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Microsoft launches computer lab for blind students in Likoni

Charles Ronald

Likoni School of the Blind students at the new computer lab. [Photo/]

Microsoft has opened an assistive technology computer lab at the Likoni School of the Blind that aims to empower the students with digitalized learning materials to boost their innovative and creative skills.

Speaking during the launch on Friday, Microsoft Philanthropies Manager for Sub Sahara Africa Alex Nyingi said the company is committed to ensuring more young people achieve their potential.

Mr Nyingi said the computer lab will help the blind and the visually impaired students access computer technology and educational programming.

He said Microsoft partnered with inABLE to open the computer lab that will benefit more than 500 children at the Likoni school, as part of the company’s initiative to create educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to more than 300 million youth around the world.

“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 Mr Nyingi.

InABLE Executive Director Irene Mbari Kirika said the computer lab launched at the school comprises of 30 desktops and two assistive technology computer instructors who will train the students from basic computer skills to coding.

Ms Kirika said the program to increase access to education by learners with visual impairment has been on-going for the past 8 years and over 2,000 children have been enrolled in various schools in Kenya.

“A similar project was successfully launched in 2009 at Thika Primary School for the blind, as an organisation we set up the computer labs that aid the blind and visually impaired to use computers just like any other kid,” said Kirika.

“The training can take a year or two and we have actually seen some kids who can now even code using HTML, Java programming with some even creating websites,” she added, as quoted by Baraka FM .

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