KBTA works with government and many other stakeholders to address the issues of stigma, ignorance and lack of resources for the blind and visually impaired. KBTA supports awareness raising programs and other practical areas of support to youth in helping to educate them and providing on the ground access to potential job seekers through the internship and placement programs while sensitizing corporate companies about the need to open their doors to blind/visually impaired job seekers.
In Africa the cultural context and awareness around disability is still very much that of ignorance and marginalization of individuals with any kind of disability. A child with visual or any other disability, especially in the rural and lower socio-economic urban environments, is basically kept at home and blocked from opportunities for learning and education. These children are relegated to a life of social and psychological misery and abuse that is compounded by the actual disability. This is the stigma of the differently-abled and the general lack of awareness among people persists.
The youth represent 50% of the population of Africa. In Kenya, which has an extremely young population, 75% are below the age of 30. As the future of the country they need to be supported, oriented and included in the mainstream of the nation’s economy and society. In this context the youth with visual disability face an even greater challenge to their inclusion as viable members of society. Extrapolated data from various sources indicate that in Kenya alone the estimated number of youths with visual disability is between forty and fifty thousand. The greatest challenge faced by blind/visually impaired youth, is access to literacy and quality education compared to their sighted peers, due to the high cost of Braille tools and limited access to learning materials. This and limited admission facilities at tertiary levels and universities has resulted in a low transition rate from primary to secondary and then onto higher education levels. Poverty and ignorance are also big barriers for access to literacy and education that can provide the foundation for a better life in any circumstance. Those with visual disabilities then have huge disadvantage to social and economic inclusion.