Africa Forum Program
To view specific sections of our Program Outline, click on the links below:
Opening Ceremony: Sunday, July 3, 2011
Closing Ceremony: Thursday, July 7, 2011
Diarra Memorial Speech: At the 5th Africa Forum there will be the first Special Memorial Lecture in honour of the late Dr Diarra of Burkina Faso.
Each morning begins with a keynote followed by discussion and questions. There will be subsequent parallel sessions, with presentations and discussions, addressing the sub-themes of that day's keynote. Each day there will be 'bite size' sessions for vendors and experts to give hands on demonstrations of technology equipment. During the week there will also be evening events, social and alumni gatherings.
There will also be opportunities for interview for live radio and or delayed broadcast on the internet. This will provide an option for programme leaders and persons who are blind to communicate messages to the broader public and international community.
Day One: Monday July 4, 2011
The four tracks outlined below will be woven through the Forum with presentations of best practice and innovation.
Presentations to be offered at the 5th Africa Forum include the following and more!
The Mwangaza Project: Technology, Training, and Accessible Math and Science to Improve Societal Participation and Economic Empowerment in Kenya
Bruce N. Walker, Georgia Institute of Technology and Irene Mbari-Kirika, InALBE (USA)
Problems in math and science education for individuals with vision loss limit careers and societal participation. The Mwangaza Project is a collaboration between inABLE and Georgia Tech to address: (1) accessible materials for learning and working in math and science; (2) accessible and appropriate methods, materials, and policies for testing; (3) training and curriculum development for teachers; (4) development of international non-visual tests of general cognitive abilities; and (5) assessments of the social, psychological, and attitudinal impacts of an increase in technology availability and literacy amongst blind and low vision learners.
Interactive Discussion: Albinism - Challenging Stereotypes and Overcoming Cultural Obstacles
Presentation: Educational Inclusion of Children with Albinism in Malawi
Dr. Paul Lynch, School of Education, University of Birmingham; Dr. Pat Lund, School of Health & Life Sciences, Coventry University; Hilda Lupiya, Sightsavers; Boniface Massah, The Albinism Association of Malawi
This research, co-commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Sightsavers, investigated the education of children with albinism in rural and urban areas of Malawi and explored strategies employed by resource centres and teachers to mediate their visual impairment and maximise their educational experience. This is a collaborative study involving two universities in the UK, Sightsavers and an advocacy organisation working for the rights of people with albinism in Malawi. A participatory approach using focus groups, interactive workshops and interviews enabled children, teachers and parents to express their knowledge, myths and superstitions of albinism and explored their impact on the lives of affected children, particularly in the school.
Enhancing Employment Among Blind Graduates from University of Ghana: Challenges and Prospects
Kwabena A. Poku, Ph.D, MSPH, University of Ghana
Employers in Ghana, on the other hand, primarily out of ignorance, appear to be wary of the capabilities and the ‘burden’ of blind graduates. These pose massive challenges for blind graduates to get a good start in the Ghanaian labour market. Office of Students with Special Needs (OSSN), charged by the University with the duty to enhance employment among graduate students with special needs, has to surmount these challenges to get the blind employed. This report provides a proposal and modes for overcoming the challenges.
Technology As A Tool For Social And Economic Empowerment: Resultant Successful Public Private Partnerships
Jimmy Gichuhi, ITAC Consulting, Kenya
This presentation will describe the complete process of initiating, funding, implementing, training and supporting of technology projects; showcasing live examples of how these technology projects have brought the public and private sector together and how they will benefit and positively change lives of the blind.
The AEGIS Project
Steve Griffiths, Royal National Institute of Blind Persons
ÆGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) is a European project running from 2008 until 2013. Its aims are to develop embedded accessibility in mainstream ICT devices/applications - the desktop, WAI-compatible rich web applications and smart phones; and to develop toolkits for developers to enable them to "engrave" accessibility in and emerging mass-market ICT-based products.
African Libraries, Alive With Possibilities
Busi Mbiyo, South African Library for the Blind, South Africa
Today there are 161 million blind and partially sighted people in the world and this number is growing. Extend this to print disabled and you have an even greater number of people who cannot read a conventional book, magazine or website as they are either unable to see the print, hold the item or access the website. Less than 5% of published material, i.e. books, and less than 20% of websites are accessible to these people. Lack of access to information is biggest barrier to full participation in work, recreation and life for people with a print disability. A Global Library will help to ensure that people with a print disability will have access to and full participate in every part of life they choose.
Reading Interest and Alternative Format Utilisation By Persons With Visual Imparments In Nigeria
Niran Adetoro Ph.D, Senior Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria and Morayo I Atinmo Ph.D, Professor of Library and Information Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
There is a strong believe that the reading interest of persons with visual impairment are as varied and similar as those of sighted persons. This study investigates the reading interest and alternative format use by persons with visual impairment in selected Libraries in Nigeria. Knowledge of the reading interest of persons with visual impairment is imperative to transcription and alternative format use. The study recommends among others, the consideration of the reading interest of persons with visual impairment before materials are transcribed for use.
