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We envision a world where disability is not inability -- a community where individuals with disabilities have access to the same educational, technological, and employment opportunities as the non-disabled.
Our mission is to empower the blind and visually impaired students in Africa through assistive technology.
What is the issue that we are helping to solve?
Though vast in number, the blind and visually impaired are a forgotten group in Africa. Educational opportunities for them are scarce and significantly behind technologically. Further hindering their role in the workforce is widespread bias and a lack of understanding of their capabilities. Combined, they result in a marginalized, dependent condition, either hidden from the rest of society or seen resorting to begging and prostitution for survival. The majority lack self-esteem and self-worth.
How will this project solve this problem?
Our computer labs for the blind & visually impaired are a channel for specialized, locally relevant training focused on:
- building self-reliance and independence
- building social connections
- teaching information-gathering and academic advancement
- training in skills employers seek most
We enable our students to compete with their sighted peers, and to ultimately enter a job marketplace that had previously dismissed them, leaving their intellectual and technical capacity unused.
Potential Long Term Impact
The far-reaching impacts of this project include
- greatly increased feelings of self-worth and self esteem
- developed self-reliance and independence
- ability to seek gainful employment
- a shift in family dynamics where a person previously seen as a burden is recognized as an equal contributor due in part to newly acquired job skills
- transformation of social attitudes where blind and visually impaired persons are recognized as productive contributors to society
The computer program has restored back our sight. If I can now read newspapers, send emails, and do research for my project, it's a whole new world, its amazing!
- 6th Grade Student, Thika School for the Blind
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