AccessKenya sponsors pupils with visual impairment

AccessKenya Group has partnered with the non-profit organisation inABLE, to sponsor ten pupils in the ‘Computer Labs for the Blind Program’ at a cost of Kes 100,000.

AccessKenya says in a statement that it is estimated that there are about 314 million visually impaired people worldwide; 45 million of them are blind. According to the 2009 population census estimates,  this number translates to 518 thousand people or about 1.4% of Kenyans, with 43% of these cases attributed to cataracts. Approximately 14,500 new cases of cataract blindness are reported each year; by far the leading cause of visual impairment in Kenya.

Rehabilitation is a set of measures that assist individuals who experience, or are likely to experience, disability to achieve and maintain optimal functioning in interaction with their environments.

It is with this background that AccessKenya Group recently partnered with inABLE, to sponsor ten pupils in the ‘Computer Labs for the Blind Program’ at a cost of Kes 100,000.

The sponsorship s is part of AccessKenya’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives geared towards supporting projects under the theme “Technology ion Education”.  

The program, which has a total enrollment of 450 students and 20 teachers, involves the introduction to computers and keyboard skills for visually impaired pupils. The training also includes introduction to NVDA software, Windows XP, Microsoft Word and Excel, Internet, Bookshare and Blogging.

According to Irene Mbari-Kirika, the Executive Director and Founder of inABLE, the program intends to establish assistive technology labs in the eight schools for the blind in Kenya.

Among others it also aims to continually improve on the computer curriculum tailored to the local environment and provide an opportunity for the students to develop employable skills beyond those in the formal school curriculum.

The Kenya Society for the blind notes that about 80% of blindness in Kenya is curable. This is an indication that if proper medicare and preventive education is properly employed, then Visual Impairment will be drastically reduced in the country.

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