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Microsoft launches computer lab for the blind in Likoni

Children at the Likoni School for the Blind in the computer lab. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Children at the Likoni School for the Blind in the computer lab. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

More than 500 pupils at Likoni School for the Blind are set to benefit from an assistive technology computer lab with digitalised learning materials opened by Microsoft in partnership with inABLE, a non-governmental organisation.

This is part of a larger initiative by Microsoft to create educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to more than 300 million youth around the world.

The initiative follows a successful launch of a similar project in 2009 at the Thika Primary School for the Blind.

“This partnership will involve training for students on how to code, create software and websites to boost the innovative and creative skills for the visually impaired,” said Microsoft Philanthropies Manager for Sub Sahara Africa, Mr Alex Nyingi.

My Nyingi was speaking during the computer lab opening at Likoni School for the Blind Friday.

Data from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities show that 15 per cent of the Kenyan population comprises people with disabilities, including blindness.

Mr Nyingi said that Microsoft’s mission is to empower many people and organisations globally to achieve more by increasing accessibility to technology to people of different abilities.

He said Microsoft Philanthropies has partnered with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of ICT and inABLE to provide assistive computer labs for persons with disabilities in the country to implement a basic computer-training program developed for learners with blindness and low vision.

“We enthusiastically commend the government for their support of expanding Computer-Lab-for-the-Blind program and appreciate the commitment behind the MoU between MoEST (Ministry of Education) and inABLE that was signed off on the 23rd February 2017 to enable accessibility education at all levels of learning in Kenya,” said inABLE Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika.

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