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How dots touch lives

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

ˈIran Sepidˈ, published in Braille language, is the sole media outlet for Iran's 700,000 blind and visually-impaired population.

Iran Sepid, the only one of its kind in the Middle East, has been published in the past 17 years and enjoys a special status among the blind and visually-impaired people.

The newspaper has diverse materials and special pages in order to meet the news demands of the blind.

The paper is subsidized by the Iranian government and distributed among the blind and visually impaired people free of any charges.

Iran Sepid's editorial board comprises blind and visually impaired people.

The readers know that the newspaper hears the voice of blind people and deals with their issues.

In an exclusive interview with the English language Iran Daily, Iran Sepid Managing Director Alireza Mohammad-Beigi said the paper is the first and sole Braille newspaper in Iran which is distributed across the country.

Iran Sepid has five weekly, monthly and seasonal publications that are also in Braille, he announced.

ˈThe blind population accounts for one percent of the global healthy population, according to global norms. Therefore, we have over 700,000 blind or visually-impaired people in our 75-million population,ˈ he said.

Iran Sepid is sent to various parts of the county, he said, adding that no copy goes on the newsstands.

Asked if all literate blind people are familiar with Braille, Mohammad-Beigi said the average literacy rate among the blind population is higher than the national standard, despite vision restriction and low access to educational facilities.

Therefore, a large number of the blind and visually impaired people are familiar with Braille, he said.

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