Up to 200 grade three visually impaired pupils will be able to pursue education using digital technology such as bluetooth in 34 schools countrywide.
Through the ‘Orbit Reader 20’ –they will access the entire study syllabus and Curriculum Based Competency content just like their sighted peers.
The new ‘reader’ has been described as a game changer due to it’s affordability with a retail price of Sh65,000 unlike the classic Braille machine which costs Sh100,000 and are cumbersome to use as they require rims of papers and expensive bulky textbooks.
“Unlike the traditional 6.5 kg braille machine used in most schools, the ‘Orbit Reader 20’ is a digitally portable device which will ease challenges the visually impaired learners face with the costly braille equipment. We are bridging the gap for the blind and visually impaired to access education using latest reading technology,” said Suparna Biswas, Executive Director, KBTA.
The project is spearheaded by Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA) working with the Ministry of Education, Citi Bank Kenya, among others.
(Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa KBTA is a registered charitable Trust in Kenya that promotes Braille literacy and helps to improve the lives of learners with visual impairment in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi.)
So far 600 devices have been rolled out with the latest beneficiaries from schools in Nairobi, Meru, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kwale, Kitui, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisii, Kisumu, Siaya, Bomet, West Pokot, Turkana, Machakos, Kakamega, Wajir, Garissa, Kericho, Isiolo, Narok, Mandera, Kajiado, Nakuru and Homabay.