Zuhair Mah'd has extensive experience in the following areas:
Being blind, and therefore a user of the technology, Zuhair knows best the needs and requirements of the end user, and can bring that perspective to developers of technology solutions for the blind and visually impaired. With his technical knowledge, he can convey the requirements that should exist in a product, a program or a web page to the developers in a language they can understand.
During an exciting career, Zuhair started computer training when he was in college. He used to train blind and visually impaired students on the use of computers and screen readers, and helped start the first adaptive technology computer lab at Florida Atlantic University. He then worked as a communications instructor at the Colorado Center For The Blind in Denver Colorado, where he taught blind and visually impaired students, among other things, computer and communication skills. Zuhair then went on to work for Beyond Sight, where he contributed to the growth of the company from a small home based business to the first retail store for blindness related products in the United States.
Zuhair then went on to work for IBM, where he worked with a team of thirty individuals to support the entire Lucent community from 1998 to early 2000. At the same time, Zuhair worked with various fortune 500 companies assisting them with their adaptive technology needs. Requirements would range from evaluating the workplace for accessibility, to recommending software and hardware solutions to enable an employee to do his/her job, to learning the job and teaching it to the employee.
In early 2001, Zuhair embarked on his project of bringing a real screen reader to the Arabic speaking market. Zuhair worked with Dolphin Computer Access to localize their suite of screen reading and screen magnification products, where he managed to involve several companies by using their technologies to bring to the market a high quality text to speech engine. On July of 2003, the first Arabic version of Supernova was released, which raised the bar on all other screen reader vendors who wished to enter that market.
During the years he worked in the Middle East, Zuhair established a great deal of contacts in the government and the private sectors alike, and commanded the respect of all blind and visually impaired technology users all over the Middle East. To this day, Zuhair is looked upon to provide advice and share his expertise to evaluate new technologies, often ending up on the cutting edge of such technologies.
In the summer of 2004, Zuhair Mah'd worked with Handytech GMBH in Germany to localize their suite of intelligent Braille displays into Arabic, producing the first solution of its kind that can allow a blind and visually impaired person to write in Arabic Braille, transfer the file to the computer and manipulate it and vies versa. Up to that point, solutions which existed and which claimed to accomplish the same thing fell very short, often requiring the user to learn cryptic commands and none standard Braille symbols.
Zuhair participated and lectured in various conferences, local and international alike. He participated in the World Summit On The Information Society, which brought over 40 world leaders to Switzerland in December of 2003 to discuss ways of bringing information technology to the world's disadvantaged population. An interview with Zuhair Mah'd by Aljazeera can be viewed in our "in the press" web page.
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