TUAE0105 - Oral Abstract
Reaching the visually impaired youth with Braille publications for sexual reproductive health and HIV and AIDS information in Uganda
Presented by Susan Ajok (Uganda).
J. Mucheri1, M. Akello2, S. Ajok3, E. Awor4
1Straight Talk Foundation, Programmes Support Services, Kampala, Uganda, 2Straight Talk Foundation, Mass Media, Kampala, Uganda, 3Straight Talk Foundation, Director, Kampala, Uganda, 4Straight Talk Foundation, Research and Evaluation, Kampala, Uganda
Background: In Uganda, many HIV
programs that focus on youth pay little or no attention paid to youth with
disabilities. Straight Talk Foundation in 2009 adopted an approach to have
disability mainstreamed into its behavior change communication programs. This
includes the use of media and youth friendly service provision. The media
interventions include Braille production targeting school children with visual
impairment and sexual reproductive health service delivery through Straight
Talk Foundation youth centers.
Description: Braille publications
address issues such as HIV counseling and testing, relationships, and life
skills and provide young people with visual impairment a platform to share
their experiences and life stories.
Annually, STF produces and distributes two issues of Braille versions of
its successful Young Talk and Straight Talk, each with print runs of 100 copies.
The current 100 copies produced per quarter are shared by on average 1000 per
quarter are distributed in schools and among partner organizations such as
unions for disabled persons.
content for Braille is collected through focus group discussions involving youth
between 8 to 12 boys and girls in separate groups who are in and out of school
with visual impairments. The topics are generated from questions frequently
asked on prevention of HIV and AIDS and related sexual reproductive health
concerns. The organisation produces newspapers for the youth and by having
Braille the visually impaired young people are able to be abreast of the issues
covered in the newspapers read by youth who can see.
Lessons learned: Visually
impaired persons are enthusiastic to learn about their health and HIV and AIDS
and reading helps with better understanding of issues. Braille gives young
people a sense that they are not forgotten since they have unique challenges.
education is key for social inclusion and addressing young people''s concerns
and behavior change.
Conclusions/Next steps: Straight Talk
Foundation is expanding its publications for information to adults with visual
impairments so at to reach to a wider audience.
publications in Braille both in frequency and quantities is the next step for
reaching to more youth in Uganda with visual impairments.
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