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Vision & Mission

Vision

 We envision a world where disability is not inability. A community where individuals with disabilities have access to the same educational, technological, and employment opportunities as the non-disabled.

 

Mission

To Empower the Blind and Visually Impaired Students in Africa through Assistive Computer Technology.

By bringing a complete assistive computer-technology environment and curriculum to an underserved population, inABLE strives to lessen the educational gap between sighted children and blind or visually impaired children in Africian schools.

Using computer assistive technology, effective training, and utter dedication, inABLE celebrates the educational advancements that completely blind and visually impaired students can achieve when given the opportunity to learn computer technology. inABLE also ardently advocates for the adoption of educational policy that truly supports the use of computer assistive technology in specials schools for the blind in Africa. This includes the use of computer assistive technology: education curriculum, accessible hardware, training of teachers and more.

About Us

Our goal at inABLE is to power the potential of children in rural Africa by providing them with resources that allow them to pursue their capabilities, regardless of disability or circumstance. Our efforts are focused on three areas:

 

 

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This organization’s journey began as a give-back wish to improve the the lives of impoverished childrenin the rural areas of Kenya with small-scale reading spaces libraries. However the scope of the proposed program to improve access to learning opportunities transformed, during a 2008 program development reading event, when founder Irene Mbari-Kirika met a group of bright, eager and quite competitive students who stole the show, including winning a reading competition (in spite of the fact that all of them were blind). Intrigued, Irene visited the Thika School for the Blind and discovered a significant educational discrepancy that needed to be addressed.

Because the blind and visually impaired had greater educational and life-skills challenges, the newly-formed organization refocused its purpose to make blind/visually impaired students the primary recipients of new learning resources. The original work of creating reading spaces would continue, but as a secondary program. This led to the creation of inABLE; a 501c nonprofit organization based in the USA and Kenya with a mission to empower blind and visually impaired students in Africa through assistive computer technology.

Computer learning and connectivity was the most obvious way to create long-term learning opportunities for blind and visually impaired students. This understanding lead to the design of Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind, consisting of a complete assistive computer-technology environment that includes: accessible hardware, software, computer-lab infrastructure, Internet connectivity and employable skills training. The first inABLE assistive computer-technology lab opened in Thika, Kenya in July 2009.

inABLE currently offers three programs:

inABLE strongly believes that computer literacy will help blind students in Africa bridge the academic gap, between the sighted and blind, as well as have a life-changing positive impact. Today, thousands of disadvantaged special needs students at Kenyan schools for the blind are  learning to access online educational resources, communicate with new friends worldwide, type essays, research homework, and develop employable skills, i.e. Microsoft Word, Excel, Web development, and hardware maintenance (Cisco IT Essentials).

Accomplishments:

• inABLE presently operates eight assistive technology computer labs at St. Oda Primary School for the Blind; St. Lucy’s Primary School for the Blind; Thika Primary and Secondary Schools for the Blind; Likoni Primary School for the Blind; and Thika High School for the Blind. 

• Over 1800 students and 150 teachers are enrolled and presently learning to use multiple computer types, desktop computers, laptops, and iPads.

• Secured a 5-year STEM research partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology that will measure the impact of our technology program on the students and promote accessibility of Math and Science to blind students through assistive technology. 

• Hosted a peer-to-peer training vacation camp where some students spent seven days providing iPad training to camp attendees from four different schools for the blind.

• Assistive technology and basic computer skills training, includes: Introduction to Computers, Keyboard skills, Microsoft Word, Windows XP, NVDA.

 • Students are able to access online educational resources, including school textbooks on Kindle.

• Web development HTML instruction is available to advance students.

• Over 20,000 assistive technology computer-training hours have been taught since inception.

 

Board of Directors

 

Monica Smith Monica Smith

 

Monica Smith has spent 20 + years in progressively responsible roles in the financial services industry, spanning the management of high-impact IT implementations, the execution of marketing strategies for Latin American pension systems, and most recently defining and executing the business model to conduct enterprise outsourcing in India and China.

 

Monica's last 17 years in financial services management was at Fidelity Investments in Boston and Bangalore where Monica spent three years as an expat. In 2011, Monica established Fidelity's IT Business in Dalian, China. At this time, Monica initiated a transition of her interests for global outreach toward goals beyond the private sector. In order to launch this new direction, she attended The Fletcher School from 2012 to 2013 and earned a Global Master's of Arts degree, where she was fortunate to meet Irene Kirika.

 

While defining her strategy for her next career move, Monica is honored to join the existing board members and to lend her skills to further the commendable objectives of InABLE.

 


 

Nzuki Waita Nzuki Waita

 

Nzuki has over 20 years of senior management experience covering most of sub Saharan Africa, United States and Asia related to organizational development, project management and oversight; the design of operational tools and management information systems.

 

He has worked for major USAID contractors during his time in the United States including the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), providing technical and management oversight to USAID programs in East & Southern Africa well as post-conflict countries like Iraq, Liberia and Burundi. Nzuki also worked with the largest Japanese trading house, ITOCHU Corporation on Japanese ODA projects in East Africa where he honed his Japanese/Asian business negotiation skills.

 

Nzuki spent 3 years as a McKinsey & Co. contractor managing a $15 million Human Resources for Health program in Mwanza, Northern Tanzania through its affiliate, the Touch Foundation.

