THE staff of the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) Region Two Office, yesterday donated $200,000 to the Guyana Society for the Blind to provide lessons to its members on the use of braille.
Speaking at a simple handing over ceremony at Office of the President, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Ms. Jennifer Webster said that the Government has noted with much intrigue, the moves by the Blind Society to have its OLPF recipients who are so inclined, to sit the CSEC examinations.
Of the dozen recipients, 10 sat the exams a few weeks ago; giving Guyana the record of having the largest cohort of blind students to take those exams in the Caribbean Region. This was done through a collaborative effort with the Education Ministry and OLPF.
Public Relations Officer for the Council of the Organisation of People with Disability and member of the Board of Governors of the Guyana Society for the Blind, Ganesh Singh, who has been the liaison between the OLPF Secretariat and the Society, sounded a call a few weeks ago for much-needed assistance to provide more braille lessons.
The funds donated will be used to offset braille lessons for some six months. Minister Webster said the Administration considers this initiative by the OLPF staff to be most noble.
The OLPF Secretariat has to date delivered almost 100 laptops to members of the society, complete with external full-size keyboards, headphones and the requisite software ‘Job Access With Speech’ or JAWS.
“Over this period of engagement, the Blind Society has reported an almost 95 percent successful completion rate in the OLPF training regimen for its recipient members,” the minister said.
She added that the transformative nature of the OLPF project is recording positive outcomes on a daily basis, and has significant indirect impact on more than 36,000 recipients who have benefited from laptops, as well as the requisite training.
The OLPF Secretariat is now preparing to commission a national survey which is anticipated to reveal a myriad of stories that will speak to the transformative dynamics among recipients.
Moreover, distribution exercise is approaching the halfway mark of the targeted 90,000 laptops. (GINA)