Sao Mai Vocational & Assistive Technology Center for the Blind is a non-profit organization. The center was established in 2001 as an achievement of Bung Sang Computer Project. The Bung Sang Computer project was sponsored by Mantovan Association, Italy (1999-2001).
- Empowering the blind by using and developing assistive technology in education, employment and daily living activities.
- Solutions consultation and providing assistive products for the blind.
- Vocational, job training and placement for the blind.
Since Sao Mai Center was established in 2001, our main goal is to promote the usage and development of assistive technology in education and employment for the blind. In June 2014, the Executive Board decided to set more missions for the center, which are to promote employment opportunities for the blind, to make the Center more sustainable as well as to continue to develop and keep our existing activities going on. Due to our new strategies/plan, the Center was renamed "Sao Mai Vocational & Assistive Technology Center for the Blind" in June 2014.
Most of the services and products we provide for the blind are free of charge.
We are proud of successfully carrying out our stated missions of promoting the usage and development of assistive technology in education and employment for the blind with several key achievements as following:
- Establishing 26 computer labs for the blind for 23 provinces/cities throughout the country
- Training more than 1,500 visually impaired people from basic to advanced level, especially having more than 300 resource persons trained including computer instructors for the blind, technicians, materials production etc. We also conducted a special Computer education for blind women Program from 2003 to 2011.
- Our contributions in the field are recognized by all of partner organizations, blind individuals and local governments, especially through the system of blind associations from the central to district levels.
- The Center has been working and networking not only with in-country partner organizations but also organizations for/of the blind in South-East Asia region. In 2007, the Center provided one advanced training for nine trainers from the region coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand; in 2013, training twelve computer trainers for Myanmar in Yangon. Besides, Sao Mai's staff have attended many international trainings/conferences.
- Most of our products such as Vietnamese speech engine, Vietnamese talking office applications, digital talking books, and computer tutorials... have been the main resources for blind individuals and organizations for/of the blind to use to empower the blind in education and employment.
- Building the online digital talking books/eBook library with book titles serving for the blind students from primary to university level.
- Establishing a distance computer learning network among partner organizations for/of the blind with the center.
- Promoting the access to higher education by dealing with university barriers such as environment, university faculties'/sighted classmates' attitudes, providing blind students on-time/accessible academic materials, equipment support, scholarships, soft skills training...
We know that without your cooperation and financial support, we cannot reach such achievement. And we see that it is also our responsibility to make these results further improved and developed in order to better give a hand in getting visually impaired people equally included into the whole society.