As the 2019 curtain comes down with a few weeks left to cross over to a new a new year, inABLE.org was fortunate to host a team of guests from a globally respected organization MasterCard Foundation.
MasterCard Foundation representatives Andrew Kaylee Stewart and Andrew Okuzuwa joined inABLE Board Member Joe Kiarie, Tangaza University College Lecturer Brenda Kiema, and inABLE Business Development Manager George Siso joined on a tour of the inABLE computer labs at the Thika Primary School for the Blind. They were all briefed about inABLE’s work toward its mission to empower blind and visually impaired youths in Africa through computer assistive technology. And discussed how the blind and low vision students learn to use the computers and the benefits of computer literacy.
The enthusiastic group engaged with the students, who were busy in the inABLE computer lab doing different assignments, including typing or using Microsoft office word application to coding using basic HTML. Our guests heard about the learning process from the students themselves and also observed how the students utilized different software applications on the computers.
Anthony Wambua, who is a blind intern in the inABLE Computer-labs-for-the-Blind program, had a chance to demonstrate his coding skills and that is what really impressed our MasterCard Foundation visitors. They could not believe how a blind individual could clearly explain how coding is done and how he teaches coding to blind students at the school.
World Bank Senior Management Visit the computer lab
By Carol Ngondi | Lead Computer Instructor
World Bank Visit_Computer Lab
We were privileged to welcome World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist Kimberly Vilar and Social Development Specialist Annette Omolo to our program in Thika Primary School for the Blind. They came to see how the students with visual impairment are able to access technology.
Our guests interacted with students who were using a variety of computer devices, including desktop, laptop and iPads. Additionally, several primary school pupils were able to demonstrate:
Research skills using google.com/youtube.com on desktop computer. It helps them learn different subject topics for in classes such as science.
Typing skills using MsWord application software.
Using a math game called mathflash they displayed their keyboard skills.
Reading school textbooks using Kindle on iPad, and doing research using iPad too.
Creation of simple websites by use of HTML coding.
Searching for and reading online news online resources i.e. nation.co.ke, standardmedia.co.ke
Our students’ did an outstanding job presenting their computer-skills capabilities using assistive computer technology. They exhibited the value of computer literacy for the blind, inclusion and accessibility with confidence. We are so very proud of all of these students and their instructors and are even more energized to fulfill our mission “to empower the blind and visually impaired students in Africa through assistive computer technology”.
Thank you World Bank for your interest, support and enthusiasm for the inABLE computer labs for the blind. We appreciate the recognition and accolades for the impact and many benefits our programs give to blind and visually impaired youths in Kenya.
As the Swahili saying goes, “chema (or kizuri) chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza”. Meaning (A good thing sells itself; a bad thing must be advertised.). The saying clearly depicts what inABLE is all about and the strides it has made towards positively influencing the lives of persons living with visual impairments and especially the learners in special schools for the blind in Kenya.
For example, On June 14th we welcomed Insights Manager Clara Aranda Jan from the GSM Association (GSMA), which specializes in mobile technology. She came to see how the inABLE Computer-Lab-for-the Blind program in Kenya uses assistive computer technology at the Thika Primary School for the Blind and how best to collaborate in terms of mobile accessibility, which will eventually benefit the visually impaired individuals. The GSMA represents mobile operators worldwide, including more than 750 operators and 400 companies, who develop and market handset and device makers, software companies, as well as, equipment providers, Internet companies, and organizations in adjacent industry sectors.
Clara was amazed to see how confident the young blind and visually impaired students, ages 7 - 16 years from class 1 to class 7, were interacting with both offline and online computer resources. After keenly observing the students, she concluded that if given opportunity and resources these students could do a lot, especially on mobile technology using different accessible applications, including the educational apps.
She also had a chance to interact with some of our two amazing instructors who are also visually impaired and the beneficiaries of the program since they had a chance to acquire the basic computer skills while they were in the primary level.
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