Consumer goods company Unilever has donated digital, Braille assistive devices worth Sh22 million to support visually impaired students in the country as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The devices which will be for onward distribution to the learners with visual impairment in secondary schools and colleges were handed to the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA).
The firm has been in a race to accelerate progress inequality of opportunity and women’s empowerment, two issues the company says are central to its long-term growth and social impact.
Unilever Kenya MD, Luck Ochieng says the distribution of the 300 multi-functional digital devices, referred to as (ORBIT Reader 20) to the learners with visual impairment is a significant step in helping to fulfill this vision
"Earlier this year, Unilever announced a wide-ranging set of commitments and actions to help build a more equitable and inclusive society by raising living standards across its value chain and creating opportunities through inclusivity,'' Ochieng said.
The donation is a reinforcement of Unilever’s support to KBTA’s ambition to put a digital, Braille assistive device in the hands of every learner in Kenya and possibly East Africa.
KBTA CEO Suparna Biswas said the donation will change how education is accessed by the visually impaired and in turn improve their access to higher education, the sciences, the IT sector and employability.
The Trust introduced the Orbit Reader 20 to visually impaired learners in Kenya in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and has so far distributed 550 units.
The Orbit Reader 20 is a digital Braille book reader and note-taker that can hold an entire library of textbooks and other reading material on its memory card.
It has a refreshable Braille display and a six-dots Braille keypad and therefore eliminates the need for expensive Braille paper and even transcribers.