GIFEC Boss inspects ongoing computer skills training for the visually impaired

Mr Prince Sefah, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), and some officials from the institution, have inspected ongoing computer skills training for the visually impaired in the Central Region.?

The working visit is to verify and evaluate how 60 persons living with disability (PWDs) are being impacted and developed under GIFEC’s project titled ‘Introduction to Computer Basics for the Visually Impaired (ICBVI)’ in the region.

GIFEC, as part of promoting the Digital Transformation Centers (DTC), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Cisco and in collaboration with ST Foundation helps provide basic computer skills training for 450 visually impaired citizens in 13 regions on the fundamentals of computer usage over 15 days.

With funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and counterpart funding from GIFEC, the ICBVI programme began in November 2023 by training 20 sighted and visually impaired Trainers.?

The programme forms part
of a broader goal of building an inclusive digital society where a lack of digital skills should not be a barrier to participation in the digital economy.

It aims to build a digitally literate citizenry to boost their ICT capabilities to enable them to participate meaningfully in today’s knowledge society.

Mr Sefah after visiting the Unit for the Blind at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind commended the trainers and trainees for the keen interest shown and active participation, adding that though the project would end this year, he would request a renewal.?

‘We intend to empower them by not giving them things in kind but help give them skills that can scale up their growth and development. If we give them tools and skills, they can become independent and do more for themselves whilst relying less on people to have a fulfilling life,’ he said.?

The CEO said two such trainings had been done and the aim this year was to reach out to all underserved and unserved communities, adding that the project
was to have about 14,000 people trained, however, that had been done and they were on track to train 20,000 with the same budget.?

The team also visited the Resource Centre for Alternative Media and Assistive Technology, College of Education Studies, University of Cape Coast, and the Assistive lab that GIFEC built for the University six years ago with 30 computers and 10 laptops.?

Mr Sefah interacted with some of the students and the Centre Coordinator about the successes and challenges facing the Centre.?

Mr Isaac Kwame Nkrumah, a Level 800 visually impaired MPhil Arts Education student and a teacher at the Nyankomase Ahenkro Senior High School, said: ‘Before the arrival of computers, learning and writing exams were a tedious task.?

The gadgets have lessened our stress and motivated us to learn and also taken some burden off our lecturers and other resource persons as they scale up their work.’?

Mr Kwame Boohene, Patron for Students with Special Needs, UCC, expressed the College’s gratitude and requeste
d 2 Eye Pal Solos, 5 Victor Reader Streams, 25 QWERTY Braille/Large Print Keyboards and 4 Accessible Switches.

The others were 4 Half QWERTY Keyboards, 10 Adaptive Mouse, 5 Goldtouch Ergonomic Keyboards, 10 Ergonomic Keyboards, 1 Dragon Software, 25 Desktop Computers/+25 computers for three special schools and 60 laptop computers

Mr Iddris Appiah and Mr Emmanuel Awoe, Co-facilitators at the Unit for the Blind, Cape Coast School for Deaf and Blind, urged GIFEC to continue supporting the needy and vulnerable children in the school for a better future.?

Source: Ghana News Agency