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Technology impacts on blind Thika learners

20 November 2013, 10:17

Thika - A technology-driven initiative is empowering blind students at a school for the blind in the industrial town of Thika.

The project, which is gradually replacing the traditional Braille system, is enabling these physically-challenged youngsters access to audio notes.

This has come as a major boost to the school as it can now accommodate a large number of students in a day.

The software called Victor Reader, which converts the content into audio, powers the computers at the Thika Primary School for the Blind.

The students use non-visual desktop access, a software that acts as a monitor for the visually impaired.

Among the beneficiaries is Michael Wambua, a Grade Seven pupil at Thika Primary School for the Blind.

The 12-year-old is already conversant with the news trending in the country and is able to access the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) content through the audio notes.

“The introduction and use of computers in schools has improved my learning in terms of use of computers in schools has reduced boredom and we have created a network of friends across the country and learning has become easier,” the student said.

Teachers also welcomed the technological advancements.

“There are lesson schedules every day where we handle five classes daily and the response has been very good,” says James Muriithi, an information technology tutor at the school.

The school is a mixed boarding school which can accommodate up to 250 children. Programs at Thika include: a Kindergarten, speech therapy and living skills for for children who have more than one disability, Braille Class for those who lose sight in regular schools, Low Vision Class for children with partial sight and Braille Learners Class for children who
are totally blind or partially sighted.

– CAJ News


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