Earlier this year Bookshare became part of two programs, Our Reading Spaces based out of Georgia, and Computer Labs for the Blind in Kenya, to provide accessible books for blind and visually impaired students in Kenya. Our Reading Spaces, now known as inABLE, is a charitable organization that establishes reading havens for impoverished children in the rural areas of Kenya.
inABLE was founded by Irene Mbari-Kirika after travels back to her homeland of Kenya awakened her to the limited resources, support and challenges that blind and visually impaired students faced. Ms. Mbari-Kirika has focused the inABLE mission on providing computer-based educational tools and improved library services to students with print disabilities “so that every Kenyan student can realize their potential.”
Across Kenya Braille books are few in number and are shared by many students. Students must lug the large, heavy Braille books home with them in order to read and study, making it difficult for students to perform at their highest levels. Further, because so few Braille books are available, and the fact that students must share them, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for teachers to effectively deliver lessons to all of their students at the same time, limiting their ability to fully develop their student’s potential.
Bookshare has partnered with inABLE to provide access to over 10,000 books online, and to work with local schools in Kenya to make sure that required books are available via Bookshare. The first school that Bookshare is working with is Thika Primary School for the Blind, a school with 278 students. Within the next year 10 additional schools are scheduled to open, and Bookshare will be working with inABLE to make sure that every student at each school that is opened has access to the books they need.
To learn more about inABLE please visit: www.inable.org
If you are an International organization that would like to learn more about how you can partner with Bookshare please visit http://www.bookshare.org/contactUs and select International Bookshare from the drop down menu.