About Us

Sao Mai Center for the Blind (SMCB) was established in 2001 and registered as a non-profit organization based in Vietnam.

Our Mission

We work to empower visually impaired people for their full and equal participation in society by promoting the research, development, and application of assistive technology in education, employment, and daily living activities.

Some of Our Notable Achievements

  • Supported the establishment of 26 computer labs at local organizations for the blind in 23 provinces/cities throughout the country.
  • Trained more than 400 technology technicians/trainers and over 3,500 visually impaired people.
  • The Center has worked and networked not only with in-country partner organizations but also with organizations from other regions. Some regional activities include:
    • In 2007, the Center provided advanced technology training for nine trainers from the region, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
    • In 2013, trained twelve computer trainers for Myanmar.
    • From 2016-2018, developed the first usable Myanmar text-to-speech for the Burmese language on both Android and Windows.
  • Most of our products, such as Sao Mai VNVoice Vietnamese speech engine, standalone talking softwares, technology books, and training curriculum, have been the primary tools and resources for blind individuals and organizations in Vietnam.
  • Built an online accessible book library with about 10,000 titles, mostly comprising educational books.
  • Through the TNF-ICEVI Higher Education Support Project: Much improved the equal access to higher education for visually impaired students by addressing challenges such as an unfriendly campus environment, university faculties' and sighted classmates' attitudes. We provide blind students with on-time accessible academic materials, equipment support, scholarships, soft skills, and vocational activities.
  • Successfully referred 229 blind individuals to work in various sectors from 2014-2022.
  • Our newly-developed softwares, including Sao Mai Braille, SM-BungSang, and SM Music Reader, are not only widely used in Vietnam but also have a large number of users around the world.

We invite you to watch our 14-minute video produced to celebrate the 15th anniversary to learn more about our work from the year 2001-2016.

In 2021, SMCB was recognized by the Zero Project award for outstanding achievements in the development of assistive technology. Watch the short interview video by Zero Project with SMCB!

If the videos above don't work, please search and watch directly on our Youtube's channel at: @SMCenter

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Organizational Structure & Staff