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Ethiopia - Sebeta School for the Blind Flight4Sight Interview Mike Walsh 2/27/14 Mike: Okay, it’s good, which

is I remember things. Thank you for letting me come here and the way out here it’s a … it’s great that I’ve been to various charities already, Federations of the Deaf and Blind, Ethiopian Federation, I want to say of Deaf and Blind, I’m getting more mixed up, and I met them at Braille School, Braille Institute yesterday. That was fascinating and then I did another thing that wasn’t online related. Yes, I guess my thing is well you know of me but I’m going around the world, I’m losing my own site with RP, retinitis pigmentosa, its part of Ushers Syndrome so I had two issues. They’re related and it’s a genetic disorder. I have this social media campaign, I have people vote in where I go and that raises awareness to blind issue, vision issues. Then when I do stuff like this to meet with you and I blog about it and I educate them and it’s just passing information all along my experiences and what happens here. Flight4Sight is the whole, because it’s a hash tag and then Facebooking and see everything I’m doing in there. I’m going to have a website too. I’m just learning from what you guys do and what the issues are. Speaker 2: Did you have enough information about this institute? It is a combination of, it had the primary school, it is the school which is enrolling all children with disabilities from all over the country and our colleges, I mean 33 colleges in Ethiopia, the College of Teacher Education. This one and the special one it is special because it was established to serve or to create teachers who can teach children with disabilities. The name itself is Specialist Education Teachers College, this college. Mike: The name of it? Speaker 2: The name of this college is Sebeta Special Needs Teacher Education College. Mike: Of the whole place? Speaker 2: Our focus is special ed. Mike: Yes, like online. Speaker 2: All disabilities with all disabilities. We can have, you can get children with visual impaired children from grade one to eight about 390 something student are here in this campus. I like to drove all over the country because there is no said facility in other areas. That’s why children’s collected from all over the country and they sent here the government support, a few amount of money, very little amount of money. If th ey’re in the boarding school, they live in this campus, children from grade one to grade eight. We can even discuss with those people. I want to know the things you need to do here and if you want to discuss with those people, all right. We also have teacher educators who are visually impaired. We have two teachers. There’s teachers in that school, primary school here in this campus.

You may have a good time with them if you … let us schedule the discussion with these people and conduct accordingly the discussion. Additionally, I want to know your concerns here because to understand the schedule things, it is better to understand the concern of your visit. Mike: I guess you have an audiologist right in here. Speaker 2: Pardon? Mike: Audiologist around here. Speaker 2: Okay. Mike: No, my hearing aid is busted through in a way and like, okay. It’s clogged. Anyway, I can hear one ear good, so I’m hearing you very well. Yes, I’m open anything so learning what’s going on and whatnot and I have questions as I come. I guess one quick question is canes, is that not a thing around here or … Speaker 2: Canes? Mike: Canes like you have. Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: I guess I would expect to see more canes but then I don’t know if that’s like a culture thing or. Speaker 2: Yes, there is … for mobility, children’s use cane but all truth is we couldn’t access this cane because it is very difficult for the government to supply for children, I don’t know. There is no money for that and some of them have cane. They u se cane but they always ask for cane. They couldn’t get. We have been trying to ask different people to support them, to provide them cane but it is very difficult for us to cover all, to provide all students this cane. Mike: Expensive, the issue is. Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: It’s not really a cultural thing. Speaker 2: Most of them use sticks, just wood sticks, only wood sticks and most of them have no cane and wood stick at all. No other and their mobility, those who have no cane and the stick couldn’t go away from this campus. They stay. Mike: Unless there is someone that can see and they’re holding unto him. Speaker 2: Yes. One of the problems in this one. The other thing is I don’t know the stylus to write the … Mike: Silence? Speaker 2: Stylus, for writing, braille writing. Mike: Okay. Speaker 2: They need that. In most cases they ask this in addition our student asked tape recorder but we couldn’t find in the market in Ethiopia. That was a problem, the Walkman tape. To at least record what the teachers are speaking and to listen when they were at the home. We also search in the market, we couldn’t access in the market. There is no this Walkman tape in the market. That was a very great problem. We asked

the association itself, the association itself and the association supplies some education materials and we buy from the association to supply to the student but this tape recorder is not found in the market. That is a problem. Shall we go to the school and discuss with the primary school. You can even get to those children. Mike: Yes, it sounds good. Speaker 2: Shall we get, first let us speak to children. It is better to you to get them one, then the teachers and the school has its own principal. We can discuss with the principal as well. Mike: What’s your role? Speaker 2: I am the dean of the college. Mike: Yes. Speaker 2: The dean of the college. They’re [inaudible 00:09:34], the director of the primary school, school director, so we can speak with her as well. Why don’t you brief her first, and second and third. Mike: I don’t know whatever you think is best. I don’t have preference, whatever we’re speaking as I guess we could start … I could start with the kids maybe, that’s what it’s about and maybe I have questions for the older people about what I learned from them. Does that make sense? Speaker 2: Okay. Mike: Or we go the other way around. Speaker 2: Let’s go to the school and get the children. You can speak with and we probably have our students most probably I hope they will be around here and later on you can discuss with the teachers. Mike: I’m just wondering about my driver I don’t know what he knows. When will I be done, what do you think? I don’t know really, I assume he’s just staying here, my driver. I don’t know. Are you from around here? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: Are you from here? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: Ethiopia? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: I’m changing my battery right now. Wrong hearing aid, hold on. Shall we go? Speaker 2: Shall we go, we shall. Mike: I wear hat a lot because sunlight really hurts my eyes, with RP, I’m sure you know. [Crosstalk 00:15:12] Speaker 2: Mike [inaudible 00:15:39] I’m speaking with the local language now to introduce you. [Foreign language 00:15:51]