Open And Distance Education For Persons With Visual Impairment In Africa: Prospects And Challenges
Cosmas B. F. Mnyanyi, Jabiri K. Bakari, Tolly S. A. Mbwette, The Open University of Tanzania
In the era of globalization, social responsibility in the provision of education to individuals with visual impairment is in debate. Distance education, which is seen as a solution to access to education for all, in most cases is facilitated through ordinary print both online and in ordinary printed books. This paper aims at developing skills, knowledge and understanding on the prospects and challenges on use of open and distance education as a professional development among visually impaired individuals in Africa. Authors use experiences of the Open University of Tanzania and other developing and developed countries in suggesting a model for educating individuals with visual impairment in Africa.
Tackling Exclusion Of Learners With Multiple Disability In National Examinations Through The Use Of Technology: A Case Study Of Kenya
Bernard Mogesa PhD
There is no doubt that national examinations in many countries around the world determine the success of an individual in future life. Candidates with disabilities compete with the non disabled on an equal footing despite the challenges they face. Effort has been made by national examination boards to provide these examinations in user friendly formats and candidates with disabilities getting additional time on the strength of the disability. This paper explores the use of technology as an alternative testing tool for learners with multiple disabilities.
Supports And Hindrances To Women's Leadership In Ghana's Disability Movement
Denise Nepveux, Ph.D., Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies Syracuse University, New York, USA and Kathryn Geurts, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Hamline University, Minnesota, USA
Ghana’s disability movement groups are currently undertaking a re-evaluation of the roles that gender plays in their activities and have put policies in place to ensure gender equity. It is generally acknowledged that men outnumber women in leadership positions. Other than at an anecdotal level, however, little is known about the experiences of women in disability advocacy groups as they seek to develop leadership skills and fully contribute to their organizations. This presentation offers the results of a 2010 qualitative research study based on interviews with a number of women leaders in Ghana’s disability movement. The purpose of the study was to offer disability advocacy groups in Ghana (and beyond) some insights from the experiences of women in leadership roles and suggestions about what would help to foster women's contributions.
Including The Excluded Children In Education System In A War Torn Country, Somalia
A Case Study Of Rainbow School For The Blind, Merka, Somalia, Sung Duck Cho, Regional Director, HISAN and John M. Kamita, Project Manager, HISAN
HISAN established the first school for the Blind in Somali history in June 2004. Since then it has been a journey full of challenges and joy as we overcome various obstacles in this country which had been bedeviled by civil war for the last 20 years. Education for children with disability was neglected and these children were confined to the world of just receiving pity and alms, but HISAN came to change this by proving that a blind child can go to school and learn like any other child. With awareness and progress of the initial students, the community has come to accept the reality that a blind eye is not a blind mind and now they are sending their children with visual impairment to our school.
Literacy For All: Developing Literacy Through Touch In The Mainstream Classroom
Dr Paul Lynch, School of Education, University of Birmingham and David Njaidi, Special Needs Education Dept, Ministry of Education, Malawi
This research study, commissioned by Sightsavers, focuses on a study that tracked the development of braille literacy skills of 8 children who are blind and who attended local mainstream primary schools in Southern Malawi. This was a collaborative project involving the University of Birmingham, the Malawi Institute of Education and Montfort Special Needs Education College in Malawi.
Inclusive Education for Rural Blind and Low Vision Women: The UNCRPD, The Only Hope
Aisatu Sas Kamara, Sierra Leone Association of the Blind, Sierra Leone
Although the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has made issues of inclusion and access very much part of the national discourse, very little will change without the development and effective application including a religious monitoring of policies and legislations involving women with disabilities. This requires unwavering commitment and professionalism on the part of DPOs which must be at the front line to demand compliance and influence the entire process of change, but most importantly, to fully participate in the process of delivering such policies and programmes. This presentation will consider steps taken in Sierra Leone to achieve inclusive and accessible education for blind and low vision women in rural communities and what the future holds for the less assertive and very vulnerable group.
Early Childhood Intervention: Parents As Main Facilitators of Their Children’s Early Intervention Process
This work is based on the case study of a visually impaired child whose parents, after collecting information about early childhood intervention, decided to design a complete stimulation program which could be used as a guideline for other parents of children with visual impairments, especially in further or rural areas where is very difficult to find this kind of services. This is an innovative experience because both of the parents in this story are totally blind and were motivated to make this contribution when their son, Erick, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (a childhood cancer in the retina of the eye). The work shows how the parents were able to help his child to stimulate his remaining vision and his other senses by using toys with lights and sounds, texture books, musical instruments, and other learning materials.
Using Re-Cycled (Waste) Papers To Enhance The Economic Empowerment Of Students With Visual Impairment In The University Of Jos.
Sylvester Mwandar Yakwal Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Jos.
The paper will report on a pilot scheme initiated in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences of the University of Jos. The scheme, which is designed to economically empower individuals with visual impairment, involved ten students with visual impairment enrolled on the undergraduate and customised diploma programmes in special education, being exposed to training on conversion of used papers (including old paper packaging cartons and boxes) to produce viable and durable household utensils (tables, chairs, side tables and stools, bookshelves etc.) for sale to the general public.