“Read for the Blind 2015” Brings 1,000 Kind-Hearted Thais Together

Thailand on November 29, 2015
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Samsung Electronics and its partners, Thailand Association of the Blind, SE-ED Book, AIS and SCB, joined hands in developing the Read for the Blind application. Books have historically been considered the main source of knowledge and entertainment. Sadly though, the blind or people with visual impairment cannot enjoy books in the same way as those with full sight. There are currently more than 700,000 visually-impaired people in Thailand. In a bid to empower their learning and fulfill their dreams.


This innovation offers a very convenient way for Thais to help create audio books and articles for the visually impaired. They can not only read the books for the blind via the app anytime, anywhere. It is also the first time that the application provides online communities between the blind and the audio book contributors can communicate. Since its launch, the number of audio books available on the app has risen to 12,000 during the past year. Following the success of the initiative so far, Samsung and its partners is launching the Read for the Blind 2015 project, which is calling on all Thais to help change the lives of blind people for the better. The new iteration of the project includes an improved app with features to enhance the reading experience.


Sitthichoke Nopchinabutr, Strategic Vice President, IT and Mobile Communications at Thai Samsung Electronics said, “We are building on the success of the original Read for the Blind project, which we launched 2013. The application is designed to allow Thais to create audio books and articles anytime, anywhere via their smartphones or tablets, and has received a very good response. This year, we therefore have decided to give Thais additional opportunities to show their good hearts and the power of virtue. Via Samsung’s new initiative, they can prove that the voice is so meaningful and can be a guiding light to the blind.


“Read for the Blind 2015 is bringing volunteers together for the first time to read audio books and articles via the app. More than 1,000 volunteers have registered to join the project. They will read the compilation of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal addresses and advices. The compilation, which is entitled “Kham Por Sorn” (Guidance by Father), presents His Majesty’s ideas about how to live with happiness and sufficiency. The volunteers in the project will also read the compilation about His Majesty’s achievements. This second collection is called “Dhamma Dee Tee Por Tham” (Dhamma that Father Observes) and it tells of the contributions that His Majesty has made for his people and his country throughout his reign. As part of the project, we invited Dr. Jitra Dudsdeemaytha and DJ Chow Chow (Chawalit Srimankongtham) to serve as voice coaches. DJ Chow Chow will teach all volunteers about how to warm up their voices so that they can give clear, accurate pronunciation for the project’s quality audio books.”


Natvut Amornvivat, a representative from Thailand association of the Blind, one of the key people behind the launch of the Read for the Blind application, said, “It’s great that the visually impaired can access audio books and articles more easily via the Read for the Blind application, which also makes it more convenient for people to help produce audio books and articles. Now, we have created Read for the Blind 2015 – the improved version. It comes with two new interesting features: Networking and Clear Pronunciation. The Networking function allows the blind and audio book contributors to communicate to each other. The feature allows app users to comment on audio books they have listened to. Also through this feature, the volunteers can invite their friends to join them in voicing a book so that they can complete it faster. Clear Pronunciation, meanwhile, lets book readers go back to a part whereby they detect a mispronounced word and correct it. This feature is designed to ensure that listeners will be able to enjoy the best audio books possible. Above all, the most significant improved feature is enabling the blind readers to listen to audio books via the Read for the Blind application on smart devices directly. The previous version only allowed users to listen to an audio book by calling the 1414 hotline.”


Nuwat Tatu, a visually impaired person who has learned the benefits of reading firsthand, said, “Reading has changed my life. I can get a bachelor’s degree and pass the entrance exam to get on my MA course because Ms. Maythavee helps by reading books aloud for me. Of course during my study, I get discouraged from time to time. But because of the support I’ve received from others, I am determined to study hard and pursue my dream of becoming a university lecturer one day. Many blind people have not yet had the opportunity I’ve received. So, I would like to encourage everyone to help create audio books via the Read for the Blind app. These audio books will help blind people to make friends, increase their knowledge, and find sources of empowerment. The books will help them to find the courage to step out to their new world. Audio books can really change lives for the better”


Maythavee Tassanasathienkij, an opportunity giver who has changed Mr. Nuwat’s life, said, “I am delighted and proud that by simply reading books aloud, I can make a positive impact on his life. To me, reading books for the blind changes the lives of not just listeners but also readers. I’ve myself come to understand the visually impaired better and my horizons have expanded. As reading books aloud is no difficult task, I would like to encourage everyone to join the effort to produce audio books and articles. These books can give a better life to so many people”.


The ‘Read for the Blind 2015’ project aims to increase the number of audio books or articles by 10,000 before the end of March, 2016, from the existing 12,000 today. Believing that all Thais are kind and helpful, Samsung Galaxy would like to invite everyone to join the project. Through this Read for the Blind app-enabled initiative, participants will contribute to making thousands of lives better.


The Read for the Blind app is free to download. It is available via both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. For updates about the project, visit www.facebook.com/readfortheblind.

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