You can ask and speak with her now. I introduced you already with the local language that you’re here to at least visit children who are visually impaired and to at least speak with them, with the teachers and to understand their problems as well. You can ask and communicate with her. Mike: What is your role here? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:17:03] She is the director of this … the school is led by her. She is the director and every activity is managed by her in this campus, in this school. Mike: Everything goes to her. Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: How many kids … this is the elementary school part of it? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: How many kids in the elementary school? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:17:35] Speaker 3: Three hundred nine. Speaker 2: Three hundred and nine. Mike: What are the various … and these were all blind issues or different, have a different conditions or what are the different conditions with the 309? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:17:57] Speaker 3: All are blind. Mike: What kind of blindness? Speaker 3: Total blind and low visions. Speaker 2: Most of them are totally blind. Mike: Completely blind? Speaker 2: Yes. Some of them are. Speaker 3: Around 47, low vision. Speaker 2: Forty seven, low vision. Mike: What is the name of the condition that a lot of them have, just blind like born with it? Do they develop it? Is it first defect or? Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:18:39] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:18:46] Mostly they’re natural, born blind and some or few of them rather become blind after sometimes because of different factors. Mike: What are some of that like positive things that blind children developed versus children that can see like what are blind children perhaps really skilled at as opposed to someone with sight. What other senses are heightened, do you know what I’m saying? Speaker 2: Positive things they have developed because the … while they are here? Mike: No, like I’m always curious about are there senses that are heightened, so I’m losing my sight, I feel like my sense of movement is heightened because I’m not people who likes watch myself move. What skills do blind children throughout adulthood like as

they grow up? What do they developed that you meet towards that, towards having the condition versus someone who they will see the whole time? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:20:09] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:20:34] Speaker 2: When, first, they arrive they train mobility how to move from place to place, mobility skill and braille as a course. The other courses are the curriculum of the writing. The education is provided on the curriculum of the region. What is special is learning mobility skill and the cane, how to write with cane, like this. In addition what is different is traditionally in Ethiopia it has been believed blind start unable, so in most cases they expose themselves to beg around the age of the [inaudible 00:21:51] but students in this school know that that can led, they are able to led and they are learning and so many professionals have been graduate from universities starting from school [foreign language 00:22:10] Speaker 3: Any. Speaker 2: So many professionals have been graduated from universities starting here in this school. This is their contribution and the difference. Those poor are not in the school. They didn’t know they are able to learn even. Mike: We were talking about change before, if you did have access to more canes what would be better around here like how would that help? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:22:55] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:23:02] Speaker 2: She told me that 309 of the students have no cane and when they complete grade six they are expected to go outside the campus. That mobility is impossible without having cane. That is the problem she told me and she tried to at least procure some amount of canes that she didn’t get enough budget to supply those student who I expected to go outside the campus because after grade six these children’s have no residence in this college or in this school. The home is allowed only for students from grade one to six. For grade seven and eight they have to go outside the campus and went to their own home with this small amount of pocket money provided by the school which is the grant of the government. She told me that that is the problem, having no cane is a problem for those children’s. Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:25:27] Mike: One question, part of this journey I’m going on is personal and that I try to ask people that deal with blindness. I explained my condition, it’s kind of progressive, it’s going in like what advise do you have for me as I deal with what I’m dealing with. I’ve known about it for a long time but in the last three, four years these things are really starting to change. What advice do you have for me? Speaker 2: Concerning what?

Mike: Concerning just my future like as it tend to be progressive. I’m trying to learn how to deal with it. I deal with it actually pretty well but there’s … I don’t know what the future is going to be like. Every day I feel like it’s changing and maybe it’s just a hair because it’s so progressive, so slow. I guess I asked what advice do you give me like this is a person’s journey as well as me trying to learn from other people what they were doing and so. Speaker 2: Is it a personal advice or for a … Mike: For like my condition as it goes like how for me to deal with it. Speaker 2: Problems? Mike: Yes, for me. That’s one. What advice do you have as I deal with what I am dealing with? Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:26:56] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:26:57] I don’t know that I understand your question or not but I understand that you have been moving from place to place to see these children. I read from the message on the internet you have sent for me. You have interest to at least visit these children and to help them as well and to communicate with these children. Mike: Yes, my mission is I’m going around the world. I’m just learning. I’m visiting schools, charities here just learning what’s going on. I find it interesting that you need canes and then it’s very easy for me to … I can afford my own cane and so it’s … I can see as like pretty well. It’s getting worst but having a cane is great for me because without it I walk a lot slower and I got to look. That’s one of the first things I noticed when I came here. Everything is just kind of, I’m just learning and just trying to send messages back home like this is what I learned in this county, different. Every country I try to meet with people where they’re … in New Zealand I met with the New Zealand Blind Foundation. In New York, I interviewed someone who’s a blind dancer. It’s kind of finding people and learning and just going with it. It’s also a personal journey as well. I’m just learning about my condition and I’m forcing myself to learn about it, deal with it and be very open on the internet about it like exposing myself and allowing people to ask me questions and forces me to think about it more and investigate it. I’d been very passive about it my entire life. I’m making apologies about it, I was busy. I’m busy doing whatever I was doing. I didn’t have time to think about it. There is nothing to think about it. I was seeing, I was driving, it wasn’t bad and then it started to getting worst here a little bit here and there. Yes, I guess I asked that question just like sentiments of advice and just kind of like obviously I just appreciate every moment to … but what things I can think about in the future as I continue to deal with the personal. Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:29:47] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:30:08] Speaker 2: She told that you might have a huge opportunity to communicate with these children and to learn from them and to at least help them through your personal

