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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visits InABLE Computer Lab in Thika, Kenya

The Deputy Director of K-12 Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation talks with inABLE computer lab students

 

               Written by: Carolyn Ngondi, Lead Computer Instructor, InABLE Kenya

It was our pleasure to welcome Tom Stritikus, the Deputy Director of K-12 Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at the Thika School for the Blind recently. The main focus of his visit was to learn more about educational technology and its role for improvement at scale in Kenya.

During his visit, Dr. Stritikus toured different departments where he watched school children use Braille to take notes using Braille machine or slate and stylus. He was also able to see them use abacus for mathematical calculation. At the library he evaluated the Braille books and low vision books that are in large print. In the inABLE computer lab, he enthusiastically interacted with blind and visually impaired computer students as they used desktop computers, laptops and iPads.

It was such a privilege to meet Dr. Stritikus. It almost felt as though Bill Gates himself was here. It’s a hope filled dream that Microsoft and inABLE can work together to transform the lives of the visually impaired learners through advances in assistive computer technology. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently in a learning mode to get a deeper appreciation of the challenges and opportunities in the education sector. 

The Day of the African Child

Photo caption: Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore greets Georbert Athoo at Likoni School Day of the African Child Celebration.

Written by: Georbert Athoo, inABLE Accessibility Specialist

Every year on June 16, governments, NGOs, international organizations and other stakeholders gather to celebrate The Day of the African Child to honor those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 and to raise awareness of the continuing need for the improvement of the education provided to African children.

At the Likoni School for Blind—where inABLE recently opened its newest computer-lab-for-the-blind with support from Microsoft—special guest Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO, interacted with the students and teaches, while also sharing optimism, Braille materials and goodies. 

Safaricom, a leading mobile network communications company in Kenya, is a founding partner of inABLE with an extensively demonstrated commitment to making a meaningful impact in health, agriculture and education. Their  #Twaweza campaign, which means, “We can make it happen” in Swahili, promotes the power of unity to build a better Kenya.

inABLE Selected as WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion

Subject: Congratulations: Your Project is Selected as the WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion!

Dear InABLE,

You have been selected as the WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion, congratulations!

 

We have reached the moment of announcing the finalists of the WSIS Prizes 2017 with over 1.1 million votes cast by WSIS stakeholders community. Out of 345 nominated ICT success storiesfrom around the world for the Online Voting Phase (30 March – 30 April), following a comprehensive review by the Expert Group of 467 submitted projects submitted by the WSIS Stakeholder community, your project Computer Labs for the Blind was among those first five most voted in the category Access to Information and Knowledge and we would like to congratulate you on this amazing achievement and to share the excitement of promoting your recognition. 

As a WSIS Prize Champion during the WSIS Forum 2017:

· You will be awarded with a Champion certificate from the ITU Secretary-General during the special event dedicated to your achievement, the WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion Ceremony, on Tuesday 13 June 2017 at 14:30, where you invited to take part and use this opportunity to further promote your project. We will soon share more information with you related to this event.

· You are also invited to take active participation in the World Café focusing on WSIS Stocktaking and SDGs on Thursday 15 June 2017 12:30-15:00. You can find the detailed agenda in the WSIS Forum 2017. We will soon share more information with you related to this event.

· As the WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion project, besides being published in the WSIS Stocktaking Report 2017, your success story will also be published in the "WSIS Stocktaking: Success Stories 2017" with both publications to be released also during the WSIS Forum 2017 and promoted during the aforementioned World Café.

 

inABLE Director Speaks About "Innovation for Inclusion at the State of Education in Africa Conference

Our Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika participated in the State of Education in Africa Conference on May 3 & 4 in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Africa-America Institute, the#SOE2017 Conference brings together educators and innovators from Africa and the U.S. to bring  attention to improving the quality of education in Africa at all levels. Irene was a guest speaker on a panel discussing "Innovation for Inclusion: Increasing Representation in Higher Education"


Moderator: Santiago Iñiguez, President of IE University

Panelists:
Dr. Atieno Adala, Manager, Research Development, African Virtual University
John Matogo, University Relations Leader for East Africa, IBM
Irene Mbari-Kirika, Executive Director, inABLE
Matthew Mugo Fields, Founder of Redbird Advanced Learning
Student Discussant: Ms. Sophy Okotta, Vice President of the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA)

Ministry Of Education Directorate Special Needs Education Visits New inABLE Assistive Technology Computer Lab at Likoni School for the Blind

Written by: Georbert Athoo, Accessibility Specialist, inABLE

PHOTO CAPTION: Madam Sheilah Lutta from the Kenyan Ministry of Education Directorate Special Needs Education (SNE) observing a totally blind pupil operating a desktop computer at Likoni School for the Blind.

The Ministry of Education under the docket of Directorate Special Needs Education (SNE) has been showing keen interest in what inABLE does nationwide. On 24th March, a team from the SNE comprised of Francis Karanja ICT4E in charge of the sections ICT, Sheilah Lutta and Lydia Songok. Their interaction with the computer lab students was amazing. The learning skills demonstrated, included using Microsoft Office Word to type essays and stories, as well as Math Flash to operate simple mathematical operation. Our visitors could hardly believe that this level of computer competence could be possible.

This great visit has started a collaboration between inABLE and the SNE to advocate for special attention to the ICT integration by inABLE into all the special schools.