June 17, 2024

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RUB, REB to launch Orbit Reader 20 device for Visually Impaired learners

The Rwanda Union of the Blind and Rwanda Basic Education Board with the support from Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa have introduced an Orbit Reader 20 device that is set to enable learners with visual impairment have access to digital and Inclusive Education.

As explained by William W. Gichia, Regional Technical Coordinator at Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa, the device is an affordable and quality device for quality and affordable basic education for visually impaired learners.

It is used in three aspects.

According to Mr. William, the first aspect of this device: It is used as a note taker, whereby when the student is in a classroom, he or she will be able to type all her notes in the ORBIT READER, and he/she’ll be able to read them later.

“This means that we shall no longer need those huge and bulky books libraries, whereby they are only accessible when the librarian is available, the student will be able to save his or her work in the ORBIT READER 20, because it comes with an SD card.” Explains Mr. William

 “And in that SD card, you will be able to save your library” He added.

The second aspect is that this device is a Book reader whereby a teacher can prepare his or her curriculum work or any other remedial work in another space, like a computer, an iPad, or even on a phone, and then transfer the data on the Orbit reader.

“The last aspect is what we call the communicator, with this device you are able to connect with your mobile phone, with your tablet, and with your laptop, or even a desktop, whereby you will be able to operate all the applications and everything that is in there.” Mr. William added

For this device, It also means that the visually impaired employees or workers or even teachers, can be able to type their information through the Orbit data, and the sighted people will be able to see it on the other end of the normal print.

“That means it bridges the gap for people who don’t know braille.” He noted

According to Rwanda Union of the Blind, so far 10 teachers from 6 pilot schools have been trained on the use of such a device while also ten technicians were trained on how to repair in case it is damaged.

Uwamahoro Bruce, one of the trained Teachers from the Educational Institute for Blind Children at Kibeho, the training has enabled them to acquire the basic skills and knowledge on ORBIT READER 20.

Teachers during a training session on the use of the device

“We have learned how to use the Orbit reader 20 as a new technological tool that is used by visually impaired students. It is an instrument that is important in teaching various students…That device has a storage inside, if they’re writing something, it stores them and they can retrieve the saved information and read them without the need of paper.” Said Uwamahoro.

This device has a lot of benefits compared to the classic braille machine. It is expected that the official launch of the use of ORBIT Reader 20 will take place on Monday, 4th March 2022.

So far, the Rwanda Union of the Blind has received 75 ORBIT Readers which are very few compared to the number of visually impaired learners in need.

Estimates indicate that there are over 57311Visually impaired persons in Rwanda

As of today, 377 learners with visual impairment have been identified.

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