internal satisfaction. There is an opportunity to discuss with these children and understand the problem what they have and even to discuss with teachers who are visually impaired and much of their experiences from them because I can assure you the director learned from experience, from the exposure but then they learn because they are with this disability, with this impairment. It is better to discuss with them and learn and exchange your idea even. That’s better for me. Concerning the other … there are so many people who are interested to support these children and you can join them even. You can join them and you can discuss with them how to help these kids. She told me this. Concerning this impairments, very few children have not only hearing impairment, not only visual impairment, they have also this, mentally retarded. Their friends are already graduated and get their own job, but some of them are still here. While their friends are graduating and assigned to different professional jobs but some of there are still here. Out of our technological centered countries, technological standard is a bit is back so there is no such exposure to different technologies to support these children even … Mike: What other technologies are there that you wish you had access to? Speaker 2: For example, it is definitely none to say, none. Mike: What’s that? Speaker 2: There is no technology except cane and stylus and braille. Mike: Cane, stylus and what? Speaker 2: Braille. Mike: Braille, those are the two main things that you really wanted? Speaker 2: Yes, and there is not even resource center to identify the kind of impairment and the level of their blindness to identify that there is no such technologies around here. Mike: A lot of these kids they have visual impairments, you don’t even know what t hey are like their technical term as far as it’s … you just know that there’s visually impaired? Speaker 2: Yes. Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:34:57] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:35:05] Look, if you identify the level of their impairment you can provide them support accordingly but these facilities are not available around. That is the problem. Mike: Yes, you could design the program. Speaker 2: Sure, even it is very difficult for us to supply them a book, braille books, no machines to duplicate that books as they only learn from teacher, aiding from teacher. Mike: What they say? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: Are there some specific success stories that you can talk about like certain people that just they came in like really rough and then they just kind of like blossomed just …

Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:36:01] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:36:07] Speaker 2: Dr. Tamiru is a teacher at [inaudible 00:36:40] University. He has his own private business. He has his own private business. He goes to the PhD level and so many lawyers from this school. Mike: Lawyers? Speaker 2: Lawyers, teachers and … Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:37:04] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:37:05] And singer, popular singer and so many. Mike: Are there certain stigma what blind, visually impaired people can only do? I heard you talked yesterday or it’s like this thing were they only recommend lawyers jobs, teachers. It’s kind of like some stigma that’s out there but do you know much amount that concept. Speaker 2: The facilities for them to explore themselves to different profession. The facility matters, the context. There is not context that’s supported them to prefer even different professions. Even they couldn’t learn mathematics. They couldn’t learn mathematics. The problem is not their ability. The problem is the facility. Mike: Access. Speaker 2: Yes, the access. That’s why, as you heard so many nurse and teachers have come. Nurses and the teachers are coming because they learn and hear, read about different stories. In most cases there are even language teachers, history teachers, in most cases, history teachers and the language teachers. In most cases, others fields of subject this requires some kind of mathematical calculations so the facility protects them to learn this so they are restricted to language and history. Mike: [Inaudible 00:39:02] at math doesn’t work because there’s no book, textbooks to teach them math? Speaker 2: Yes, sure. That’s the problem. Mike: Because braille is only words and math is numbers. Is there no braille for numbers? Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:39:20] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:39:24] She told me that they learn mathematics from grade 1 to 6 but not beyond because there is no books and teachers as well to teach them. This mathematics using braille are the problem she told me. Mike: Success stories for blind people in America are Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Where am I getting at, that’s the stereotype of whatever but why, I mean is being blind, does it help with music? I mean does it help you feel music in a certain way? Yes, you mention our opera singer, did you mentioned opera singer? I thought you did. Speaker 2: Sorry.

Mike: What can you teach any like on music and those that are blind like how that helps them to fuel the music or whatever and as opposed to someone who isn’t blind and you put in the same instrument? Just curious. Speaker 2: In terms of, the facility matters. In America there are so many sets of stories we read and we heard. Mike: But you don’t have the facilities from here? Speaker 2: Sure, but there are musicians, blind musicians I Ethiopia, popular one. Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:41:27] Speaker 2: There is a music class here in this school. There is this music class for children’s who are visually impaired. [Foreign language 00:41:42] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:41:49] Speaker 2: There are musicians in Ethiopia, popular musicians, but not as much many members. So as you already said the facility matters, the facility mattes, yes. Mike: That’s good so far. Speaker 2: For me it is better to discuss with teachers who are visually impaired. Shall we call them here and speak with them? Mike: Yes, we can do that. Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:42:39] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:42:51] Speaker 2: There is a room for visually impaired children, the CIT room. They learn there and you can discuss with students as well and finally, you can discuss with these teachers. Mike: Okay. Speaker 2: You have been here in Ethiopia for one week? Mike: Yes, Sunday through Friday so I’m … Speaker 2: How do you find Ethiopia? Mike: I’m enjoying it, I mean it’s an experience you know learning abou t this developing country, seeing all the buildings like that are being developed and but’s it’s cool. I’m curious like I’ve been curious like back in five years to see what it’s been and ... as far as pictures what would I be allowed to do? Speaker 2: Sure? Mike: As far as pictures what would I be allowed to do? Take you know? Speaker 2: Pictures. Mike: Pictures like, take a pictures for the blog. Speaker 2: Picture of those children and the campuses. Mike: Yes, is that okay. Speaker 2: Possible, no problem. Mike: No problem? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: All right.

Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:47:01] Kakema: [Foreign language 00:47:02] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:47:03] Have a sit here. Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:47:50] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:48:05] So you can talk to him and you can share your experience to Mike, he’s from America and he can define his interest to you. He is a teacher. He is visually impaired as well and he’s teaching here so you can discuss with him. Kakema: Okay, nice to see you Mike. Mike: Nice to see you. Kakema: I’m Kakema, K-A-K-E-M-A and I’m a teacher here. I teach computer and I have students from grade school and now they are doing some exercises on computers. We have about four computers in the room and we … Mike: Four computers in the whole campus? Kakema: Four computers, yes, Mike: In the while campus. Speaker 2: Yes, for the school. Mike: For the elementary school or? Kakema: Yes, for the elementary school. Mike: Elementary means what? Speaker 2: Grade one to eight. Mike: One through eight, the four computers? Speaker 2: Yes, four computers. Kakema: They are not enough but just we are teaching them. The number of the students with the number of computers we have. Mike: One to almost a hundred. How are you, like with blind issues how do you, what do you on the computer? Like my first thought is how do you see the computer or what’s going on in there? Do you see what you see or … how does that work? I guess what do you see or how do you use the computer if you’re visually impaired? Kakema: When? It’s interesting and we are using it as much as possible for our interest and for our students I think it is useful especially when they learn in high schools and the universities. It can give good service for them. Mike 1: Are there good programs like I’m hearing the computers talk? Are there good programs like that now? Kakema: Yes, we have the programs. Mike: Yes, that talk about what’s on the website. Kakema: Yes, JAWS. Mike: Okay, that would make sense. What would you like to see developers do more for that, in that area? What could future developers that are making those programs,

what could they do better to make it easier for blind people to use the computer, use the internet. Kakema: Well, they use the internet, JAWS is very important especially … Mike: You said JAWS? Kakema: JAWS, yes. We use JAWS. Mike: JAWS, that’s a program. Kakema: JAWS is with speech. We use it. It is now its version is 14 I think. Mike: Version 14. Kakema: Yes, but we have the 8 ones and the 9 ones here. Mike: The old ones? Kakema: The old ones? Mike: Okay, you have the old versions. Kakema: Yes, the old version. Mike: Which version are you on? Kakema: Just now, eight I think. Mike: Eight, and there’s a 14. Is that a subscription program that you get to buy it and put it again every time? Kakema: It is very expensive to buy it. It’s expensive. Mike: I got you. JAWS? Kakema: JAWS, J-A-W-S. Mike: JAWS. Kakema: It’s a short form, Job Access With Speech. Mike: Got you. Where is that from? Kakema: What do you use in America? This is from America. Mike: I don’t know? I don’t use … my vision is still I’m able to read. I have a progressive condition, retinitis pigmentosa. I might become completely but my vision is going and going. That’s interesting. Where is JAWS from, I have no idea. Kakema: It’s from America. Mike: Okay, because this is something I can send back to them because I have people watching my journey from Silicon Valley and so this is very interesting to me, cool. Speaker 2: What other program you [inaudible 00:52:51] to that develop … program developers look why you are using these computers, you might face some shortcomings. Kakema: Yes, we are facing different problems especially in installing different software’s. We have problems and when technically they are wrong. We don’t have people to arrange it or to fix it. We ask different people from [inaudible 00:53:18] to fix it. I’m just waiting for somebody who is coming to fix it and we have a problem of viruses. To remove those viruses we need people with … Mike: Your computers are full of viruses?

Kakema: Yes, full of viruses. In addition to that we are in lack of the connection of internet. Mike: That’s a network problem? Kakema: Yes, internet problem, connection problem. Mike: Just like all over, connection problem … Kakema: Not only the connection, the access. Mike: The access to what is there. Kakema: We don’t have the access of internet. Mike: You don’t have internet here? Kakema: Yes. Speaker 2: [Foreign language 00:54:19] Mike: You don’t have internet at all? Speaker 2: There is internet connection in this campus which is provided by the college. We provide them in one room there in the library, down there but for … there is a connection problem, a matter of connection. Technical … Kakema: If you need something that is a … Speaker 2: Its s technical then we can improve. This can be managed by the college itself, no problem. [Foreign language 00:55:04] Would you like to speak to students? They are here to speak to you. You can have their pictures. Mike: I would like that. Speaker 2: Anyway, they are learning with the computer. You can have your picture. You can speak now. Mike: I don’t know what to ask. Speaker 2: You can ask simple questions that they may respond to. Mike: What do you like the most about this campus, the school? Kakema: Are you doing them one by one? Mike: No. [Foreign language 00:55:45] Speaker 2: They are going to introduce themselves to you their name and everything. [Foreign language 00:55:55] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:55:56] Student: My name is [inaudible 00:56:06] I’m a grade eight student. Student: My name is [inaudible 00:56:18]. I’m a grade eight student. Student: My name is [inaudible 00:56:26]. I am a grade eight student. Student: My name is [inaudible 00:56:31]. I am a grade eight student. Indaluka: My name is [Indaluka 00:56:39]. I am a grade eight student. Kakema: [Foreign language 00:56:45] Deneba: My name is [Deneba Pura 00:56:46]. I’m in grade eight. Student: My name is [inaudible 00:56:52]. I’m in seventh. Kakema: [Foreign language 00:56:52] Did you hear them? Did you hear them when they say it? They introduce to you their names and they are in grade 7th and 8th.

