14-year old Whitney pushes herself to master new computer skills with intense determination, despite multiple disabilities. Upon losing here sight at age nine in class four, Whitney had to begin her education all over again from nursery school to learn Braille. In addition, Whitney has left-side paralysis which requires right-hand only computer adaptation.
After staying at home for five years in total blindness, Whitney’s interest in learning was not lost. She works diligently to complete new Braille lessons, as well as the inABLE computer program curriculum.
Whitney’s passion for her computer education grows daily. Whenever her mother comes to the school for a visit, Whitney eagerly demonstrates her newest computer skills.
The strength and persistence that Whitney displays is remarkable. Her computer learning progress exemplifies how computer labs at special-needs schools enhance the learning opportunities for a wide-range of students.
Over the years inABLE has been dependent on the schools budget to pay the electricity in our assistive technology computer labs. Occasionally, the schools would experience some power disruption for upwards of a week and computer classes would come to a halt.
Fortunately, the Safaricom Foundation found a sustainable solution to our power-outage problem. Today all our computer labs for the blind at Thika Primary and Thika High School for the blind are fully solar powered and power outages in a thing of the past and we no longer experience any learning disruptions associated to power outages.
“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path”, is a popular quote attributed to Buddha. This message communicates the spirit of Safaricom Foundation’s generosity and dedicated commitment to work with inABLE since the inception of the Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program in Kenya.
We, once again give thanks to Safaricom Foundation for their philanthropic support. They brighten the way to help inABLE empower blind and visually impaired youths.
On December 4th, an inABLE team of nine blind individuals and staff members had the honor of celebrating World Disability Day at the Safaricom headquarters. Safaricom LTD, the leading mobile network and mobile money transfer services provider in Kenya, celebrated the day by demonstrating socially responsible leadership through inclusion of persons with disability in both their workforce and products/services.
While in most highly developed countries, inclusion of people with disabilities is an expectation; the reality is, that there are still product developers and service providers who overlook persons living with disability. At Safaricom this is not the case.
For example, computer technology has completely made the world a global village and has even brought a mobile phone-based money transfer services (M-PESA) into our hands. However, this money transfer platform, which required sight, left people with visual impairments without private access. This oversight took away their privacy and security, because personal identification number (PIN) codes were no longer secret.
Thanks to Safaricom’s inclusive values this problem has been resolved. Last August, Safaricom, in collaboration with inABLE, conducted a focus group. Totally blind individuals who utilized accessibility products and services were invited to participate. A voice prompt idea emerged. Today, Safaricom has released a voice prompt technology that enables the blind to securely access its M-PESA payment services.
Safaricom has been a long-term partner to inABLE and a champion of our mission to bring fully accessible product and services to disabled people. Everyone at inABLE.org feels immense pride for our role in the launch of this inclusive M-PESA payment service.
inABLE celebrated the official opening of the newest inABLE Computer-Lab-for-the-Blind at the Likoni Primary School for the Blind in Mombasa County. Microsoft generously sponsored the setup of the Likoni assistive technology computer lab. The Kenyan Directorate Special Needs Education was among the distinguished guests in attendance.
Students from four inABLE programs will participate in this event. Schools include: Likoni Primary School for the Blind, Thika Primary School for the Blind, St Lucy Primary School for the Blind in Meru and St Oda Primary School for the Blind in Siaya. These students will share in a peer-to-peer learning session showcasing and exchanging various computer skills in practice across the different stations in the inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program.
In Kenya, inABLE and Microsoft have previously worked together at the Thika Primary School for the Blind, where Microsoft supported the setup of an assistive technology computer lab for the special needs students. As well as, supporting training the trainers who continuously support the teachers.
To address the existing computer education gaps between the blind and sighted in Kenya, inABLE has presently established eight assistive technology computer labs at the six special schools for the blind. To date, combined, the assistive technology computer labs have reached over 1,800 blind and visually impaired students and 151 teachers.
Ephraim Wachira and James KipLangat Kosgei arrived at the inABLE Computer Lab to begin their inABLE Internship program. They were selected from the high school group that did KCSE exam in 2016. We choose them because they were our best students in computer. During their internship we trained them on the program activities, which took them very little time to learn as they had acquired some skills during their inABLE computer lab schooling in both primary and in high school. All along, their determination and personal interest in computers helped them to be valued contributors. Frankly, they joined the inABLE Thika team at a time when we were very much in need.
Today, we are happy to report that they both successfully completed their internships supporting two inABLE Computer-Lab-for-the-Blind programs at the primary and high school levels. During their internship, they showed confidence and a consistent willingness to work hard, even without supervision. This allowed our inABLE Thika School computer instructors to sometimes leave them at primary station to handle the high school sessions. We engaged them fully on training, accessibility testing, visitors demo and cleaning of the computer labs. Their eight months stay proved to be a rewarding learning experience that benefited the entire inABLE organization and our students.
We thank them for their commitment and wish them all the best. Their positive "can-do" spirit will definitely lead them to success in future endeavors.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Pay Bill: 891300
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser