inABLE Graduate turned computer skills learning into a flourishing musical career
By Esther Mwangi | Public Relations Officer, inABLE
A recent interview with a local radio station focused on the power of education and technology for the blind and visually impaired. Edwin, a beneficiary of the inABLE Computer Labs for the Blind Program, shared that the computer lessons boosted his dreams to pursue music. Using assistive technology such as screen readers (NVDA) and Talkback, he was able to learn how to play musical instruments, such as piano and guitar. Edwin would sometimes listen to YouTube videos that taught him how to play piano during the inABLE computer labs session. He confesses, “The computer labs were such a gate-away for me and luckily, I was able to understand the basics quickly. I was always interested in music and I really needed to know how to play the piano. For me, the computer classes were another chance for me to learn a few extra music lessons. I may have been cheeky, but that has really paid off in the end”.
Edwin’s life is a true testimony to Benjamin Franklin’s saying that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Today, despite being blind, Edwin is a musician who plays a number of musical instruments including piano and guitar, and he also enjoys singing. He now has his own personal YouTube channel to teach basic piano skills, as well as display his musicality with a music band he formed with a group of friends.
At the new inABLE internship program it has been one month since Delvin, a 20-year old low vision high school graduate, began advancing her computer skills. Prior to this internship opportunity, Delvin participated in the inABLE computer-labs-for-the-blind program for three years at St. Lucy’s primary and high school. Now she’s focused on improving her coding competencies.
“For the past month, I have been taught about HTML, CSS, and bootstrap framework. As of now, I can confidently work with HTML and CSS; and am still learning bootstrap in detail. My goal is to perfect in my coding and accessibility work by the end of the internship so that I am ready to take on new lessons and responsibilities.” Delvin
Collins who has low vision due to Albinism, was among the special-needs student in Kenya who had the opportunity to benefit from the inABLE Computer-labs-for-the-Blind program. For eight years, Collins attended the computer lessons provided by inABLE in partnership with the Thika Primary School for the Blind. During this period he was very committed, disciplined, and self-driven. Collins excelled in coding class and participated in peer-to-peer training, where he helped other blind and visually impaired students improve their understanding the computer concepts.
During his primary-school education, Collins achieved good grades and was admitted into the Aquinas Boys High school, which an integrated school that admits students with special needs. Despite his vision challenges, Collins managed to beat all odds to score a very good grade of A- in the Kenya certificate of Secondary Education test. This achievement will help him fulfill his goal of attending a good University of his choice to work toward his dream of becoming a medical doctor.
Collins ‘ high exam performance was recently highlighted on one of the leading local TV stations.
As an organization, inABLE, is bursting with pride at the accomplishments of all of our students, including today the most capable and ambitious Collins. We join the loud chorus of praise to congratulate Collins and his family. And look forward to the day when Collins is living his dream.
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