Mike: There’s some good English there. Kakema: Yes. If you have the person that you can ask because they are many too, at least you’ll hear from them. Mike: Like I asked before what do you like best about the school here? Kakema: [Foreign language 00:57:29] What do you like, Gasham? Gasham: In this compound? Kakema: In this campus, yes. Gasham: In this compound is the [inaudible 00:57:46] I think because … and the library, very … are six computers [inaudible 00:57:54] so I’m happy for these qualities. Kakema: For the existence of six computers and the library. Gasham: Yes, it’s important for us so I like that. Kakema: They are very happy for the computers up a little bit in the library. Gasham: Yes, because we use the … can get so many information from [inaudible 00:58:29] so it’s for that. Kakema: Who else, anybody? What about Kafelo? What do you like? Kafelo: I like music. Kakema: You like music? Kafelo: Yes. Kakema: Do you play music? Kafelo: Just [inaudible 00:58:29] Mike: What do you play? Kakema: Do you play? Kafelo: Yes, I play. Kakema: He likes music, he plays. Do you play keyboard? Kafelo: Yes. Kakema: He can play keyboard and all that is. [Senebum 00:59:09], yes, what do you enjoy? [Foreign language 00:59:15] Speaker 3: [Foreign language 00:59:15] Speaker 2: Okay, do have any other question? Did you hear them what they say? Mike: What’s that? Speaker 2: What they said, did you hear their response for your question? Mike: Yes, music [inaudible 00:59:39]. I thought someone said food? Cafeteria, he likes the somewhere here. Speaker 2: Kafelo. Mike: What do you like to do outside the school? Kakema: [Foreign language 00:59:39] Kafelo: [Foreign language 00:59:58] this compound, I like as I say I like their music because I want to be artist. Kakema: He wants to be a singer and he’s going to be an artist. So they usually listen to music out of, when they were out of school.

Kafelo: And I read a book. Kaema: You read books. Mike: Nice. Kanema: [Anet Tagul 01:00:35] what do you like? Anet: [Foreign language 01:00:35] Kanema: She want to walk while she is out of school, she preferred to work from place to place to enjoy herself, visiting different places. Mike: What does she do? Kanema: Walking from place to place, just walking. Mike: Just working, doing what? Kanema: Nothing, just walking. Mike: Oh, walking, I thought it’s working. Walking, walking is good. One thing I’m not hearing is one of our images of Ethiopia is amazing runners. Kanema: Yes, a lot of runners here. Mike: Are there runners here? Speaker 3: [Foreign language 01:01:27] Speaker 2: [Foreign language 01:01:28] because I know there’s one of them. She likes running, athlete. Kakema: You have information about Ethiopia. Ethiopia has the number of athletes. Mike: What’s that? Speaker 2: Athletes. Kakema: Runners. Mike: Yes. Speaker 2: Short, short runners, and maybe distance runners. We’re not … Kakema: Do you have the information about Ethiopian runners? They are famous. Mike: I’m just saying, yes, the image is marathoners, 10,000 meters. Kakema: Yes [Foreign language 01:02:07] Mike: It means the house that you’re training and just … it’s good. And the weather, you have a weather [inaudible 01:02:22] Speaker 2: What else do you have to hear from them and we can finish. Mike: What’s that? Speaker 2: If you have another … if you have another question. Mike: I have another one, what technologies would you like to see improved that would help you with your visual impairments? Kakema: [Foreign language 01:02:44] Mike: What do they hope for? Kakema: [Foreign language 01:02:45] Speaker 2: They want to have computers with the JAWS software because it helps them to learn by themselves. They want to have this JAWS computer, and the keyboard is for music.

Mike: Keyboards for music? Speaker 2: For mobility probably canes. Male: Is there a problem, we haven’t. Kanema: Cane is in this study for [crosstalk 01:02:58] Mike: What experience would you have with the internet and like what frustrations you have with the internet? Speaker: [Foreign language 01:02:58] They have experienced to use internet in the library. Speaker 3: It has forget some information, same product I think. Mike: What would happen if you had just unlimited, in America I have unlimited access in the internet, 24/7. What would happen to your lives if you had that opportunity all the time to have access to the internet and everything on there? Kanema: That’s nice. [Foreign language 01:02:58] Speaker 2: He said that if they get search broad access to internet they can communicate with the world and they can share experiences for their … they can even access things for their own learning and at least to communicate to get information and so on. They are very much interested together. Kanema: Anymore to say? Mike: Do you guys have any question for me? Kanema: [Foreign language 01:06:06] Student: What’s your name? Mike: Mike. Student: Mike? Mike: Mike Walsh, W-A-L-S-H. Speaker 2: What do you help us in the future in those problems we already define he said. Do you have any support for us to help us on those problems we define, he said. Mike: Yes, basically what I’m doing is I’m kind of on mission this around the world just learning about various issues and the ides for support really comes from me reporting about it and … so talking about it with people and educating people that are influencers as well starting with that point. The more I learned about where there’s need in the world I can address that as much as I can and also get other people involved. I’m very interested about the JAWS thing not being updated. I have people that are watching me from Silicon Valley which is a very technology oriented part of the United States where all the websites, all the top websites have been created. I would think something like JAWS is being updated should be very simple to help [inaudible 01:07:49] but I can’t make any promises of course, but I definitely would look forward to telling people influence about what I’m learning and then hopefully good stuff will happen from there. MY eyes are wide open even though I’m exhausted, I’m a [inaudible 01:08:08] three days here. I’m recording and so I’m excited to see what happens from what I’ve learned and …

