Computer labs for the blind: the inspiring story of inABLE in Kenya

We want to share an inspiring story with you.

inABLE was founded in 2006. Their initial aim was to provide safe spaces for children to read. In 2008, Irene Mbari-Kirika, the founder of inABLE was inspired by blind children in Thika, Kenya, and inABLE decided to focus on empowering blind and visually impaired students in Africa, using assistive computer technology (this means computer technology that is designed to help blind or visually impaired people, for example screen readers).

They designed ‘Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind’ to achieve this. Each computer lab has:

  • Computers and computer programmes which are accessible for blind and visually impaired people
  • Internet connectivity
  • Training programmes to teach students employable skills

The first inABLE computer lab opened in Thika, Kenya in July 2009.  Currently inABLE has eight computer labs in Kenya, helping over 2000 students. These are located in

  • Thika (Thika Primary and Secondary Schools for the Blind and Thika High School for the Blind)
  • Kisumu (St. Oda Primary School for the Blind and St. Oda High Schools for the Blind)
  • Meru (St. Lucy’s Primary School for the Blind)
  • Mombasa (Likoni Primary School for the Blind and Likoni High School for the Blind)

Four more computer labs will open soon: two in Kisumu (at Kibos Primary and Secondary School for the Blind), one in Siaya (Nico Hauser High School for the Blind), and West Pokot (St. Francis Primary School for the Blind).

You can find out more about them here:

https://www.inable.org/index.php/programs

Or watch a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=856tK5Aaee0

 

This article is part of Right for Education’s Eye Health Week.

Marwin Ramos

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