 

He later went on to work for The Millennium Promise Alliance in New York -headed by world-renowned economist, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, in conjunction with Columbia University’s Earth Institute which involved overseeing the operations of 8 MDG focused Millennium Villages Projects in East & Southern Africa.

 

Nzuki moved back to his native homeland Kenya in 2012 to help the Kenya Red Cross Society set up and advise them on their Food Security & Disaster Risk Reduction program. He is currently the Director and Lead Consultant for Impact Pathway Solutions Ltd., a management consultancy focusing on institutional strengthening of African foundations. Nzuki holds a B.Ed. (Economics) from Kenyatta University and a MBA in Management from the Edinburgh Business School in the United Kingdom.

 


   

  


Rashard GreenRashard Green

 

Rashard Green is an investment professional with the Carlyle Group, focused on U.S. buyout opportunities in the technology and business services sectors.

 

In his current role he is focused on principal investments in leading technology companies. Rashard previously worked for Barclays Capital in the Investment Banking Division, where he focused mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions.

 

Rashard Green a B.A., in Public Policy, from UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with high distinction

 

 


 

Derreck KayongoDerrek Kayongo 

 

An executive and development expert, Derreck Kayongo has more than 15 years experience developing strategic social campaigns within organizations for cause-related advocacy, public policy, issue management, and community organizing.

 

His work has made a profound contribution in raising awareness aimed at realizing permanent solutions to global poverty.

 

 

 


 


Irene Mbari-KirikaIrene Mbari-Kirika (Founder)

 

Irene Mbari-Kirika is Founder and Executive Director of inABLE.  Irene attended Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University and graduated in 2013 with a Global Master’s of Arts (GMAP) degree in International Affairs. She also holds a Business Management degree from Kennesaw State University.

 

She established inABLE in 2006 after she was inspired by a little boy who would make the long journey to school in the dark simply to find a suitable place to study.  Irene immediately began to research the need and how she could help this boy and so many others who faced similar problems. 

 

In addition to the lack of viable reading spaces, Irene encountered a greater need among the blind and visually impaired population.  She discovered this after an event that they hosted in 2008 which included students from Thika Primary School for the Blind. The thought of four to five children sharing one Braille book was unbearable.  Soon thereafter, she went shopping for Braille books and learned that they are nearly five times more expensive than books in plain text.

Irene immediately realized she could never afford to supply the schools with Braille books. This discovery prompted her to further research the need for a more economical and practical solution for the blind and visually impaired to access resources. 

 

Today inABLE is empowering the blind and visually impaired in Africa through assistive technology.  With the help of board members and supporters of inABLE, we implemented the first computer program in July 2009. It took lots of research and networking to determine which type of technology was best suited for the blind. 

inABLE's plan is to implement the computer  program in the eight schools for the blind in Kenya and make educational resources more accessible to this underserved population.

 

 


   


Vincent AderiVincent Aberi

 

Mr. Vincent Aberi is a Financial professional with over 10 years of experience in the banking industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with focus in Finance and Marketing from the University of Texas, USA. He has worked in various large international fortune 500 financial institutions such as Bank of America, Comerica Bank, Western & Southern Financial Group and TIAA CREF.

 

He brings on board his expertise in wealth management, real estate, strategic financial planning, risk management and portfolio management. 

 

Mr. Aberi also is passionate about non-profit charity work. He has held various board position in organizations that Fine arts chamber players in Dallas.Texas

  

 


 

Dipendra ManochaDipendra Manocha (Advisor)

 

Dipendra Manocha works with the DAISY Consortium which is working in the area of providing publications in accessible formats to persons who cannot read normal print. He is the lead of training and technical support and coordinates DAISY Consortium’s projects in developing countries. (www.daisy.org)

 

He is member of the Executive Committee of the World Blind Union and is managing trustee of Saksham. (www.saksham.org). He is the president of the DAISY Forum of India which is a network of 92 organisations in India serving the persons with blindness and low vision (www.daisyindia.org).

 

Since 1993, he has been working for the mission of providing technology solutions to limit the limitations of persons with blindness. Key areas of his contribution include computer training to open new areas in education and employment, Indian Language braille translation and screen reading software, DAISY standards for production and distribution of digital talking, braille and e-text books in South Asian Countries

 

Awards:

  • National Award by government of India
  • Lakshmipat Singhania National Leadership award by IIM Lucknow
  • IBN-7 Super Idal award
  • Sitaram Jindal Foundation award

 


 

 

 

 

Sanda OjiamboSanda Ojiambo (Advisor)

 

Sanda Ojiambo is a development practitioner with Master’s Degree specializations in Development Economics and Public Policy Analysis. She has completed trainings in Strategic Management, Programme Development and Development Planning.

 

Sanda is currently working as the Head of Corporate Responsibility at Safaricom, where she manages the Safaricom Foundation and other corporate responsibility activities.

 

She previously worked as the Director of Programs at the Africa Regional Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, where she provided technical and strategic leadership for the development and implementation of reproductive health in over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Sanda has also worked at CARE International, UNDP Somalia and Planned Parenthood Federation of America- International; where she has managed a range of development projects including community based health and education interventions; NGO capacity building, women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health.

 

Sanda is an incorrigible optimist, believing that the best solutions for development come from individuals and communities themselves