Mongolia and Taiwan broaden support for the blind

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The Taiwanese government donated a braille embosser to the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB) on Wednesday to support learning experiences of the blind and visually impaired.

After handing over the embosser worth 15,000 USD, Taiwan’s representative to Mongolia Huang Kuo-Jung and his secretary discussed further directions of mutual cooperation with Head of the MNFB D.Gerel.

The Taiwanese side mentioned that this was their first donation to the MNFB despite the many years of partnership between Mongolia and Taiwan. They chose to give away a braille embosser as advised by D.Gerel.

“We’re happy to be able to assist the visually impaired in getting access to information quickly. This is the first time we’ve made a donation to the MNFB. We said that this was the beginning of our cooperation but we’ve already collaborated in many areas. For many years, we partnered with the MNFB and taught various skills, such as massage therapy, to people living with visual impairment. I’m confident that our cooperation will further expand in the future,” said a representative from the Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar during the meeting with D.Gerel.

D.Gerel and Huang Kuo-Jung shaking hands after meeting on February 22
D.Gerel and Huang Kuo-Jung shaking hands after meeting on February 22

D.Gerel stated that the majority of programs and projects implemented in Mongolia don’t address problems faced by the blind and visually impaired, but Taiwan has been helping alleviate this issue in the last four years through all kinds of programs and workshops.

“The Taiwanese side has been organizing workshops and programs for the blind and visually impaired in Mongolia for four years. This time, they’ve donated an embosser worth 15,000 USD. The embosser is the most essential item for distributing information to people living with visual impairment,” she said.

D.Gerel highlighted that the embosser will significantly help improve the learning experiences of the blind as it is three times faster than their current machine. She also criticized the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the lack of books and reading materials for the visually impaired.

“Our association isn’t able to reach every blind member of the public. In fact, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is supposed to publish braille books. Yet, they make an excuse saying that the MNFB is supposed to carry out that work through projects. I believe that the situation will improve soon now that a law for the blind has been adopted,” she noted.

Mongolia used to import braille books from Russia up until the late 1990s due to lack of equipment and financing. The MNFB opened the first library for the blind in 2005. Reportedly, there are 16,600 people living with visual impairment in Mongolia and only 9,000 of them are members of the MNFB.

The MNFB operates an industrial vocational training center, kindergarten, braille publisher, and massage therapy center.

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