Norah Alexander Mwipopo is a Mathematics, English, and Social Studies teacher at Changarawe Primary School in Mvomero district, Tanzania. She is using the skills she learned during the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) workshop in helping visually impaired learners to learn in an inclusive classroom. The workshop was a 3-day in-person session, held in June 2022 in Morogoro, Mtwara, and Pemba in Tanzania. The workshop was conducted by eKitabu, a partner of the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), and funded by USAID.
“During the TPD training, I learned key functions of the Orbit Reader 20 device, a world’s most affordable refreshable 20 cell braille display and serves as a self-contained book reader. I also learned how to use the device to teach learners with visual impairment in my school and to transcribe braille words once connected to a computer.” Norah note
Norah and other teachers connecting Orbit Reader 20 device with a laptop during the TPD workshop
Norah is inspired by her ambitions, the eagerness to aspire and accomplish dreams is what keeps her going. She always encourages her learners to understand their purpose in life and do whatever it takes to fulfill them. Implementing the TPD skills in her school will enable her learners to get quality education and meet their objectives in life and for the development of the country. She holds a degree in Special Needs Education from the University of Dodoma in Tanzania, a diploma in Adult and Continuing Education from the Institute of Adult Education in Tanzania, and a certificate in Teacher Education from Tandala Teachers College in Tanzania.
“The workshop will help me integrate learners with different backgrounds and identify needs in teaching and learning using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in preparing teaching lesson plans that are accessible to all learners,” Norah said.
The workshop design was a mixed approach of facilitator-led instruction and hands-on activities. The trainees interacted with the digital content and devices: Orbit Reader 20, TV set, and Laptops as the instructor was training.
The sessions were interactive with teachers/educators and instructors asking and answering questions, which allowed for real-time feedback from the teachers/educators during the workshop. The pre-and post-training surveys also captured the trainees’ levels of satisfaction with the workshop.
“I hope this workshop will be continuous so that we can continue to gain more skills and experience to better the lives of our learners with and without disabilities in our schools.” Said Norah.
Through this CPD training, eKitabu brought awareness of UDL principles and how to approach inclusive education utilizing accessible digital content and low-cost assistive devices. Learn more about eKitabu and RTI.
By Amon Kibet
Digital Media Manager, eKitabu