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Safaricom Managers Visit inABLE Computer Lab at Thika School for the Blind

Photo caption: Safaricom Human Resource Manager and Senior Manager Diversity & Inclusion observing students reading Kindle books at the inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program at the Thika School for the Blind in Kenya.

Written by: Carolyn Ngondi, Computer Instructor, inABLE

One of the benefits of visiting guests at the inABLE computer labs is the opportunity for our students to show a sighted person what normal life of the visually impaired student in school looks like and also how the blind or visually impaired use computer assistive technology. Just recently, Safaricom Human Resource Manager June Obonyo and Senior Manager Diversity & Inclusion Tabie Kioko were amazed as they watched our computer-labs-for-the-blind students at the Thika School for the Blind showcase different computer skills. These capable blind or visually impaired students aptly demonstrated:

• Keyboard skills using a laptop and Microsoft Word

• Calculations using Math Flash app

• Google research

• Listening to educational information via YouTube

• Reading books using the Kindle on iPads

• Visiting different websites like safaricom.co.ke, nation.co.ke etc.

The interaction between our visitors and students seemed very genuine. It was a good experience for them to watch how these eager learners use normal computers with ease and no instructor assistance. Throughout the visit our two guests asked many questions and received knowledgeable responses from our students.

This visit helped our Safaricom guests to see that the work environment does not need to change for a blind person, however an orientation of the space is required. Our guests learned that the blind can work in almost any environment, however a sighted person might need to be made aware of how a blind or visually impaired person acclimates to new environments to create a mutually beneficial work place.

inABLE Annual Education Day Takes Place in Kairi, Nguna Village, Kenya on February 11

We are very pleased to inform you that the inABLE Annual Education Day will be held ‪on Saturday, 11th February 2017, from 8am-noon, at the Resource Centre grounds, located in Kairi, Nguna Village Kenya, about 100 meters from Immaculate Heart of Mary Kairi Girls School.

We invite our Kenya community to attend this event as we seek to call attention to serious issues affecting our youths, including drug abuse. This topic will be addressed through a motivational session led by the facilitator of day, Fr. John, who holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Our “Education is Key’’ theme for this year is drawn from the country’s vision 2030, which emphasizes Education as one of the drivers of the economy, under its Social Pillar.

Program

inABLE Annual Education Day

Saturday, 11th February 2017

8.00am to noon

Nguna Kairi Resource Centre – Nguna Village

 

Education is Key

Time                Activity                                                Speakers

8.00am            Arrival of guests and students

8.30am            Welcome and Prayers                         Community Representative

8.35am            Opening remarks                                  Catherine Wamwangi

8.40am            Theme of the day                                Fr. John Kimiri

9.00am            Essay Presentation                               Agnes Wambui – Kairi Catholic School

9.10am            Theme of the day                                Fr. John Kimiri

10.00am          Essay Presentation                               Mariam Wanjiru – Ndekei Secondary School

10.15am          Remarks                                             Mwalimu I Gacheru

10.25am          Remarks                                             Lydia Njagi – Sub County Curriculum Officer

10.35am          Remarks                                             Representative from Sub County Director of Education

 

10.45am          Essay Presentation                               Student - St. Trisha School

11.00am          Remarks                                             Area Chief

11.20am          Remarks                                             Mr. Nganga wa Muthua – MCA of Chania

11.30am          Remarks                                             Fr. Josephat Wanyoike –Chair Nguna/inABLE

11.45am          Remarks                                            Hon. Kigo Njenga – MP Gatundu North

12:00pm          Thanks                                              Catherine Wamwangi - inABLE

Thank you for supporting our Annual inABLE Golf Tournament

PHOTO CAPTION: Opening speech by Captain Njenga, VetLab Sports Club at 2016 inABLE Golf Tournament.

 

Dear Friends,

The 2016 inABLE Golf Tournament took place on November 4 at the VetLab Sports Club in Kenya. This annual event was once again a huge success, due to the caring players, guests, organizers and sponsors. We applaud every player who came in swinging to support inABLE’s expanding Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind Program. The charitable funds raised at this year’s golf tournament will fund our assistive technology instructors, who provide vital hands-on training to the blind and visually impaired children, at five special schools for the blind in Kenya. Today, thanks to generous supporters like you, inABLE operates seven computer labs at five special schools for the blind with an enrollment of over 1,600 blind and visually impaired students and teachers across Kenya.

