Monday, November 5, 2007

Kenya: Help in Sight for the Blind -

Bernard MuindiNairobi

The hereafter of unsighted people is visibly brighter followers the launch of an advanced device that enables them to utilize ordinary computer science machines as opposing to the system traditionally used.

The Dolphinfish Pen is the modern solution to the computing necessitates of the blind. Unlike other silver screen entree solutions such as as the Occupation Entree With Address (JAWS), which they have got been using, the Dolphinfish Pen is not installed on the PC, but instead runs from a Universal Joint Consecutive Bus (USB) Pen Drive - a little portable device, just a few centimeters long, which stoppers consecutive into the USB port of a computer.

The convenient size intends that a user can transport his or her Dolphinfish Pen in the pocketbook or pocket, and tally the entree software system on any computer, without the demand to configure scenes each time, as all user constellations are saved back to the Dolphinfish Pen.

The Dolphinfish Pen is simple to utilize on any computer. It takes a couple of proceedings to do a computing machine Dolphinfish Pen-friendly. Once this is done, to run the software, simply infix the pen into a USB slot.

This engineering is enabling 100s of unsighted pupils at assorted acquisition establishments in the state to curved shape a rival border with their colleagues.

The programme loaded into a flash disc installs itself automatically into the computing machine for the user. A USB memory device lets a user to run Dolphinfish silver silver screen reading and screen magnification software system on any computer. It stoppers into a USB port and installs software system on the machine. When the Dolphinfish Pen is removed, the software system is uninstalled. The software system is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows View and Windows XP Home, Windows XP Pro operating systems.

It necessitates pattern with the keyboard to derive proficiency. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is used to magnify textual stuff in books and newspapers in a manner that a unsighted pupil can read comfortably.

David Waithaka Wanyoike, 24, a First Year pupil at Kenyatta University is a totally unsighted pupil studying History and Kiswahili in Education. He is among 38 others in the university who were introduced to the engineering last month. They were trained on Dolphinfish Pen by the university. Mister Wanyoike, a alumnus of Thika School for the Blind, compares the electric switch from jaw to Dolphinfish Pen with shifting from manual or automatic gear wheel in vehicles.

"This engineering is very convenient for me. My life have got been turned around and now I have all grounds to stand out in my career. It was hard using JAWS, and Louis Braille is expensive," he says. Multiple Sclerosis Dame Ellen Terry Mugambi, also a First Year Bachelor of Education student, states Dolphinfish Pen have got simplified her study.

"Now I can utilize any computing machine at the cyber café, the library - where we also have the CCTV- computing machine lab, any where!" Compared to the Braille, the computer-based system is cheaper. The Standard Perkins Brailler cost Sh24,000 while a reconditioned computing machine and the Dolphinfish assistive engineering costs less than Sh18,000. The initial donees of the engineering are pupils from Kenyatta University, Asumbi, Mosoriot and Machakos Teachers Training Colleges. Others are Bungoma, Moi, Capital Of Kenya Girls, Kericho Tea and Kipsigis Girls' high schools.

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This engineering is offered in concurrence with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Sight Savers International, Sense International, The Republic Of Republic Of Kenya Union of Blind, Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) and the Ministry of Education. The programme enables normal computing machines to "speak" and magnify textual matter as well as alteration coloring material backgrounds, thus helping the unsighted to set according to their needs.

Speaking during the launch of the technology, the president of the Particular Education section at Kenyatta University Dr Francisca Wamucho termed it the unsighted student's companion.

"The section wishings to renew its course of study content and include many topics for the visually impaired pupils so that they can be empowered to do the right calling choices," she said.

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