11 October 2018

Kenya: Retired Teacher Calls for Special Phones for Visually Impaired People

A retired blind teacher from has appealed to the Communication Authority of Kenya to ensure mobile telephone providers import gadgets that are compatible with the plight of visually impaired people.

Mr Simon Wanjeru Murage said the mobile phones in the market were not serving the interests of the blind people.

Mr Wanjeru retired as a teacher after clocking 39 years and 10 months at Nyandarua High school in Nyandarua County.

"There are millions of mobile phones in this country with no gadget for special people who are visually impaired," he said.

He said these phones are supposed to have a speech software so that a visually impaired persons can know where he is calling and the name of the person and interpret the messages.

"Unfortunately this is not common and it is a big challenge to people who are visually impaired, "said Mr Wanjeru.

The former History and English in Literature teacher said the blind are forced to spend extra cash to buy a special speech software which is very expensive.

"All mobile providers should be mindful of all their customers including the blind by importing phones that are compatible to the needs of the blind people," he said.

At the same time Mr Wanjeru said the service providers should ensure the network coverage is strong across the country.

"Every corner of this country has a blind person and it would be wrong to deny him service simply because of poor network coverage yet it is their constitutional right to be heard," said Mr Wanjeru.

He said people with disability especially women are prone to attacks and may require some help and it would be a tragic if their area of operation is out of network.

"Mobile phones help the blind and other physically impaired persons a lot particularly when they are under threat," he said.

He said touch mobile phones are big challenge to the blind as they need to press buttons to start communication process.

Mr Wanjeru who is also the chairman Nyandarua County Disability Forum disabled people have a big role to play in the economic development of this country.

"People with disability are specially gifted in certain areas and when they are neglected this nation is robbed of very useful brains, said Wanjeru.

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