The schools include: St. Oda Primary School for the Blind, Siaya County, St. Lucy Primary School for the Blind, Meru County, St. Lucy High School for the Blind, Meru County, Thika Primary School for the Blind, Kiambu County and Thika High School for the Blind, Kimbu County.

Additionally, inABLE is pleased to announce the opening of our new computer technology programs at Likoni Primary School for the Blind, Mombasa County, made possible by the generosity of Microsoft LTD.

Please join us in giving special thanks to all of our considerate golf tournament sponsors, including:

• KALPA- Kenya Airline Pilot Association • KK Security Ltd • Vivo Energy Kenya • ENKAVILLA Properties Ltd • Safaricom Ltd • Computer Revolution • Emmanuel Jambo Foundation • Sarova Group of Hotels • DucitD2 Nairobi Hotel • Fairview Hotel • Alexander Forbes • Chandaria Foundation • Barclays Bank, Kenya • Kenya Commercial Bank • Bloom Consultancy • Multichoice Kenya • Enashipai Resort and Spa • Homeboyz Foundation • Citibank Kenya • Info Gain Consulting

As always inABLE is forever grateful for your fundraising help to continue our mission of empowering the blind and visually impaired students in Africa with Computer Assistive Technology.

Thank you,

Irene Mbari-Kirika, inABLE Executive Director

inABLE Students Display Computer Technology Skill at World Sight Day Event

Photo Caption: Totally blind Zaitun Awinja operating an iPad

 

                                   Written by Georbert Athoo, inABLE Accessibility Specialist

 Assistive technology computer skills received spotlight attention at the World Sight Day event at the Kisumu Sports ground on Saturday October 15th. This annual disability awareness rally celebrates the many ways that disability is not inability, especially when it comes to information computer technology (ICT) computer skills, cooking, sports, weaving, sewing, and many other life skills.

The fabulous St. Oda School for the Visually Impaired band led a procession parade of guest from the Kisumu Governor’s office up to our presentation tent. inABLE computer-labs-for-the-blind students shined while demonstrating just how the blind can aptly operate mobile devices, like iPads, to use digital books, type correct notes without sight and more. All eyes were focused on our five totally blind St. Oda students (two girls, three boys), who amazed onlookers with the simple, yet important, act of educating visitors who didn’t know or understand the benefits of computer education for the blind.

A Kisumu East Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Shakeel Shabbir and representative of persons living with disabilities Kisumu County were in attendance. The area MP asked many thoughtful questions. He was truly impressed by our inABLE program and its most capable computer savvy students.

World Bank Officials Evaluates ICT Benefits at inABLE Computer Labs in Thika

 

 

On October 4th Michael Trucano, the World Bank Senior Education & Technology Policy Specialist and Global Lead for Innovation in Education, accompanied by an official from World Bank Kenya and the Ministry of Education, visited the inABLE assistive computer technology programs in Thika, Kenya.

Mr. Trucano was very eager see how our blind and visually- impaired students use the school-based ICT computer lab and what benefits it has on the learners. At both the Thika High School for the Blind and primary school, our distinguished guest were given a brief history of the schools, description of successes and challenges that the schools face, before touring the inABLE computer labs and hearing about our evolving computer education for the blind program and expansion plans.

In the computer labs, they watched learners—from grades 1 to 8— demonstrating their different ICT skills and capabilities, including keyboarding and online Internet research. Our World Bank guest interacted with the students, moving from one workstation to another as he asked questions.

At the second lab, Mr. Trucano was very much impressed to see the more advanced technology. Here more experienced students displayed their ICT knowledge by showing off their employable skills, including website development, Java Programming and e-course books on iPads.

Science Teacher Paul Ngechu (sighted), who has really embraced the use of technology in classroom, shared his method of teaching science using the laptops. Mr. Trucano enjoyed the presentation and encouraged Paul to continue his efforts to incorporate ICT into his science lessons.

All of of us at inABLE sincerely thank World Bank and the Kenyan Ministry of Education for their interest in our computer-labs-for-the-blind program and the many students who are capably learning computer skills.

Written by: Peter Okeyo, inABLE Program Manager