Tech Era, a tech non-profit based in Ghana has partnered with Dextra, a Canadian social enterprise and engineering company to create affordable assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.
The two organizations aim at increasing access to education for children with disabilities, creating fun and learning environment for children and youth with disabilities, providing relief for parents with children with disabilities while increasing chances of employment for persons with disability through technology.
A statement issued and signed by Derick Omari, Chief Executive Officer at Tech Era said his organization in partnership Dextra, is creating an Assistive Technology (AT) Makerspace in Ashesi University in collaboration with the Ashesi D-lab to develop capacities and competencies of college students to use technology, electronics, programming and affordable materials to redesign existing assistive technologies for children with disabilities.
The two organizations also hope to create new technologies customized to the needs of beneficiaries as well as educational models and learning materials that can improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics for visually impaired learners and other learners with disabilities.
According to the World Bank, 9 out of 10 persons with disabilities in the world do not have access to glasses, smartphones, wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aid and other life-changing assistive technology they need. The Global Disability Forum estimated that in 2050, about 2 billion individuals will need assistive technology to go to school get a job or play a full role in their families or communities.
Many persons with disabilities in Ghana and in Africa are excluded from education, work, community and family life. In Ghana, persons with disability are mostly not considered as part of the labor force. Meanwhile, their efforts and talents can contribute to the economy. Less than 12% of children with disabilities are in school in Ghana due to poverty and lack of assistive technologies, the statement said
The level of hardship coupled with superstitious belief leaves a large majority of persons with disability with no reason than to beg on the streets. For those who have children, what they earn from begging, has never been enough to take their wards through the education they wish them to achieve, the statement said