eKitabu Tunaenda Digital Newsletter November 2019
Updates from October: two of us attended the 7th Africa Forum on Visual Impairment, this year in Addis Ababa while two others joined USAID and partners in Washington, DC. I went to Addis to be part of Africa Forum, which was organized by Perkins School for the Blind together with African Union of the Blind (AFUB), the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI), and World Blind Union (WBU) among others. Hosted by the African Union and the Government of Ethiopia, Africa Forum was a unique gathering that was the original creation of Ambassador Aubrey Walton Webson when he led Perkins International. Leaders in education from around the continent and the world challenged us all to collaborate for the sake of leaving fewer people behind. Many noted the importance of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which Kenya ratified in 2017. The potential for technology to lower costs and widen access to learning materials was also a central topic, which we were happy to explore with friends and colleagues from Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa, Benetech, DAISY Consortium, WIPO and many more.
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC we shared our experience digging into how to improve learning outcomes for Deaf children through Kenyan Sign Language in Studio KSL. Studio KSL, a project we began in 2017 to help open up reading to Deaf learners with support from All Children Reading (a partnership of the United States Agency for International Development, World Vision and the Australian Government), responds to Kenya MOE Department of Special Needs Education’s call to action to include children who are Deaf or hard of hearing in Kenya’s Competency Based Curriculum.
With committed partners, we are building knowledge and accessibility to realize inclusive and quality education. As we look to the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 we welcome collaboration.