As an equal service provider, knls incorporates the visually impaired persons (VIPs) in service provision. This is done through partnerships with organizations dealing with VIPs like the Sight Savers, African Braille Services, Kenya Society for the Blind and Lions Club International among others. Through these partnerships and the support from our Parent Ministry, we have been able to transcribe a number of books into Braille. Recently we also received audio navigators from the Lions Club International together with laptops containing several books in electronic format. This service is on a pilot project in Nairobi and Thika and is the first of its kind in Kenya. Once the project is fully implemented, it will ease the burden of carrying the voluminous hard copy Braille materials. Our VIP clients range from primary school children to university students and also several leisure readers.
knls provides a variety of services to the Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs) which include: Braille lending to individuals and institutions, reading stories and newspapers to those with visual impairment, provision of talking books, transcription of popular materials into Braille, typing services, among others. Braille services are available in most of our branch libraries and especially in Nairobi, Kisii and Thika.
In Nairobi, some of the facilities available for use by the VIPs include:
* Talking books
* Talking computer
* Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV) donated by FORCE Foundation through Africa Braille Centre
* Perkins Brailler
* Braille and large print books
To ensure that the VIPs have the relevant information affecting the society, the Board acquires books covering drug abuse, youth problems, HIV/AIDS and the draft constitution, courtesy of the partnership with Africa Braille Centre, Kenya Society for the Blind and Kenya Institute for the Blind and our parent Ministry.
The Talking Book Project targeting the Visually Impaired Persons
The Visually Impaired Persons VIPs) can now borrow audio books from our library, Courtesy of Lions Club International 411A (Thika, Kilimambogo), who have identified knls as the administrator and host of the above project. The project aims at facilitating the VIPs easy access to audio books through audio navigators. An audio navigator is a small hand-operated gadget, the size of a cell phone which has a facility of hosting between 2 to 4 audio recorded books. It has simple buttons that facilitates the user to access the stored books at ease.
From a special talking laptop, users select books of their choice, which are then downloaded into the audio navigator and lent to the borrower for an agreed period of time. Audio navigators use chargeable batteries that last between 2-3 days. To support this project Lions Club International 411A (Thika - Kilimambogo) donated 100 audio navigators and 2 laptops all valued at Ksh 2.5 million. This technology was developed in Australia and is just finding its way into Africa.
Since March 2007 when the project was commenced, users have accessed over 200 different books, mainly fiction. Through our outreach programme, we provide the service to Thika, Kitui, Kajiado and several parts of Nairobi. It is hoped that this project will translate into promotion and sustenance of a reading culture among the VIPs. The navigators can be connected to earphones and can also be used by sighted people as they continue with other chores e.g. driving, kitchen work etc. they have a clear and audible voice and are portable.