In a bid to bridge the digital gap between the able-bodied and people living with disabilities, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) on Monday donated assorted ICT equipment to various disabled institutions.
Through the Universal Services Fund, the telecommunication regulator has managed to mobilize hardware and software to the tune of USD$142 147.80.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12.05- the Universal Service Fund (USF) is mandated to provide ICT services to people living with disabilities.
Besides having already donated 69 computers to the beneficiaries, the regulator today added 52 more computers and 101 fusion software licenses.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Potraz Director-General Dr. Gift Machengete said it’s a Godly assignment to take care of the disabled community.
“We are supposed to be the eyes to the blind and the ears to the deaf. We are hands and feet to those who need us,” Machengete quoted Job 29:15.
Machengete added that, ” In an increasingly evolving digital age, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential for making significant improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities, allowing them to improve their social, cultural, political and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities at their disposal.”
The institutions which benefited from this donation are Emerald Hill School for the deaf, Jairos Jiri, Ruwa Rehabilitation Center, Karoi High School, National League for the Blind, Capota High School and Mckertuan Primary School Bulawayo.
Speaking to TechnoMag after the handover, Bulawayo based Mckertuan Primary School representative Stella Mtasa said they were very happy with POTRAZ gesture.
“The donation comes at the right time as we have been experiencing challenges with our learners who have not been able to access the computer lab due to visual impairment, but with this software donated the learners will not only have access to our computer labs but they will also be able to read books,” she said.
The move is in line with the current educational curriculum enacted by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education which seeks to provide ICT services to institutions for people with special needs.
Meanwhile, POTRAZ producured and subsequently installed an Audio Verefit scan equipment at Emerald High School for the deaf at a total cost of USD$18 276.00.