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2024 IT4All programme: W.TEC empowers physically-challenged people with tech skills



A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) has commenced the 2024 edition of its innovative technology programme, Inclusive Technology For All (IT4All), to empower physically-challenged people.

Yemi Odutola, the External Relations Lead, W.TEC, told our correspondent in Lagos that the 2024 edition of the annual training was in collaboration with the Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC), Lagos.

NEWSVERGE reports that the Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC) is a service-oriented, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to providing a broad range of educational and support services for children, young people with developmental disabilities and their families within Nigeria.

Odutola said that the IT4Allprogramme, which was in its sixth year, aimed at supporting people with developmental disabilities (including visual and hearing impairments, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome).

He said that IT4All worked to bridge the digital divide and empower the participants with essential technology skills.

According to him, the IT4All programme seeks to use technology, through weekly STEM workshops, to encourage and direct the creativity of physically-challenged people, and improve their problem-solving skills.

Odutola said that the programme was for both males and females, adding that the age range for participants was between 10 years and 45 years.

He said that IT4ALL also equipped teachers to enhance their regular classroom teaching using digital tools.

“The inclusive programme offers comprehensive training in scratch programming, employing an illustrative approach to teach fundamental coding principles.

“Through this innovative curriculum, participants gain proficiency in computer logic and unlock opportunities to explore various computer programmes.

“Remarkably, many of the beneficiaries have experienced transformative outcomes, enabling some to reintegrate into conventional schooling environments.

“Some have also mastered digital services like WhatsApp, playing computer games and general use of mobile devices,” he said.

The W.TEC official explained that the therapeutic programme had recorded many improvements in its participants.

According to him, teaching tech skills to individuals with developmental learning disabilities offers numerous advantages.

He explained that learning tech skills could stimulate cognitive development by providing opportunities for problem-solving, critical thinking and logical reasoning.

Odutola said another advantage was improved communication, noting that tech tools often offered alternative communication methods, allowing individuals with disabilities to express themselves more effectively.

“It increases their independence, proficiency in tech skills and empowers individuals with disabilities to navigate digital platforms independently, enhancing their autonomy and self-reliance in everyday life.

“Also, they can have employment opportunities, as tech skills are increasingly in demand in today’s workforce.

“By equipping individuals with disabilities with relevant tech skills, they gain access to a broader range of employment opportunities and can contribute meaningfully to the workforce.

“Social Inclusion is another key advantage. Technology provides avenues for social interaction and community engagement, enabling individuals with disabilities to connect with others and participate in online communities,” Odutola said.

He said that, overall, teaching technology skills to individuals with developmental disabilities not only equipped them with practical digital literacy but also fostered their personal growth and independence.

According to Odutola, in an effort to further champion inclusivity for special people in Nigeria, IT4All will commemorate the 2024 International Autism Day on April 2 and International Disability Day on Dec. 3, 2024.

He added that the initiative underscored W.TEC’s commitment to raising awareness and fostering support for individuals with developmental learning needs.

Funmilola Gboteku

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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