Kakema: [Foreign language 01:08:19] Speaker 2: He’s asking for the state you are from? Mike: Wisconsin. Do you know what state that is? Not everybody knows. It’s called Green Bay Packers, you know? No? I’m trying to think famous person, I can’t think of anyone, [inaudible 01:09:17]. No? Kakema: North, south or? Mike: What’s that? Kakema: The area, is it northern or the southern? Mike: More kind of south central, Madison is the capital. I live there. I live in Colorado a long time. Kakema: [Foreign language 01:09:17] Student: What’s you work. Kakema: Your job. Student; [Foreign language 01:09:49] Kakema: What do you like in this world? He said. Mike: What do I like in this world? Kakema: Yes. Mike: I mean I’m travelling, I’m enjoying that. It’s exhausting meeting people but things that I love, it’s a good question. Movies, I like movies, adventure. I like, I love hiking. I love walking. I’m a walker. Let me say I’m … dancing, dancing is what I love that’s my art form. I love dancing, I feel like, I’m learning … my movement is heightened. Dan cing, you can take anything from me. Dancing is a great activity. You don’t need to see the dance, you really don’t. Kakema: [Foreign language 01:10:45] What do you feel that you are blind? His question … Mike: What’s that? Kakema: What do you feel being blind? Mike: What do I feel I’m blind? Kakema: Yes. Mike: What do I feel about it, I guess for me it’s more, I … my condition is so progressive that I just … I lost for a lot of time to adjust and so I feel fine about it. I have fun with it and might more and more okay having a cane. It feels like an accessory. It feels kind of cool sometimes. Sometimes it’s very, very awkward but it’s … my brother shares the same condition as me and he’s a standup comedian and he’s act is about being blind, a lot of blind jokes. We have fun with it. It’s a unique thing so it’s interesting for other people to learn about it so we’re happy to share it and learn with people. Learn with others about what’s going on. My brother is a standup comedian. Kakema: [Foreign language 01:12:01] Do you have any more question, please? The students, [Foreign language 01:12:29] What is your plan in the future, his question.

Mike: My plan in the future? Right now, I’m solely focused on this trip that’s been scheduled in April 1st and I’m just looking to just have a great time. I’m looking to learn a lot, I’m looking to share a lot, and be successful in those goals. My goals are, one, learn myself just be learn learned about what’s going about me, what’s going on around the world, and the second goal is to see and so amazing things that will be a different experience for me in the future. Three is just engaged with people. I’m big on the social media. I really enjoy using that and playing with the platforms and engaging with others and bringing awareness to my issues, other people’s issues and just there’s not a whole lot of discussion about blindness in America, there’s so many other things that are talked about before and so I’m just turning this in the park. I’m waking people up, opening the ir eyes, no pun intended. It’s kind of big. Kakema: [Foreign language 01:13:36] So this much is enough? Mike: What’s that? Kakema: This much is enough to … Mike: Yes, I’m good. It’s been great. Kanema: Thank you. Mike: I’ll take picture. I’ll [inaudible 01:14:21] to you all. Kakema: Okay, I’ll take it all for you. Students: Thank you, we love you. Mike: All right, here. Kakema: Okay, no problem, okay, read. Once more, I already take pictures. Here, these are pictures of a … Male: Why don’t you take one more? Kakema: Yes, possibly. Mike: Yes, that’s different. It’s not going to help, it’s going to be like [crosstalk 01:15:19]. Kakema: Yes, this is … Mike: Yes, here. This is going to help, right, and maybe it don’t hit yo ur parents though. Like I’d used this actually, it will really help. I hit my head with stuff all the time. I’m like why can’t I just use this cane. It’s like it’s got everything covered. Now, I think you hit me now. Anyway, they do need [inaudible 01:15:40] ahead. Okay, who is this? Male: That is Fernando. [Crosstalk/foreign language 01:15:51] Speaker 2: Shall we go? Okay, you say goodbye and let’s go. Kakema: Mike see you and I hope you’ll return back [inaudible 01:17:51] Mike: Take some picture here, all right. Selfie, do you know what selfie is? All right, here can you take a picture for the three of us? Kakema: Yes, he’s taking.

Mike: All right, so just go, press that and make sure your thumb isn’t in the picture. Make your fingers aren’t there. It’s not easy, all right. [Foreign language 01:18:40] Speaker 2: Okay, ready, yes. Kakema: You can freely communicate to me, no problem. W hy don’t we give him a note [foreign language 01:19:13] Mike: I’ll take one more picture over here. [Crosstalk 0 1:19:18] Mike: Great to meet you. Speaker 2: Let’s go. So what’s next? Mike: I don’t know. Do you have gym here and stuff like that? Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: I grew up very active … what sports … what do a gym looks like for a bunch of blinds? What sports do they start off, what do you think? What sports are good for visual impairment? Speaker 2: There’s a [inaudible 01:24:43] about this sports activities to participate in developing country including Ethiopia but currently there is development like running and jumping and this athletics, there is football as well. These games are, now these games are … so let’s go this way, right way, down m y office, your car is there. Mike: What’s a good picture you take around here like the school? Speaker 2: Okay, the sun is up there. Use the shed. I can take your picture now. Mike: All right. Speaker 2: It’s good here, okay. Wow, it’s a good picture. Shall I take you to our visually impaired teachers? You can speak with them how to teach in college being blind and they have so many experiences and you can discuss this on them, so I will … Mike: Let’s go. Speaker 2: Yes. [Foreign language 01:24:43] He’s Mike. You can introduce yourself. Mike: Hi, how are you doing? Beya: Hi, my name is Beya. I’m one of the instructors in the college and they’re mostly visually impaired. Mike: Yes, I know your cane is short. If you had a longer one would that make things easier? Beya: This year? Speaker 2: Easier if you get the longer cane, this one. Mike: Or do you like shorter? Beya: This is not appropriate in fact, a bit longer than this one is better. Mike: You just prefer a shorter one. Beya: Of course, sometimes preferable but when I move in the campus not much problem, but when I leave the campus they’re a little bit taller than, no longer than this one is okay.

