A voluntary initiative to record audio books for the blind
- ‘Light’ Initiative is an unofficial voluntary initiative that was established and is being run by individuals without being affiliated with any party or organization.
- It was launched on1December 2018.
- It is basically based on the voluntary act of recording books phonetically and it especially targets the blind and visually impaired.
- Haya Mustafa Akkad - Informatics engineer.
- Batoul Yassin Abu Ali-Informatics engineer.
The Goals of the Initiative
- Providing a high-quality audio archive uploaded on the Internet and available to everybody, which includes records of school and university textbooks, so study for all blind people pursuing their educational attainment is facilitated.
- Keeping up with the renewed scientific content, constantly developing the curricula and updating the records.
- Ensuring scientific accuracy through communicating with specialists to provide solutions and verify information.
- Communicating with the various bodies, institutions and societies within the framework of achieving every cooperation that can provide services supporting the blind and visually impaired.
- There is no actual on-the-ground headquarters for ‘Light’; since we - founders and volunteers - work anywhere and at anytime.
- Communication is established via the Internet (e-mail and social networking sites) and thus it is most likely for interested volunteers to take part anywhere and at anytime.
Contribution of Volunteers
- Currently, ‘Light’ is working with a roughly 150-volunteer team.
- At the moment, we are working with volunteers to record the Syrian Virtual University (SVU) Law-Degree program, then to review and audit it, and to amend the recordings to be provided in the best way. It is noteworthy that the SVU will support all volunteer participants by giving them a Volunteer Certificate presented by the SVU + ‘Light’ Initiative and signed by the university president.
- Recording the official school curricula; where the recording of the sixth-grade curriculum and the ninth-grade curriculum has been completed and the twelvth-grade curriculum is being recorded, with all-subject answer-keys being underway.
- On-request recording of books, lectures, abstracts and scientific references for each blind person pursuing their under- and post-graduate studies.
- ‘Light’ also thanks and appreciates its volunteers when they participate in any volunteer work related to recording extra books (Not SVU-related) by offering an Acknowledgement-and-Gratitude Certificate provided by ‘Light’.
- Speaking and articulating sounds properly.
- Learning how to use one of the simple montage programs (Teaching videos are provided by ‘Light’ to explain how to edit audio tracks).Thus, no previous experience is required.
- Being committed, responsible, and honest.
- Joining a ‘Light’ team requires filling out an admission application available on the Initiative Facebook account as well as the following link: Join-in Link
- After filling out the form, ‘Light’ team will contact the applicants and provide them with all the details of the admission test.
- The admission test is merely a simple audio recording by the volunteer according to certain rules and instructions.
- The audio samples are checked by a ‘Light’ team to ensure the correctness of the pronunciation and the integrity of sounds articulation, as well as to test the recording quality in terms of not containing any errors or noise.
- After fulfilling all the above-mentioned, the volunteer is admitted to ‘Light’ volunteer team and can start performing their tasks. ‘Light’ follows up its volunteers and flexibly organizes the work in terms of dividing the books into tasks and batches that are reviewed and delivered successively.
- Volunteers can record themselves by using their mobile device or any other microphone.
- Volunteers can apply the simple montage process via any preferred software, be it a computer program or a mobile application.
- To complete recording the syllabus of the SVU Law-degree program in the next period; and then looking into other programs.
- To gradually record school curricula.
- To provide a prompt and urgent assistance to any blind student who requests recording (lectures, worksheets, course questions, etc.).
- To attract those interested in literary and theatrical works to meet the demand of any blind person who wants to hear a book, research or work for which there is no available audio .
- To do everything that supports and benefits volunteers in their professional lives, because- in addition to the beautiful humanitarian work that they provide- we also seek to support them through ‘Light’ cooperation with initiatives, associations and bodies interested in volunteering.