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PIA Press Release

School for blind holds benefit concert

Quezon City (9 October) -- A computer school for the blind, ATRIEV, will hold a one-of-a-kind benefit concert on October 27, 2006 at the UP Theater, Diliman Quezon City with the title "When You Believe: A Concert for a Cause."

The concert brings together the country’s singing champions and a new breed of blind musical talents, showcasing today’s pop, acoustic and jazz artists back-to-back with ATRIEV’s equally gifted blind talents. Well-known artists include The Akafellas, the Little Big Star Champions, singing heartthrobs like Kris Lawrence and Jed Madela, award-winning performers like Sheryn Regis and Mon David, and Inspirational Diva Jamie Rivera will share center stage with ATRIEV’s blind performers.

The concert will highlight the “Power of Believing” in the stories of three blind achievers: Julius Charles Serrano, the first blind programmer; Krissy Bisda, the first totally blind recruitment specialist and Alona Bateg, the first non-medical totally blind medical transcriptionist in Asia.

"Their stories will prove that through believing in one’s self, in one’s God and the belief of family and friends, limitations can be conquered," says Tony D. Llanes, Jr. of ATRIEV.

"Since 1994, the non-profit organization, Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration, and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV), has been helping blind people gain access to post-secondary education and mainstream employment. So far, ATRIEV is the only NGO that has skillfully woven together private business enterprise and government agencies to support demand-driven programs for the blind," he said.

Llanes added: "ATRIEV unlocks the hidden power of the blind thru the use of technology. We teach the blind to operate computers with the use of a screen reader. To date, we have trained and empowered over 500 young blind adults who have become medical transcribers, computer instructors, web designers, human resource personnel, practicing social workers, entrepreneurs etc. Through the benefit concert, ATRIEV hopes to train 600 more blind Filipinos in the use of computers. For more information about ATRIEV, please visit"

Representatives of media have been invited to the concert launch to be held on October 11, 2006, 3:00PM at the JadeVine Restaurant, 537 UN Avenue corner J. Bocobo Street, Ermita, Manila. Details may be available from Ms Carol Catacutan, Project Coordinator/Training and Employment Director, phone +63 2 995-7336, telefax +63 2 438-9373, mobile 0926-215-3787, and email or (PIA) [top]

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