Enlighten blind and visually impaired Palestinians.
The programs and activities run by the society are designed to improve the quality of life of blind and visually impaired Palestinians and facilitate their integration into the local community by promoting and enhancing their cultural, educational, social and economic standards
The National Society for the Visually Handicapped was founded in 1962 in Jerusalem as a Palestinian non-governmental organisation.
The main objective of the society was first to produce books in Arabic and English Braille, thereby establishing the first library of Arabic Braille books in the entire Middle East. As a result of the 1967 war, offering these services to other Arab countries became impossible. However, the unit for Braille book production and library gradually expanded.
In 1981, Al-Shurooq School for Blind Children was established as the educational facility of the society, with the aim of providing the blind and visually impaired with the appropriate education and equal opportunity.
After nine years of operation, it became apparent that a prolonged stay at the school estranged the children from their home environment and pulled them back towards being dependant with lower self-esteem and poor social skills. Therefore, in 1990 the society changed its policy from the institutionalization of blind children to rehabilitation and integration into the local community.
In 1995, Al-Shurooq School moved from Jerusalem to Beit Jala, allowing beneficiaries from the southern part of the West Bank, unable to enter Jerusalem, to gain access to the Society’s services and programs.
As of November 2008, the school shall move into a new purpose built residence.