Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 
$7,078
$7,922
Raised
Remaining
High School Teacher
High School Teacher

When we started training teachers computer skills at the Thika High School for the Blind, John Mark had never used computers before. Because he was totally blind, he decided to start by mastering the keyboard keys. Typically, most students take three months to fully utilize the keyboard, including typing. Not John, he surprised everyone when he mastered the keyboard in 20 minutes.

This accomplishment was really amazing. The passion he had to learn the keys was inspirational. He joyfully called out: “Teacher just watch as I type a story for you.

As an inABLE Computer Instructor every moment of computer discovery is cherished. However, when a student – particularly a teacher – has such an immediate connection and rapid learning curve the celebratory reaction is pure happiness. In a few short minutes, computer technology gave John a new avenue to communicate, learn, and share his knowledge.

John’s newest desire is to be as computer proficient as sighted teachers. To reach this goal, he is committed to never missing a lesson. To ensure he is never late, he arrives early.  This focus will no doubt help him to increase his computer abilities.

As an instructor I feel rewarded by his enthusiasm and will continue to support his progress until he reaches his full potential. If the joy and smiles John emits are indicators, I better be ready to fly. The sky will be his only limitation!

Disability is NOT inability. 

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Last February 2012, inABLE entered into partnership with Cisco Networking Academy to offer Cisco IT Essentials to our blind students. We began this exciting new opportunity with a pilot class consisting of four faculty students, two blind and two sighted. The program took almost a year to complete, and we are proud to announce that , Paul Ngechu, Ann Konana, and Christine Kayathi recently finished the challenging course work required to receive the Cisco IT Essentials completion certificate.

To recognize this achievement, a Cisco team led by Regional Manager Hital Muraj, who traveled from South Africa, came to the Thika School for the Blind to award the certificates to our faculty graduates.

We celebrate this momentous occasion by involving the whole school in the certificate award ceremony, including some teachers from the Thika High School for the Blind. The event was a very inspirational and motivating for the two schools and now, after seeing the learning benefits the program, every teacher wants to join the program. The new deputy who joined the school this term said, "So you guys have set up a gold mine in this school, now I can see why God brought me to this school and I will enroll and be like Kayathi"

The graduates were given Cisco branded bags and T-Shirts together with the Head teachers and the instructor. We extend our sincere gratitude to Cisco, our guests, and the Cisco Networking Academy.

Congratulations to – Christine, Paul & Ann- for earning the Cisco Networking Academy certificate and leading the way for our students. Plans are underway to offer this Cisco IT Essentials certificate program to Thika School for the Blind High School students.

As always, we extend our appreciation to Cisco, and our most capable ABLE Instructors - Thanks for your support and for making the day a success.

On October 23rd the Kenyan Minister for Education, Hon. Mutula Kilonzo, EGH, EBS, MP, visited our computer program at the Thika Primary School for the Blind. A specially prepared program was presented to the Minister and guests to show how blind learners use computers. Everyone watching was quite impressed with the inABLE computer lab program and the students who demonstrated their computer skills.

inABLE was well represented by Senior Manager Tim Kajume, who came to the school specifically for this event.  There was applause for the inABLE Kenya team to recognize the high-level of technology knowledge shared with students in the computer lab program. A live video-conference with Atlanta-based Founder and Executive Director Irene Kirika was especially appreciated.

The event program included a display of special projects:

1.  Student designed school website
2.  Application of technology in class room
3.  Mwangaza projects research tools
4.  Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials

Before departing, the Minister announced interest in working together with inABLE to roll out computer-labs-for-the-blind at the eight schools for the blind in Kenya.

Congratulations and appreciation goes out  to the students, inABLE team, and everyone involved at the Thika Primary School for the Blind for your efforts to make this important event a success.

We encourage you to view our photo gallery of the Kenyan Minister for Education's visit.

Links:

A blind golf player with his guide.
A blind golf player with his guide.

inABLE held a successful Charity Golf Tournament at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club (Kenya) on June 29th to raise funds to support our Computer Labs for the Blind program at Thika Primary School for the Blind and Thika High School for the Blind. Our goal is to expand the Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program at eight more schools for the blind in Kenya then across Africa to empower blind and visually impaired children through assistive technology and computer learning tools.

inABLE, together with the Thika Primary School for the Blind and Thika High School for the Blind, would like to thank:

  • Mr. Mugo Kibati, Director General of the Kenya Vision 2030
  • Heritage Insurance
  • Housing Finance Chigwell Holdings Ltd.
  • Barclays Bank
  • Lattice Consulting
  • ICT Board,
  • Computer Revolution Africa
  • Sarova Hotels
  • Access Kenya Group
  • Chase Bank
  • Orange Telkom
  • Scion Real
  • PC World
  • Consumer Options
  • Sparta Foods LTD
  • Data Linkage
  • Art Jewelers
  • Brand com
  • David Livingstone
  • Bidco LTD

and All Of Our Supporters who helped make this year’s invitational Charity Golf Tournament a success.

Their participation in our Teeing Up for Computer-labs-for-the-Blind annual fundraising event ensured that more blind or visually challenged students we will learn computer technology skills to access a wide-range of online learning resources, which is much easier and more affordable than using bulky braille books.

We are on a serious mission to enhance the learning opportunities for African children - whether blind or partially impaired - through assistive computer technology. We believe disability is not inability.

A blind golf player with his guide on the green.
A blind golf player with his guide on the green.
On the green
On the green
Blind student demonstrates using a computer
Blind student demonstrates using a computer
Blind student gives thanks to the guests.
Blind student gives thanks to the guests.
Mugo Kibati, Director General, Kenya Vision 2030
Mugo Kibati, Director General, Kenya Vision 2030

Links:

Dubai Women
Dubai Women's College

We pleased to announce that inABLE has opened our second computer lab in at Thika High School for the Blind. This high-tech resource offers advanced computer program courses to the students who graduated from Thika Primary Computer Lab for the Blind.

This program expansion became a reality when the Dubai Women's College decided to do something great to help the visually impaired students in Kenya. They took it upon themselves to ship 15 brand new flat panel computers together with one printer.

With the vast educational resources generously provided by Cisco Network Academy, the new computers are networked to provide limitless educational possibilities via the internet.The high school computer lab with closely follow the Cisco Network Academy program so that students who complete the Cisco program have the relevant IT Industry skills to improve their employment options.

 At the grand opening celebration, the Board of Governors Chairman for Thika High School enthusiastically thanked the computer lab sponsors in attendance, including the Rotary Club of Thika, Cisco Management Team, Dubai Women's College and inABLE.

Thika Primary School for the Blind teacher Christine Kayathi demonstrated how a blind person uses Cisco IT Essentials, which involves “hands-on” activities. Everyone in attendance was amazed to see Christine assemble a PC without any sight assistance. Some even just shed tears of joy at the accomplishment.

Cisco Manager Hital expressed her joy and happiness by saying “Christine is our heroine.” Hital went on to explain that this is the first Cisco Network Academy for the blind in Africa and that Cisco will give it all the support it requires. She also invited to take Christine to attend an IT Essentials instructor’s course.

The final remarks were made by the school Principal Mr. Jotham Makokha who said “We are happy to have this kind of computer training in our school and more so to have the first Blind IT Technician in Africa - Christine Kayathi".

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Organization

INABLE, CORP

atlanta, Georgia, United States
http://www.inable.org

Project Leader

Irene Mbari-Kirika

Founder & Executive Director
Atlanta, GA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired