Nico Hauser School for the Visually Impaired in Bondo sub-county has received donations of learning materials amounting to Sh. 170,000 from Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA).
KBTA Regional Coordinator, Mr. Williams Gichia said the learning materials which include 100 reams of Braille papers and spare parts of Braille machines will improve quality of learning at the special school.
Mr. Gichia stated that KBTA which operates in four African countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi has been supporting education for children with disability mostly those with visual impairment.
“Our vision as we work in the four countries has been ‘Unlocking Literacy for Life’ so that all children can access quality education as provided by the constitution,”Gichia said.
The Regional Coordinator disclosed that KBTA intends to roll out the use of a device known as Orbit Readers that will digitally help visually impaired learners access quality education.
He said the device will be able to translate the normal text into Braille format and from braille format to normal text meaning parents of students with visual impairment will be able to give, check assignments and monitor class work for their children which was difficult before.
Gichia revealed that pilots have already been undertaken at St. Lucy School for the blind in Meru, Kilimani School in Nairobi, Muslim and Central primary schools in Kitui where the technology has proved to be a success.
He said that the organisation is currently working with other stakeholders in the education sector to have all the curriculum materials translated digitally before the device can be distributed to all students with visual impairment.
“When the government launched the free laptop programme pupils with visual impairment were largely left out but the device will solve their issues and reduce not only the bulk of the Braille papers but also the cost of buying learning materials.
The school principal Leonorah Owaa who received the donations thanked KBTA for their continued support adding that in 2018 the school received donations of 10 Brailles worth one million shillings from KBTA.
Leonorah said that with continued support from both parents and stakeholders students with special needs have turned out to be very productive people in the society.
She asked parents with special needs children not to shy away from investing in their education saying they can achieve a lot in life if given proper education.
By Brian Ondeng’