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Blind and Partially Sighted Inclusive Cyber Cafe

BYAN's attempt at establishing a cyber cafe for the blind and partially sighted, to promote disability inclusive services

Photo of Aashiya Bhattarai
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What problem does your idea solve?

The project will seek to address: o The inadequacy of services intended towards people with disability. o The lack of a platform where the blind and partially sighted (BPS) can productively use their learning from computer training. o The lack of opportunities for the blind and partially sighted people to work independently in the society.

Explain your idea

Organizations like Nepal Association of the Blind (NAB) and Blind Youth Association Nepal (BYAN), on a regular basis, conduct computer training programs designed for the blind and partially sighted youths that enable them to use the basics of computers independently. Various blind and partially sighted youths of Nepal have been, and continue to be, benefited from the computer training. However, due to the lack of a platform where they can use their learning from the training in real life, their acquired skills go underutilized and ultimately wasted. Therefore, this project will seek to establish a cyber café designed especially for the blind and partially sighted people so as to ensure that the BPS can utilize their skills and perform computer operations independently.

Who benefits?

The project is aimed at the blind and partially sighted people that are interested in the communication and IT sector.

How is your idea unique?

The concept of cyber café was established in Nepal more than a decade earlier. Even today, it continues to benefit people in different parts of Nepal. However, these cyber café are not disability centered. A disability centered cyber café that seeks to increase access of the blind and partially sighted people would, therefore, be a completely new concept, and one of its kind.

Tell us more about you

BYAN is a non-political, non-religious, not for profit Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) of Nepal. It is a national association for youths aged between 18-35 years. Founded in 2011 AD, BYAN is the only organization established by the blind and partially sighted youths themselves. As a rights-based organization, BYAN intends to play a proactive role in advocating and promoting the rights of the blind and partially sighted youths of Nepal that are scattered across the country.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Nepal

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

6 comments

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Aashiya and Team! We’re excited to share with you feedback and questions from the Amplify team and an external set of experts. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

What experts shared for is this idea desirable, feasible and viable?
Desirable? I Have seen this idea in use in Bangladesh and it worked quite well! Some questions and concerns I have include: Why is the cafe only open to visually-impaired? Could there be a benefit of targeting this population, but also welcoming in others from the community? Also, how will the cafe help people build and maintain technical skills?
Strong potential to be feasible. How will language be addressed? What specialist equipment would be available at this specific cafe, and why does it need to focus on those comfortable with computers? Another factor we’d love to hear your thoughts on is the issue of power and electricity?
Questions around Viability: Have you given any thought to sustainability? Where will funds come from in the future?

How does this idea consider user needs?
• “I believe this idea reflects the needs of BPS towards cyber cafe. However, can you provide more information and details including what are current needs having a cyber cafe solves for BPS i.e. is it access to hardware, socializing, skill development?”

Some questions to think about:
• How is access to this technology and service going to change someone's life?
• Can you describe in more detail what the Cyber café and programing will be like to help us get a better sense of what you imagine?

Thanks for sharing the important work you are doing!

In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: http://ideo.to/DXld5g Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - June 4 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at amplify@ideo.org

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Aashiya,

Very excited to continue to learn more about the work you are doing in this next phase of the Challenge! Two quick items.

1) Any chance you could find an image or visual to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there.

2) I know the character limits are tight, but can you pull a sentence or two up from your comments to add a little more detail in the "Who Benefits" Section? I don't want anyone to miss the impact you are having!

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Hi Aashiya, thanks for contributing to the Challenge! Would love to learn a little more about your prototyping for this process. Can you briefly describe what you did and what you learned?

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Aashiya Bhattarai
Team

Hi, Ashley! Good to know you are interested in the idea. Thanks!

Well, what we concluded was the result of our small informal study. As you must have read in the description, a few organizations carry out computer training programs for the blind and partially sighted people (BPS) on a regular basis, in an attempt to enable them to become computer literate for the day to day activities in this technology-led century. Also, since the opportunities for blind and partially sighted people are already narrowed down by their assumed inability, the training also seeks to make them more competent for the job market.

Hundreds of BPS youths have benefited through the training programs till date. Their performances during the training have been outstanding. However, when we evaluated the effectiveness of the training in the long run, these were found ineffective; the BPS trainees that underwent the training failed to utilize their learning from the training such that they could benefit from them.

When we dug into the matter, we realized that not all BPS people could afford personal computers or laptops of their own, that they could work on, or practice what they learnt from the training, on a regular basis. And in the absence of practice for a technical subject like computer, they gradually forgot what they learnt, thereby, making the training ineffective in the long run. This meant that the very objective with which the training was being carried out, was not being met.

We are therefore, now, seeking to overcome this challenge by establishing a Cyber Cafe for the BPS so they can all have regular access to computers where they can practice their learning from the training and actually get to benefit from it.

I hope this answers your question. Thanks again!

Photo of Trust Mutekwa
Team

I appreciate contribution of your organisations in Nepal for conducting computer training blind and partially sighted youngsters. I work with children in my country. I appreciate your Cyber Café idea. Keep going.

Photo of Aashiya Bhattarai
Team

Hey Trust! I'm glad you liked the idea. Thanks for the encouragement! You are doing great as well. Keep up the good work :)