Mike: No, I was just advised like this is too short compared to their advice like they’re already here and I’m like that looks long. Mine is like … Beya: Yes, professionally this is not advisable in fact that should be around here then … but there’s no alternative. We use what we get. Where are you from? Mike: Maybe you had visual impairment for the chunk of your life, whole life or? Beya: Where are you from by the way? Mike: I’m from Wisconsin, United States. Beya: Just for visiting or? Mike: Yes, I’m just kind of on this world tour with myself, going around the world. I’m losing my sight and so people on the social media are telling me where to go. I’ve been to some cool places. New Zealand, was the number one place to go and then Angkor Wat, and I saw some cool stuff and I’m here because I had a friend who works for you and he’s like you should come here. I can set up you up with charities and I know that’s part of your mission, and I was like that’s perfect. Otherwise, there’s no way I could have come here because I don’t had …known anyone and like you know it’s a [inaudible 01:28:47] of travel. He set me with all the rides and everything and its great and I’m learning so much and I’m glad it worked out because that’s … Beya: What’s your impression then about our college state? Mike: About the college? Beya: Yes. Mike: Compared to everything else I’ve seen it’s organized. You guys are accomplishing things, you’re moving forward and I see little things where I can maybe put a dentine like how but I was hearing about the JAWS like stuff and like you’ re out of date and so … yes, my impression is you know I mean it seems to be progress going on here and having people, having kids, and it looks beautiful I haven’t seen too much of the campus yet but I mean I love trees. Beya: What about this coordination with elementary school or school for the blind here. We have from your experience of your country, is this something you have, something in your country … Mike: So we have something like this? Yes. I’m actually not a 100% sure what’s … I’m sure there are. America has resources at the Yin Yang and so I’m sure they have this too. I know more about schools of deaf than blind in America. Beya: Do you know Hadley School for the Blind? Mike: What’s that? Beya: Hadley, Hadley School for the Blind. Mike: Have I? Beya: Hadley. Mike: Hadley, is that America? Okay. Beya: Yes, in America. I do have correspondence with them.

Mike: Where is it? Beya: It is in Boston, I think. Mike: Boston, yes. There’s a school of deaf in Boston too that maybe I’ve been there. It’s in Northampton, Massachusetts but yes. I tried to ask this question as much as possible so ... I have a condition where I’m losing my sight so I’m dealing with that on more so level and just kind of on a research level just like it’s kind of interesting to me in some ways but there are points where I’m just frustrated too and I can’t drive anymore. I used to be able to do these things. What advice would you have for me as far as me dealing with in the future? It’s rare but I might go completely blind. Beya: Do you have problem your sight or? Mike: Yes. What my sight right now is that every … retinitis pigmentosa, so the retinas of my eyes are like, is a disease that’s degenerating. It’s very progressive in its nature, but slow progression but like lights are very sensitive to me, super sensitive and the dark is darker. Everything at night is darker for me. Anywhere I go, a restaurant, it’s like super dark. I look through my iPhone now to look at things because it’s a better picture. Beya: Just to be very much careful and to have ahead of time preparation, if you introduce yourself with JAWS usage and keyboard … if you be a keyboard user on computer and then if again they develop the use of braille this maybe something very gods I think, if you introduce yourself with the braille usage. Mike: Braille, yes. I haven’t done that at all. That scares … Beya: Again, the JAWS, JAWS is very much preferable. It’s available where ver you go. Braille is by now getting shortage because the fact that it’s being closed, they are not much interested in producing braille or slate and stylus. They are more interested in producing JAWS because it is possible to get to computer wherever you go. If you develop these kinds of activities, these kinds of … Mike: Do you think braille is important for me? Beya: Braille is very much important because slate and stylus is special because these are portable and it is also cheaper than every technology materials so … Mike: Yes, but like if I have access to let’s just say money isn't an issue like … when would braille be … if I have JAWS, if I have something always telling me what’s on the screen or when I’m out and about like when you see it on the elevator? You need to know what number you’re pressing, what elevator floor, I guess that could be a thing … Beya: This JAWS and the other related technology issues are not that much replaceable with slate and the stylus. Slate and stylus is very much preferable because in the first place it is cheaper, secondly, sometimes you may miss what the JAWS says but when you read through it over your finger you never miss anybody with it. Mike: You don’t miss a thing. Beya: Yes. Even sometimes when you … Mike: I can go back.

