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 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

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Dubai Women's College
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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February 29, 2012 marked an incredible milestone in the inABLE story. inABLE has partnered with Cisco Systems and the Cisco Networking Academy Program to provide IT essentials training to the blind and visually impaired in Kenya.

The IT Essentials curriculum provides an introduction to the computer hardware and software skills needed to help meet the growing demand for entry-level information and communication technology (ICT) professionals. The curriculum covers the fundamentals of PC technology, networking, and security, and also provides an introduction to advanced concepts. Students who complete this course will be able to describe the internal components of a computer, assemble a computer system, install an operating system, and troubleshoot using system tools and diagnostic software.

Our dedicated instructors will provide the training via Cisco Network Academy - a global education program that teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks, and is considered "best in class". The students in Kenya will have access to the same education that any student has across the global through this partnership.

The blind and visually impaired face incredible challenges in getting higher education, and this partnership is unique in helping provide relevant skills so they can earn some income and contribute to their families/society.

"We are very happy to partner with inABLE to provide access to our education to this community. This is the first academy for the visually impaired and blind in Middle East and Africa.  Through this partnership with inABLE, we hope to scale the program to other schools for the blind across the country." - Hital Muraj - CSR Manager, Corporate Affairs

We thank you for your continued support which has allowed inABLE to provide assistance to the blind and visually impaired by funding the computer lab, and the dedicated instructors who work 24/7 to maintain a unique and very valuable program.

Please visit our newly designed website - www.inable.org for more information about our program.

Warm Regards

Stephen Ichatha

Director - Strategy and Planning

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inABLE Graduation
inABLE Graduation

On Nov 10th inABLE sponsored a historical farewell party for the 2011 Thika Primary School for the Blind graduation candidates. The celebration was kicked off with a video conference in the main computer lab with inABLE Founder and Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika. All the candidates had a chance to say something about the computer program, the knowledge they acquired, and how it will help them in the future. Irene gave a motivational speech encouraging the students to embrace technology whenever they get an opportunity.

Teacher Mr. Ezekiel Musau traced the roots of the inABLE computer program for those who did not know how it came about. He explained how he and students met Irene at a nearby library and out of that chance meeting the idea of a computer lab for the blind sparked Irene’s imagination and fueled a new passion that became a reality the summer of 2009. Musau went on to say that this candidates’ farewell celebration would have been more special if Irene was able to be here in person to congratulate each departing student. In closing, he encouraged the students to say in touch using their email addresses.

The Thika Primary School for the Blind Principal Mr. Jotham Makokha described this occasion as very unique and historic. Typically, once a student has completed KCPE they leave the school without any gathering. He expressed appreciation to the inABLE team for their kind gesture and noted that this is the very first farewell party for the candidates and he hopes that it becomes a new tradition. 

In his closing remarks, the Principal Makokha called to mind parallels with Martin Luther King’s vision,“ “Martin Luther King had a dream for America and the dream was that one day America would be led by a black man, and people laughed. They said it would never happen in America. But the dream came true when Barack Obama became the President. Irene also had a dream and the dream was that one day blind people will have access to computer technology and that dream too became a reality when the inABLE computer lab for the blind was opened at the Thika Primary School for the Blind and now her inspiration is spreading to blind schools all around Kenya and in other parts of Africa”.

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With a plane ticket sponsored by our partner KLM, inABLE was able to send our Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika to attend two key events below which were held in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya.

 

5th Africa Forum Blindness Conference – July 2011

inABLE was invited as a presenter at this conference (see conference details here), which was the largest-ever gathering in the blindness field. The Forum attracted almost 400 delegates from 43 countries from Africa and various parts of the world. A number of significant milestones for African people who are visually impaired were announced or launched at this, the only international conference on blindness in Africa.

During the event, inABLE and Georgia Tech co-presented a paper on the Mwangaza Project, which is our collaborative research project identifying ways to use technology to teach math and science to blind students. The presentation was very well received and generated animated discussion about obstacles in this area and options for overcoming them. As one attendee said, “This is a real issue for students across Africa, and this program needs to be expanded to reach more of them.”

 

inABLE Stakeholder Meeting in Thika, Kenya – 22nd of June

This meeting was held at the Thika Primary School for the Blind, where inABLE’s inaugural computer lab is located. The purpose of the event was to engage policy makers in the educational sector to seek ways to expand our model for computer education for the blind. Among the attending organizations were the Teachers Service Commission (which trains, deploys and pays teachers), the Ministry of Education, the Kenya Institute of Special Education (which trains all special needs instructors), the Kenya Society for the Blind, the African Braille Center and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment. Also attending were representatives from four schools for the blind (St Lucy’s Primary, St Lucy’s Secondary, Thika Primary and Thika Secondary) and the Salvation Army which is their founding body.

Some of the accomplishments of this event were:

  • Recognition of our model by the attending stakeholder institutions as a proven and viable strategy that can be applied to other schools.
  • Commitment to participation in making the program a success. For example, the Teachers Service Commission agreed to assign a full time instructor to our computer program at Thika Primary.
  • Discussions with the Kenya Institute of Special Education about adopting our instructor training program into their trainer curriculum. KISE has identified an initial group that they want to be the first KISE-trained computer instructors for the blind.

 

We will continue to keep you abreast of our activities and efforts. Thank you for your continued support for inABLE and our beneficiaries!

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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
 
131 donations
$20,639 to go
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