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!