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POTRAZ embarks on digital training for the blind

INNOCENT MURAIRWA

MASVINGO-Postal Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has awarded the Visually Handicapped with Information Communication Technology certificates as a way of promoting digital inclusivity.

POTRAZ as the regulatory authority responsible for ICTs in Zimbabwe, has taken a stride in promoting universal digital participation through training the visually impaired members under the Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped (ZAVH) in Masvingo Province.

The visually impaired is a constituency that is neglected within the global digital space. However, POTRAZ has intervened to bankroll the training programme with the help of ZAVH and Zimbabwe Chapter facilitators in identifying as well as imparting basic digital skills.

In an interview, POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Calisto Machengete had this to say; “This training program was conceived not only with the goal of enhancing digital literacy but also with a profound commitment to inclusivity. Our aim is to ensure that all Zimbabweans have equal access to the digital world, recognizing that technology has the power to break down barriers and empower individuals to reach their fullest potential, regardless of their abilities.”

He added, “Disability is not a barrier to learning, adapting and thriving in the digital age. The visually handicapped’s eagerness to embrace new technologies and their determination to overcome obstacles serve as an inspiration to us all.  The skills they have acquired are not just tools for the digital realm but are also stepping stones towards greater independence and inclusion in all aspects of life.”

Speaking on the same note, the Zimbabwe Chapter facilitator, Shepherd Chifamba reckoned that the training goes a long way in enhancing the position of the people with disabilities in the digital arena and shapes their importance in the use of sophisticated digital technologies.

“I am happy the training program went very well with the participants showing their ability to understand the new digital world in which we were taking them through to ensure inclusivity and equal digital participation,” said Chifamba.

ZAVH executive director, Timothy Mudarikwa noted the continued evolution in the ICT sector.

“The digital world is constantly evolving and we encourage the visually impaired to continue their learning and exploration. They should stay curious and fearless in their pursuit of knowledge and use of newly acquired skills to make a difference in their personal and professional lives.”

George Mbende, a ZAVH member said: “We are very happy for being harnessed within the digital space, it has been our worry for some time now.  We thought we could not make anything but now, we have been helped a lot and gained some basic digital skills.”

Buttressing Mbende’s compliments, Sharon Nhapi who also participated in the training programme, pleaded for government assistance with laptops such that the digital arena will be a low-hanging fruit on their side.

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