Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania on Sunday inaugurated the Royal Academy for the Blind in Amman, which will provide educational services to over 150 visually impaired students in the Kingdom. The King asked for the academy to be established in 2007, to replace the Abdullah Ben Umm Maktoum School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. During a tour of the new building yesterday, the Monarch instructed the concerned authorities to study the housing conditions at the Abdullah Ben Umm Maktoum School and another school for the visually impaired in Abdoun, and rehabilitate them if need be, a Royal Court statement said. The King also issued directives to concerned officials to follow up on the academy’s needs and draw up a plan to supply it with technical facilities, transportation services and the staff and supplies needed to create a proper educational environment. The four-storey building, a cooperative effort of the Royal Court, the Ministry of Education and the Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), is built on a 7,000-square-metre plot of land. It counts 109 employees, 33 of whom are visually impaired. The academy provides occupational therapy to students, and is a venue for training sessions for their teachers. Minister of Education Tayseer Nueimi briefed Their Majesties, in the presence of HRH Prince Raad, Chief Chamberlain and the president of the HCD, on the academy’s departments and facilities. He said the academy provides a learning experience through the latest technology and methods of teaching the visually impaired. Their Majesties also spoke to students and educators who highlighted the academy’s programmes to build the capacity of the visually impaired students in order to integrate them in the society.