A lot of people in Ghana and Africa as a whole are people with disabilities, and such people don’t get access to the very common facilities and utilities normal people have access to. An example is education. Thus, Tech Era has partnered Dextra to create cheaper assistive technologies to aid people with disabilities.
Tech Era is a non-profit tech-oriented organisation based in Ghana. Dextra is also a social enterprise and engineering company operating in Canada. These two organisations have come together to create affordable assistive technologies for persons with disabilities in Ghana.
Tech Era and Dextra are looking to increase children with disabilities’ access to education, build a conducive learning environment for them. The two organisations as well seek to give relief to their parents, thus, increasing chances of employment for persons with disability through technology.
Derrick Omari, the Chief Executive Officer for Tech Era, issued a statement. He said his organisation, joining hands with Dextra, is creating an assistive technology (AT) called Makerspace. The project is going on at Ashesi University.
They two organisations are doing this in collaboration with the Ashesi D-lab. They are trying to build the capacities and competencies of college students to use technology, electronics, programming, and affordable materials to redesign existing assistive technologies for children with disabilities.
Dextra and Tech Era also have hopes to make new technologies customised to the needs of the beneficiaries. They also want to generate new educational models and learning materials. These new models will improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics for the visually impaired learners, as well as other learners with disabilities.
Disabilities issues in Ghana
The World Bank says in every group of 10 persons with disabilities, 9 of them don’t have access to things essential to them. Such things include glasses, wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aid equipment, smartphones, and other assistive technologies important to such people.
NewsGhana reports that according to an estimation from the Global Disability Forum, about 2 billion individuals will need assistive technology in 2050. These people will need the technology to learn, get a job or play a full role in society.
In Ghana and in Africa, many persons with disability are usually excluded from education, work, and family life. Such people are mostly not considered part of the labour force. But the efforts and talents of disabled people can also contribute to the economy.
According to Tech Era’s CEO’s statement, less than 12% of children with disabilities are in school in Ghana. This, to him, is due to poverty and the lack of assistive technologies.