Children With Vision Impairment In Tanzania Using iPads
Two children with vision impairments due to albinism living in Tanzania have recently received iPads to use at school thanks to two Australian charities.
Sebastian and Selemani attend the school of St Jude, a school in Tanzania which aims to educate disadvantaged children who show academic potential. The school operates much like a boarding school, and currently has 1900 students enrolled from primary through to secondary school. The school of St Jude is funded through charitable donations.
Growing up as a child with albinism in Tanzania is very dangerous due to misconceptions about the condition. In Tanzania, the hair and skin of people with albinism is thought to hold magical powers, and the birth of an albino child can be viewed as a curse. This has lead to infanticide and persecution of children with albinism. Children with albinism are often not allowed to attend school.
18 year old Selemani, and 9 year old Sebastian are being given the gift of education in order to be able to help lift their families from the poverty cycle. Hopefully this will also help to change the views of the community towards people with albinism. The school has previously supplied Selemani and Sebastian with glasses, monoculars and magnifiers to assist with their vision impairments. The benefit of using the iPad is that it is a portable, easy to use vision aid. The boys both use a special camera which is linked to the iPad, to take photos of the blackboard and worksheets. The photo then appears on the iPad, where it can easily be enlarged, or the contrast changed to enhance viewing.
The iPads were donated by Vision Australia and the Brisbane high-rise rotary club.
At Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists, we strongly advocate for the use of iPads in the classroom setting for children with visual impairment. iPads and tablets have really helped change the landscape of vision aids for children. Bulky, non-portable vision aids are no longer always necessary, and instead these children are able to use the exact same piece of equipment that every other child in the class is using.
You can learn more about the school of St Jude in Tanzania by visiting http://www.schoolofstjude.org
For the original article, please visit the ABC news website http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/albinos-in-tanzania-learn-to-read-rotary-vision-australia/7088176
For further information about Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists recommendations on iPad use for children with vision impairments, please contact one of our paediatric orthoptists on (02) 9241 2913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org