Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired

by INABLE, CORP
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Computer Labs for the Blind and Visually Impaired
A group picture of inABLE staff
A group picture of inABLE staff

Our inABLE team gathered for a week of intensive interactive Leadership & Team Building at Thika Primary School for The Blind to enhance our assistive computer training skills, mental health awareness & positive impact on our learners with visual impairments.

All the 16 inABLE instructors from the six stations across Kenya and the management gathered to plan will help us strategize on best practices for this year’s computer training program activities, reflect on our 2022 successes and decided on the best way to implement the computer scale-up project being supported by Google.

We look forward to partnership development in 2023 and the 4th Inclusive Africa Conference scheduled for May 30-31 in Nairobi Kenya that is hosted by inABLE towards taking digital accessibility and assistive technology to the next level in Africa.

 

A group picture of inABLE staff
A group picture of inABLE staff

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Engineer Victor
Engineer Victor

Our visually impaired students are not only eager to learn how to use computers, but they also want to become the best at it to become software engineers and design inclusive digital devices. Anthony Wambua – A Computer Instructor and graduate of the Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program– is leading example as he sharpens his coding skills daily. He even wowed First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who recognized him as the first blind programmer in Africa

Following him closely is Victor Kiplangat, a young blind boy in grade five who was very restless in class and kept fidgeting while trying to repair the broken volume buttons on his headphones. He was so disturbed that his teacher took notice and when he was approached, he stated that one day he would figure out how to fix the headphones and design one.  

Once he was given the opportunity and after following instructions, through touch and feel, he went through every single visible wire and relaxed back in his chair and said, “I will find the best tools and come back to do the repairing myself after some time. I cannot wait to become an engineer who understands what is inside the computer and each wire does to keep the computer working properly.” 

His desire and passion encourage us, his teachers, to do everything we can to keep him motivated. At home he enjoys repairing their family radio and TV and he prefers being called Engineer Victor and not just Victor Kiplangat.  

It gives us great pleasure to witness our students grow to loving and enjoying the use of technology, despite their sight status.  

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Coding Interns Team
Coding Interns Team

inABLE Coding for Interns Team recently showcased their coding skills at the 3rd Annual Inclusive Africa Conference hosted by inABLE on May 25-26, 2022 at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi Kenya.

This is a team of five young brilliant interns who are either blind and visually impaired and have all been been part of the Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind Program at Primary and High School level. They all did graduate high school recently and inABLE enrolled them in the coding program which takes a year to complete trained by inABLE.

In less than one year, these interns have proved to be very skilled at HTML and they have all created different websites which they are currently working on perfecting. These interns have also now been hired as Computer Instructors and are teaching the blind and visually impared students in the 6 inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind stations in Meru, Thika, Siaya, and Likoni Counties. 

Led by Anthony who aspires to be the first blind computer programmer in Africa, their presentation at the 3rd Annual Inclusive Africa Conference was proof that Disability is not inability, and given a platform, people living with disabilities can excel and deliver. These interns delivered an inspiritation presentation to over 300 participants from different industries and countries. 

These phenomenal group includes Atanus, Anthony, Amina, Charity, and Christine. 

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Students learning in the inABLE Computer Labs
Students learning in the inABLE Computer Labs

Thanks to Braille, thousands of blind Person with Disabilities (PWDS) are literate. What is Braille?  It is a code by which many languages—such as English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and dozens of others—may be written and read.  

With the rapid inventions and development of assistive communication technologies, some would argue that Braille has become irrelevant today. Not so. It remains unmatched, due to its strengths of literacy that have yet to be replicated by technology. If anything, technology complements Braille, and advances in technology have made it more widely available and accessible. 

Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion (UN). It’s really amazing that a 15-year-old Louis Braille invented this reading and writing encoding system in 1814. Now that’s a lasting impact.   

As a result of Braille’s visionary writing system, young learners like Janet, a blind student in Class 7, are motivated to create solutions to their own learning challenges. Janet uses both Braille and technology in her education: “Braille was the first place I learned how to read and write, and thanks to that background, advanced computer assistive technology, such as screen readers, have enabled me to improve my reasoning, grades, and research skills.” 

Additionally, Higgins, a 14-year-old blind student in Class 5, has been part of the inABLE accessibility technology labs since he was in pre-primary. His commitment and determination have helped him to become a top student with advanced keyboard and typing skills. He is so advanced that his teachers have introduced coding in his class at an early stage, to help him code his way to a new invention for the blind… 

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Joy in one of the Computer-Labs-For-the-Blind
Joy in one of the Computer-Labs-For-the-Blind

An Africa fit for children is one that kids feed, play freely, are secure and have a chance with education for a better future. However, there is so much work to do as before the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly half of the 93M children with disabilities in the world were not in school(UNICEF) Today, we ask when and how will Africa become fit for children in this given context and what role does each one of us have to play? 

At inABLE we follow the African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child”. 

For Joy, a low-vision, 10-year-old grade one student at St. Oda primary School for the Blind, education is a life line. As an autistic youth with albinism, she has faced stigma since birth, which contributed greatly to her delayed education. Her speech impairment, due to autism, affects her communication with other people. Yet, she perseveres. 

Despite her disability, Joy has proven so many people wrong. She is the smartest student in her class, and her numeracy skills are more advanced than her grade level. Through the inABLE’s assistive Tech Labs, she was introduced to basic computer skills nine months ago, and is already competent in typing and browsing the internet, something most of her peers have not been able to do. She has also tremendously improved her reading and writing skills since joining the computer classes.  

According to her Computer Instructor, Getrude, “Joy is proof that disability is not inability. She is clearly interested in ICT and STEM fields and with continued training, she can do so much better in no time and will be a role model to many other young blind and visually impaired learners who think it is almost impossible to master computer skills”. Getrude is playing her role towards realizing an Africa fit for children as she is dedicated to helping special needs students like Joy mold their career interests around ICT towards an independent future. 

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Organization Information

INABLE, CORP

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Irene Mbari-Kirika
Founder & Executive Director
Atlanta, GA United States
$9,361 raised of $30,000 goal
 
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