- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinian Islamic bank introduces braille services for the blind
- Date: 26th November 2013
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GOVERNOR OF THE PALESTINE MONETARY AUTHORITY, JIHAD AL-WAZIR, SAYING: "It is an important step for the Palestinian financial system and the Palestine Islamic Bank to offer Braille for the blind people. It is a good step that shows the financial system is socially responsible and offers services to all Palestinians." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (NOVEMBER 20, 2013) (REUTERS) SYMBOL OF SERVICES FOR BLIND PEOPLE, DEPICTING A PERSON WITH CANE BLIND CUSTOMER ZAKIA ABDEL FATAH TALKING TO BANKER PEOPLE AT BANK
- Embargoed: 11th December 2013 12:00
- Location: West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health,Economy,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA7E4PXLKIGPMA308Q1GNYSV7WI
- Story Text: Blind Palestinians can now deposit and withdraw money through Braille machines, after the Palestine Islamic Bank launched the Braille transaction services in its branches across the territories.
Around 50 of the bank's employees were trained by Al-Nour school for Blind in Gaza and Friends of Blind in West Bank to use the Braille language for the visually impaired customers.
"There is a trained employee, who was trained by specialists, that works with the blind client. The employee explains all the details to the blind customer in order to have a bank account, the blind customer reads the instructions through braille language, also all the details of the account can be read through braille printed papers," Emad Al-Saada, West Bank Regional Director of the Islamic Bank, told Reuters Television.
Al-Saada added that banking facilities should be given to the visually challenged without discrimination. Braille passbooks and instruction booklets catering to no or low vision customers are available at the bank's branches in the West Bank and Gaza.
Zakia Abdel Fatah, who is blind, says she is satisfied with the new system as she can now have a passbook with banking transactions in Braille, but adds that there is still room for improvement.
"We still have one problem which is the signature, I can't sign like people with sight. I wish they can find a solution, through signing by using braille language or to have a machine that is for braille language that I can use to sign on related papers. I do not want to stamp anymore and I do not want people to come with me as witnesses. We need to get rid of this way," she said.
The licensed term for banks by the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) clarifies that the Islamic bank is equipped to receive blind customers.
"It is an important step for the Palestinian financial system and the Palestine Islamic Bank to offer Braille for blind people. It is a good step that shows the financial system is socially responsible and offers services to all Palestinians," said Jihad al-Wazir, Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, during the launching ceremony of the Braille transactions system.
The Palestine Islamic bank said blind customers will also have access to Braille machines to allow them to deposit and withdraw money unassisted.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, around 1.8 percent of the Palestinians are disabled. In the Palestinian territories, the blind make up around 14.6 percent of the people with special needs.
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