Making digital learning accessible for learners who are blind or have low vision
“We went to Mamba village yesterday. I was very excited to be outside the classroom and interact with the animals there.” That is how we were welcomed to Kilimani Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya. Six-year-old Wesley Muturi is excited to be in school and would like to become a pilot, an inspiration that came about when he first flew to Malindi.
Wesley narrates, “I liked the laptop I used. It was the first time I was using a laptop. When I listened to the audio, I heard things that I like. They were topics related to plants, water, rivers and animals. I like topics related to environmental sciences and hygiene.”
Wesley has the opportunity to study in a mainstream class together with his peers without visual impairment. His class teacher, Madam Beth says that he is a very bright boy and likes learning. “We have tried to make sure that children sit with him in turns during various times of the term. This allows his classmates to work with him. They assist him in reading out the textbooks and to read what is on the board,” she explains.
“I told my desk mate what I learned when I used the laptop. She was very excited to listen to my story. However, I would like the laptops to be customized in such a way that it is a bit louder so that I can hear better. Our computer teacher is also very supportive. He helped me to navigate the computer,” Wesley says.
For Wesley this new way of learning is exciting for him and he would like to see more subjects being integrated in the laptop. For example, he is learning about new adjectives. “I would like to also learn English using the laptop. I learned how to spell glowing during the last English lesson. The teacher said it means being smart,” he quips.