Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) has taken great strides in supporting the community of people with handicaps in the past three decades. Since the mid-1980s, the Institute has unleashed its technical and research capabilities to provide technical support and conduct research projects to improve the technical capabilities of the people who support this community. The Institute has received many awards internationally in recognition of KISR’s strong efforts and advanced capabilities in supporting people with handicaps. Examples of these include the Stockholm Challenge prize (2000), the World Summit award (2007), and the e-content award (2015). The following is a summary of achievements which we see as reinforcing the value of KISR’s within the local community and which ultimately serves the interests of the government and citizens of Kuwait.
Support for the Blind
- Braille printing systems had a transformative impact on the printing quality of school textbooks and other periodicals for Kuwait special education schools and Kuwait Blind Society (KBS).
- Braille computer systems have enabled blind Kuwaitis to use personal computers and browse the internet.
- Holy Quran printing systems transformed KBS from an importer of Braille-printed copies of the Holy Quran to a major printer and distributor of these copies to Kuwait and Arab countries.
- Kuwait Braille banking systems enabled blind bank customers to access banking documents and contracts in Braille format. These systems were the fruits of KISR’s cooperation with local banks, which have shown their appreciation for the work and quality that went into these systems by sending thank-you letters and commemorative shields to the research and development team at KISR.
- Development of Braille-enabled science and chemistry laboratories which improved the quality of science instruction in schools of the blind in Kuwait.
Spring and summer training courses for blind students, including the innovative Braille Signs course which enabled participants to acquire enhanced PC and internet skills
- Support for the deaf.
- Sign language dictionaries for the unified Arabic, Kuwaiti, Bahraini, and Emirati sign languages have improved the technical capabilities of teachers at schools for the deaf in the region.
- Pre-school sign language dictionary enabled deaf children to save time and effort by efficiently preparing for regular school life.
- Phonetics training applications for the deaf to improve language and speech skills of deaf students in AlAmal schools in Kuwait.
- Spring and summer training courses which include sign language training.
Support for the Autistic
- Makaton dictionary, which is used by those on the Autisim spectrum to communicate, was implemented as a computer program, reducing the burden on teaching staff at relevant institutions in Kuwait and Arab countries.
- KISR is currently developing a summer training course for the autistic which teaches students manual skills such as carpeting in addition to conducting various activities and trips.
Support for people with learning difficulties
- The computer applications developed by the Institute have had the greatest impact on the diversity and enrichment of the training and rehabilitation programs offered by the Kuwaiti Society for Dyslexia (KSD) to its dyslexic students.
- Development of online Dyslexia assessment applications enabled people to easily assess their language skills and whether they have learning difficulties.
Support for Speech difficulties
- KISR has developed software to assist therapists in the detection of speech difficulties, such as aphasia, and to provide them with training programs for treatment of patients with speech difficulties.
Support for Physics disabilities
- KISR has developed many research projects that have contributed to the empowerment of physically disabled people to acquire communication and written abilities, breaking the isolation barrier between them and others.