feature in all public spaces in the UAE by obliging coffee shops in the commercial centres to provide reading material for customers. The law covers all aspects of reading, including development, dissemination, promotion and supporting systems to ensure the continuity of efforts to devote reading and institutionalise the general cultural effort and ensure its momentum.
The law consecrates reading as a fixed and accessible right for all since birth by providing three knowledge bags that cover the needs of children from infancy to the age of 4, at a rate of one bag every two years. The law introduces for the first time the concept of knowledge volunteering, by encouraging community groups to devote part of their time to reading to the elderly, patients and children, and those who are unable to read.