THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) through the Universal Services Fund (USF) on Monday donated computer software and hardware to people living with disabilities.
By Kuda Pembere
The items worth USD142 147 were handed over to Emerald Hill School for the Deaf, Margaretta Hugo School for the Blind affectionately known as Capota, Mckertuan Primary School in Bulawayo, National League for the Blind, Jairos Jiri Kadoma and the National Rehabilitation Centre in Ruwa.
Addressing recipients, Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete said this donation had a personal motivation given his history.
Last year when we had a similar occasion, I indicated that issues to do with the disabled is something close to my heart because of my history. I shall not repeat that. Let me begin by saying that it is often said that God has a plan. All along and for always. He is putting into action this plan he has created. We are all given a part to play in that journey and asked to do everything we can woithin those confines. For some the journey is different,” he said.
He said he was glad with the impact the donations are making in people living with disabilities.
“We have managed to get quite a lot of assistive equipment and software for them to use. We think we are making an impact. For example, there is the Jairos Jiri School in Kadoma. After we gave them equipment, their grade seven results have been unbelievable.
“They are actually number 6 in the whole district and yet they used not to appear on the radar at all. So this equipment that we are giving them is equipment that is really really necessary for people with disability,” Dr Machengete said.
Jairos Jiri Resource Mobilisaiton Executive Grace Kamanga said she was over the moon for this kind gesture.
“We are so grateful and truly impressed by what Potraz has done for our organisation. You know last year they gave us 23 laptops which use JAWS a special software for the blind. As a result, our children have excelled for the first time. They were able to pass with flying colours coming out number six in the whole of Sanyati District of more than 100 schools, competing with the able bodied. Its really unbelievable what has happened,” she said.
Emerald Hill School for the deaf had an Audio-Verifit scan equipment worth USD18 276 installed at the school by South African experts.
Potraz bought the Fusion Software used by students with visual impairments which is a combination of JAWS and Zoom Text. Fusion provides screen reading and magnification to assist a bling or low vision user to independently use a computer and keyboard with speech or Braille display.