eKitabu launches challenge for Kenyan Publishers for learners with disabilities

Written By: Claire Wanja
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From left Hon. Raila Odinga, Mary Ann 16, from Thika School for the Blind and Will Clurman, CEO & Co-founder, eKitabu
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eKitabu in partnership with Ministry of Education, UNICEF and other partners launched a Content Development Challenge (CDC) to empower Kenyan publishers to develop quality reading materials for learners with disabilities.

Open to all Kenyan publishers, the Challenge will offer prizes for content developers to build accessibility into their titles and publishing practices. Content developers will utilize practical materials and templates included in eKitabu’s open source Toolkit for accessible publishing.

‘‘Sustainability of publishing in Kenya is our focus in this new initiative with local publishers, Kenya Publishers Association, and All Children Reading—A Grand Challenge for Development. The Content Development Challenge will encourage innovation by recognizing and rewarding excellence for quality, early grade, digital reading materials that are accessible for all learners, including learners with disabilities, leaving no one behind,” noted Will Clurman, CEO & Co-founder, eKitabu.

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The idea for the Challenge was the result of brainstorming and collaboration with Kenya Publishers Association. Speaking at Nairobi International Book Fair Thursday, Chairman Lawrence Njagi commented, “Kenya has a vibrant publishing community full of original ideas and authorship. The Content Development Challenge will incentivize the best Kenyan creativity to achieve equity, quality, and inclusivity in Kenyan education through accessible digital content.”

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Submissions will be made online at toolkit.ekitabu.com from September till January 2019 with prizes to be awarded in mid 2019. Cash awards will be given to the publishers who produce accessible digital books in Grand Prize, 1st Runner Up and 2nd Runner Up positions.

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Mary Ann, 16 From Thika School for the Blind demonstrating to Hon. Raila Odinga how to use the eBraille machine whose content is fed in by eKitabu,

eKitabu is the leader in delivering accessible digital content for inclusive and quality education in Kenya. Since its establishment in 2013, the company has partnered with more than 1,500 schools to access its digital books that have been approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) for use in the learning institutions.

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Other partners that are supporting the Content Development Challenge include: All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision, the Australian Government and Pearson.

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