ADVOCACY, Education

How Orbit Reader 20 is ushering easy learning among visually impaired learners in Rwanda

Mushimiyimana Denise is a P6 Visually Impaired Student. Mushimiyimana is among the few children who have had the opportunity to use the Orbit Reader 20 device for her education.

She says the Orbit Reader 20 has improved her learning experience than ever before.

The first aspect of Orbit Reader, 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.

“Orbit Reader is very useful to us because it helps us to save our lessons in an easy way.” Mushimiyimana said while showcasing her ability in using the device.

“Once you have access to the Orbit Reader, you can use it to learn wherever you are and you can ask questions to your teacher without having to sit with him/her.” She added.

In the meantime, there is still a challenge of the small number of Orbit Reader compared with the number of the Visually Impaired learners that need them for their education.

“Because of the small number of the Orbit readers, we don’t get enough time to learn its usage well because we have to alternate that everyone can learn how to use this devise” Mushiyimana said.

She requested that “It would be nice if the number of Orbit readers could be increased so that every visually impaired learner could access it to better understand how to use it,”

“We also hope that the education authorities will work together to include learners’ books into the device so that we too can read them easily and continue to gain knowledge.” She added.

Three months ago, 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.

With the use of the Orbit Reader 20, learners no longer need those huge and bulky books libraries, whereby they are only accessible when the librarian is available. The student are able to save his or her work in the ORBIT READER 20, because it comes with an SD card.

In addition to that, the devise is very comfortable to be carried by learners than the previous braille machines which are very heavy to carry by children.

The other aspect is that Orbit Reader 20 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.

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.

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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