Beya: Yes, when you are in doubt what JAWS says if you have braille display with the combination of the computer there is this braille display, somewhat you carry it by your finger with connection with the computer that time you can identify something you missed with listening to the JAWS. Using braille top [shell 01:34:15] materials is preferable than that of JAWS. Mike: How long does it take to learn braille? Beya: Sorry? Mike: For some of who doesn’t know braille at all how long would that process be learning it. Beya: If you’re not aware of the dots whatever using the material, I mean the JAWs is all right but … Mike: No, like braille, how long would that take? Speaker 2: How to learn braille. Beya: How to learn? Mike: Yes, how long? Beya: How long, it depends on the activity of the individual. For example for me when I was a kid and they started learning it took me three days only. Mike: Three days of learning all braille? Beya: To finish in English the dots and reading and writing, all things it maybe a week or something, it depends on the activity of the individuals but for me I remember it was only for three days that I took to master. Mike: Really learn braille. Beya: Yes. Mike: Interesting. Beya: That’s it. Mike: It looks hard, I don’t know. Like what am I doing, I mean obviously like any language is tough. Beya: [Foreign language 01:35:21] Male: Hi, somebody is greeting you. Mike: How are you? Male: I guess you are investigating some of the … Mike: What’s that? Male: I guess you are investigating the visual impaired people. Mike: Yes, so I’m investigating, huh, undercover. What’s going on here? Male: It is very vulnerable thing, but interesting. Mike: Yes, I know. I’m learning. I’m like … Male: Because you are … Mike: I’m a bit exhausted [inaudible 01:35:59] it’s adrenaline, I’m on adrenaline for a while.

Male: It is the one thing that is natural occurrence but you want to have some means to alleviate such problem as social supporters and then some being as a individuals who has had [inaudible 01:36:09] this compound regarding some of their challenges in visually impaired people. Mike: Yes, one of the unique talents that visually impaired people has. Male: Yes, very psychological confidence and very social cooperation means of alleviation to overcome these much problems and also what did [inaudible 01:36:47] are regarded to do such a voluntary thing is within [inaudible 01:36:53] people and also taking the different social action in order to [inaudible 01:37:01] is their means of, their livelihood is in their childhood is I think is … you are a newcomer for this campus I think. Mike: Yes, it’s my first time here. Male: Your first time. Mike: Yes, first time in Ethiopia. Male: First time to come to Ethiopia and also visit this compound. Mike: All right. Male: Y1ou did take [inaudible 01:37:30] Mike: I didn’t take a what? Male: You didn’t take any sort of coffee, Ethiopian coffee? Mike: No coffee this morning. I had coffee yesterday, I had it made for me. It was a ceremony. I was like, wow. Make: Just you didn’t have any adaptation to drink coffee. Mike: I had a coffee and I had shot and I had wine yesterday. It was a coffee ceremony and my first cup of coffee in my entire life in Ethiopia. I mean if I’m going to do it anywhere I’m doing it in Ethiopia. Male: That’s regardless of this [inaudible 01:38:02]. Do you want to do … prolong your plan or your [inaudible 01:38:02]? Mike: Yes, I mean my plan is I’m traveling around the world. I’m on this campaign so I’m losing my own sight and so I’m using social media to get people to vote where I go, just kind of this simple concept and then raise awareness as to what I’m going through and what the issues are out there and have a healthy discussion about it. There’s a lot of different issues that are discussed in America about how it’s used and blindness is not one of them. It’s very interesting one. Seeing is our number one sense, I mean. You got your seeing, you got your hearing, you touch, taste, what’s the fifth sense? See, touch, hearing, taste … five senses … Male: Sense of organs. Mike: What? Male: Is that the sense organs, the five sense organs. Mike: Yes, your seeing, like if you want to dilute now if there’s one you don’t want to lose I think it’s vision. I just I would say vision because … from them you can see everything. I don’t know but …

Speaker 2: Mike, let’s go. Mike: All right. Male: Thank you. Mike: What’s your name? Male: My name is [foreign language 01:39:27]. I’m one of the proponent who is steady about around is the challenges of education and figure the people in thins compound. I’m writing a different process and methods program. Thank you. Mike: Thank you. Male: Have a nice time. Speaker 2: You learn so many thing and you get also the advices on the … Mike: Is that my right, yes. Where is he? Speaker 2: Your driver? Mike: Yes. Speaker 2: He’s in the car. Mike: He’s here. Speaker 2: Saw him? Mike: Yes, that’s his car? Speaker 2: Yes, in the car. Mike: He’s in the car. yes, I mean if I want to make my own personal donation how am I going to do that. I don’t have that money right now but banking … I can email her and go from there. Speaker 2: Yes, you can email. In most cases we are very much interested with these materials like cane and … Mike: Yes, that’s something, defiantly we will … it’s very interesting … Speaker 2: If you get access even these tape recorders because visually impaired students are very [inaudible 01:40:50] to learn. They forget why they’re here so they have to record that here now and then and to remind them and to stay there as well. if you get access and if you get the chances to support that this I really an opportunity. Mike: You said the recorders? Speaker 2: Tape recorders, Walkman tape recorders. It’s not available in the market in Ethiopia. We have been searching for long time. Mike: Yes, Walkman tape, that’s like a very ancient thing. Speaker 2: Yes. Mike: Where do those things go? They just go to the trash. Male: I have different apoiutnemtn, I am happy if I get chance to have with you tea or coffee but … Mike: No, it’s all right. I’m good. It’s been awesome. I’m overwhelmed and … Male: We will contact, you stay here in Ethiopia for long time? Mike: No, I’m leaving tomorrow. Male: Tomorrow, sure?

Mike: Yes, it’s been crazy but … I’ll send a message to the email and everything I talked about in report so I’d go from there. Male: Have a nice time, God bless you. Mike: Yes, I’m [inaudible 01:42:03] tomorrow. Male: All right, bye. Mike: Thank you. Hello? Male: Hello Mike. Mike: Oh, boy! Technology …