CARICOM’s Sec Gen Unveils Software for Visually Impaired in Belize

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Updated: February 12, 2016

As Belize prepares to host the Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads on the Placencia Peninsula, the Secretary General of CARICOM Secretariat, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has been doing his rounds at various points in the country.  One of his recent visits was to the Belize National Library Service yesterday.  During that visit Ambassador LaRocque officially unveiled software for the visually impaired, donated by the CARICOM Secretariat.  The library was chosen as the location due to its proximity to several high schools, university and technical vocational institutions and most importantly, Stella Maris School.  Two programs were installed; the first being JAWS, acronym for Job Access with Speech.  It is a screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output.  The second installation is called MAGIC Screen Magnification Software htat is a screen magnification and screen reading solution for low vision computer users. MAGic can help with efficiency when it vomes to business applications, documents, email, navigating the Internet, and engaging in social networking. MAGic delivers smooth, crisp letters, even at the highest magnification levels.  The Secretary General witnessed first-hand the use of the donated software by persons who benefit directly from the programme. He used the opportunity to speak to both the users and support staff at the library, where he was joined by Cabinet Chief in the Office of the Secretary General Glenda Itiaba; Advisor of Communications in the Office of the Secretary General Leonard Robertson; the Director General of the Directorate General for Foreign Trade Dr. Leroy Almendarez; Belize’s Ambassador to CARICOM H.E. Daniel Gutierrez; Acting Chief Librarian of the Belize National Library Service Lusiola Castillo and Belize’s CSME Focal Point Tricia Gideon in today’s unveiling.  Belize is one of the first CARICOM Member States to have the software installed.