Dr Cosmas Mnyanyi (University of Dar es Salaam) explains that with the growing use of information and communication technology (ICT), call for the access to technological training opportunities is limited. Assumptions are made that all people can access information in the same way. The challenge is bigger among people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. This paper addresses how people with visual and hearing impairments can be empowered to become self-advocates through the use of ICT. The study is qualitative in nature, in which 35 people (20 with hearing impairment) participated in ICT skills training at OUT. Findings indicate that through the use of ICT, people with hearing impairment and visual impairment can fully participate in self-advocating on issues related to politics, finances, organizational visuals, and service-based issues. Self-advocacy is hindered by having less opportunity for ICT skills training. There is a need for the government to set policy guidelines that calls establishment of ICT skills centers and the financing of research and innovation on assistive technologies.
Presentation held at the YDAR Festival 2023, Day 3
Dr. Cosmas B. F. Mnyanyi is head of Department of Psychology and Special Education and he is also a Head of Assistive Special Technologies Unit (ASTU) at the Open University of Tanzania. Dr. Mnyanyi his background is on Science and Mathematics Education and later studied a Master degree in Special Education in 2005 and PhD Degree in Special Education at Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa-Finland in 2014. Dr. Mnyanyi is currently involved in researching and implementing ICT for visually impaired and blind people and ICT for the hearing impaired and deaf people in Tanzania. Dr. Mnyanyi has worked in educational institutions under different posts and at different times holding capacities that include a classroom teacher, a teacher educator, instructional supervisor, school inspector, ICT technician, ICT teacher Educator, ICT for the deaf, ICT for visually impaired persons, consultant, project evaluation, baseline survey, research, action research, ICT user and educator and educational administrator. Dr. Cosmas Mnyanyi started teaching profession in 1990.