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Oct 01

ICT WORKSHOP BRIDGES THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN ST. KITTS-NEVIS

Facilitator of the visually impaired workshop with young participants. CTU's Secretary General Lewis (maroon top) looks on.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 01, 2018 (SKNIS): A talking pen that reads labels, text to speech and speech to text features on computers and smart devices, a printer that prints Braille, and specialized e-readers were among the technological devices that were introduced to visually impaired individuals and advocates in St. Kitts and Nevis, last Friday (September 28).
 
Information about these tools and similar devices for the hearing impaired were shared at a workshop for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) which formed part of activities for ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Week- St. Kitts and Nevis. The week-long event ran from September 24 to 28 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, while the PWD workshop was held at the National ICT Centre.
 
Director of Ade’s Place, Latoya Merchant, accompanied some of the enrolees to the session for the visually impaired. As listed on its official Facebook page, Ade’s Place is a non-profit day centre that provides training for differently abled people where they can achieve their full potential.
 
Ms. Merchant described the session as “quite informative”, noting that she was unaware of the range of devices that is available. The existing features on smart phones were particularly useful for Ms. Merchant and she promised to share the information with her staff members to expand their knowledge.
 
Some of the devices are quite expensive and Ms. Merchant expressed her desire that public and private institutions/organizations would be willing to partner with Ade’s Place to acquire the tools.
 
ICT Week- St. Kitts and Nevis was organised by the government of the twin-island Federation in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the CTU, sat in on the session for the visually impaired.
 
“The CTU is committed to exposing as many people with disabilities to the tools that are available that could improve the quality of their lives and enable them to participate in a meaningful way in society,” Ms. Lewis stated. “There are tools that can help them reach their full potential and they must be given every opportunity to meet their full potential as citizens.”  
 
The secretary general added that she was impressed with the participants at the session.
 
“It was awesome. The children are bright, bursting with energy, intelligent,” Ms. Lewis expressed, adding that the questions they asked were very insightful. She encouraged individuals to not discriminate against PWDs as they have an important role to play in society.”    
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