10.6 Kenya – laptops and ATs for university students

Two charitable organizations, Sightsavers International and Computer Aid International (the UK based PC recycling charity) have worked with the UK-based assistive technology (AT) developer Dolphin in a joint initiative with the Kenya Union of the Blind to provide PCs and AT software.1

The project has provided 45 refurbished laptops to support blind students at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. The Sightsaver Dolphin pen drive (a USB drive) contains software that produces synthesized speech output of screen contents for blind users, as well as screen magnification and enhancements for visually impaired users.2 The pen drive can be used on any PC, thus dramatically reducing the cost of maintaining multiple software licenses on multiple machines. According to Dolphin, the prices for the laptop and the pen drive -- USD 250 compare very well Braillers,3 which cost about USD 350. Using a PC, lecturers who are not conversant in Braille can now provide all students with course materials in electronic text, which (thanks to the AT) are equally accessible by all.



3Brailler is the name generally given to a device with the capability for direct output of embossed Braille.