inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind Program Named 2017 WSIS Prizes Champion

The International Telecommunication Union announced that the inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind program in Kenya was among first five most voted WSIS Prizes Champions in the category Access to Information and Knowledge.
WASHINGTON - May 30, 2017 - PRLog -- Almost a decade ago, Irene Mbari-Kirika visited her birth-country Kenya to try to improve the lives of disadvantaged children. Her life mission was revealed when she learned that the blind and visually impaired in Africa lacked specialized computer-education opportunities, and where they existed, chronically underdeveloped. Now her inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind brainchild has been named an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion.

Irene Mbari-Kirika's passion to empower the blind and visually impaired students in Africa through computer assistive technology led to the 2009 establishment of inABLE, a non-profit organization registered in Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, DC. Today, inABLE operates eight assistive technology computer labs in six special schools for the blind in Kenya, employs 15 computer instructors, has enrolled over 1,600 blind and visually impaired students and 131 teachers, and provided over 20,000 hours of computer skills training.

The ITU announced this week 90 WSIS Prizes 2017 Champions, including inABLE. The final 18 winners will be recognized at a ceremony at Geneva International Conference Centre on June 13, as part of the annual World Summit on the Information Society WSIS Forum 2017.

Hyo Ju PARK, WSIS Junior Project Officer, 
ITU notified inABLE of their WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion selection in an email on May 11th that included the following excerpt: "Out of 345 nominated ICT success stories from around the world for the Online Voting Phase (30 March – 30 April), following a comprehensive review by the Expert Group of 467 submitted projects submitted by the WSIS Stakeholder community, your project Computer Labs for the Blind was among those first five most voted in the category Access to Information and Knowledge and we would like to congratulate you on this amazing achievement and to share the excitement of promoting your recognition."

Over the years the organization has attracted charitable and partner support from global technology leaders, including GE, CISCO and Microsoft. Microsoft named inABLE as one of the local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to receive a cash investment through the global Upgrade Your World Initiative on September 1st, 2015. Alex Nyingi of Microsoft East Africa explains that benefit of the inABLE/Microsoft partnership: "These basic computer and software programming skills provide a solid foundation to better integrate these disadvantaged students into higher education institutions and the workplace".

In response to the ITU WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion selection, inABLE Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika states, "As proud as we are of this prestigious honor, the organization's main focus is on the development of charitable and business partner relationships to fund the expansion of the program throughout Africa and construct a long-term results-based sustainability framework. There are still too many blind and visually impaired persons in Africa who are either hidden from society or forced into terrible choices—such as begging or prostitution—just to survive!"

To learn more about inABLE Computer-Labs-for-the-Blind visit:

Irene Mbari-Kirika
Executive Director
Tags:WSIS Prizes Champion, inABLE Assistive Computer Labs
Location:Washington - District of Columbia - United States
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