The Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB) recently commenced a presentation of selected educational book titles to some special schools in Nigeria. The project started with a visit to Government School for the blind, Katsina State. The latest port of call for the presentation by National Association of the Blind was Unity Model School, Agbarho, Delta State. The school has a special Unit for Blind and partially sighted students.
In a speech on behalf of National Association of the Blind, held on Friday, 26 November, 2021 at the school premises, the Administrative Officer, NAB, Miss Oluwakemi Odusanya appreciated the Principal of the school for the unrelenting efforts to ensure blind and partially sighted students of the school are equipped with knowledge that can compete favourably with their sighted counterparts.
She noted that the project wouldn’t have been a success without the funding from the sponsor, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to Miss Odusanya, the Organization has been the backbone of the project. She also acknowledged other gallant partners like the Anglo Nigeria Welfare Association of the Blind (ANWAB), Disability Empowerment Solution Initiative Nigeria (DESI Ng) & the ever willing editors of the project who selflessly gave of themselves despite tight schedules in order to ensure we beat deadlines.
In her words “I do understand from both angle, having sight to read print materials and without sight (reading by touch or hearing) as a visually impaired person myself. This is the more reason the project is dear to me especially, with the introduction of STEM accessible textbooks to steer up the minds of the students to dare for the best.
Visual impairment should not limit the zeal to read, hence the imperative of making availability of accessible reading materials a priority. We are bringing the situation under control through this presentation of thirty- eight accessible textbooks in braille format and seventy- four book titles in digital formats”.
Odusanya urged the blind and partially sighted students to take up the challenge. She noted that the project which started in Katsina will end well in Delta State.
She called on individual, organizations to embrace the expansion of this project to reach other regions and States.
“Digital reading devices to scale up electronic formats of the book titles can be procured as an expansion. And I am sure visually impaired persons will continually appreciate”, she said.
The Principal, Unity Model Secondary School, Agbarho, Emore whiskey, who couldn’t hide his joy over the presentation, recalled how the school was established with a special Education Unit (Blind). Over time the school has since produced special students who are currently studying in various universities in Eastern part of Nigeria.
Emore admitted that these special students have had to contend with the challenge of having other students read the normal textbooks and class notes for them to record.
He stressed that “it is quite challenging as the recording devices have to be in top shape, furthermore securing the assistance of a person willing to help, don’t always come easy.
“The presentation of the Braille text books to the School is a thing of joy. It will afford our current special students the opportunity to read without having to seek the assistance of other students. The presentation of the textbooks is particularly noteworthy as they cannot be easily bought off the shelf around here”.
The principal said the textbooks will be of tremendous help to both staff and students. He also prayed for God’s protection over the materials even as he promised to put them to good use, adding that, it’s the only way this exercise will be justified.
The event witnessed the presence of dignitaries – amongst them, Chief Inspector of Education (CIE) represented by Mr John Emokiniovo, the current President of NAB, ably represented by the South South Coordinator, Commerade Collins Akpanah. Chairman of the day, Mr Johnson Akpokiniovoh, doubles as VP of NAB and the Chairman of Delta NAB. Also present was Assistant administration officer of NAB, Mr Ololade Kolejo
Students welcomed the dignitaries with a melodious welcome song.
Photos from the presentation: