eKitabu Tunaenda Digital Newsletter January 2021

Dear Friends,

Happy 2021 to all. I hope you celebrated the start of 2021 well and in good spirits keeping Covid-19 at bay. I warmly welcome you to a fresh new decade and look forward to sharing what we learn and can do together this year.

World Braille Day was on 4th January, and it marked the importance of Braille for accessibility of written language, particularly for people who are blind or have visual impairments. In 2020 during the pandemic, eKitabu collaborated with Leonard Cheshire to train teachers of blind students in Western Kenya in braille reading and writing skills using low-cost Orbit Reader 20 refreshable braille displays from the UK Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). We had learned in 2019 that many teachers of blind children need stronger braille skills themselves in order to teach children under their care. We internalized this challenge, and followed the Universal Design for Learning imperative to provide multiple means of access to learning content to include more children in learning to read. With the strong help of a wise mentor, Kevin Carey, exceptionally gifted, learned, and passionate regarding braille teaching and user-centered design, we implemented an instructional course for teachers out of school during the pandemic. Our ultimate objective was to make learning more accessible for children once schools reopen. In collaboration with colleagues in the EdTech Hub, we have been working toward that goal for the past several months. Now schools are reopening. Let’s see what we can do in 2021.

I welcome you to get in touch with us to know more about eKitabu or to work together this year. We have many bright and promising challenges to meet. We are looking for ideas and innovations that will help harness technology better for inclusive and quality education, leaving no one behind. Karibuni sana. Kaa salama.

Warmest regards,
Will

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