Tuesday July 31, 2012
Seeing to the needs of the blind
By LOUIS YAP
As part of its annual corporate social responsibility, L’Occitane Malaysia has been avidly supporting the Malaysia Association for the Blind (MAB) for the past three years.
L’occitane Malaysia public relations manager Clarance Boo said MAB was chosen based on the work they had been carrying out for the blind.
Six staff members from L’Occitane Malaysia, including Boo, took time off to visit the MAB Complex recently to learn more about the association.
They were given a tour of MAB Complex, which is located in the heart of Brickfields and a stone’s throw away from the area’s KL Monorail station.
MAB public relations and assets executive Ramdas Nayar and MAB deputy executive director Godfrey Ooi led the entourage.
“There are currently about 30,000 people registered with us, including the partially blind and visually impaired. However, we think there are more than 50,000 in Malaysia,” said Ramdas.
The association provides many services including a resource centre containing books in braille, vocational training courses and even a small school for blind, deafblind or multi-handicapped children, which is led by coordinator Kavitha Devi.
“There were special requests by Kavitha for equipment that would directly benefit the children currently enrolled, including aid to improve their primary motor skills,” said Boo.
The centre also translates books into braille as well as records audio versions of the texts.
“Although carrying around a book written in Braille is not so practical, and audio versions are far more convenient, braille allows the blind to be functionally literate, as it allows us to learn how to read and write,” said Ooi, who is also blind.
Over the years, L’Occitane has contributed several braille embossers, which are used in the printing of braille text, as well as specialised software used in the editing and converting of text to braille.
The association welcomes volunteers who have some time to spare and a penchant for speaking to help with the recording of texts into audio files.
The association is at Kompleks MAB, Jalan Tebing off Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For details, call Nayar at 013-365 6705.