These are some of my thoughts of this symposium:
Employment opportunities for people with visual impairment is still limited (Hong Kong, Malaysia, and China)
Government polices support are essential in creating high mode (level) employment (the Malaysian Experience of Teachers, China)
We have advanced to the digital age. According to the report from DAISY, the majority of the 2000 best selling books are available in digital format
Legislation requiring all digital platforms be barrier free is becoming the norm. China has implemented such legislation this year.
With continued advancement in electronic technology, affordable and reliable braille reading equipment should come in the near future. (e.g. $U.S.300 braille display.)
High level employment for people with visual impairment should be a norm, rather than an exception if we work together to:
Provide the best education opportunities to people with visual impairment, according to their interest, aptitude and dreams.
Create policies that ensure a barrier free environment
Educate and show case to the public about ability and potential of people with visual impairment. Tell them stories of successful employment of people with visual impairment
Complete my summary with a personal experience
In 1995, 17 years ago, I visited Organisations serving people with visual impairment in Sweden
The tour guide was an 18 years old student who was totally blind
She took us around to different organisations
She told me that she wanted to become a reporter
She learned to use braille display and related information technology since kindergarten
She was taught, since childhood, she could achieve her dreams if she worked to her capacity
She was self-confident, hopeful, and always smiling
I later learned that the Swedish Government would provide work stations, and designed special equipment for people with visual impairment so that they could work effectively and efficiently in employment
Believing in the ability of people with visual impairment
Legislating suitable policies
Providing adequate resources
With technology advancing to this day, people with visual impairment engaging in high level employment should become the norm, rather than exceptions.
I trust that with our cooperative effort, many stories of successful and dignified employment from people with visual impairment will come.
I pledge that you would send me those stories and publicize them worldwide
Together, we can make a world that can realize the potential and ability of people with visual impairment