Joy: Student, female and blind, an example of empowerment, self-confidence and strengthProgramme name: All We See is Possibility
Dates: 2016-
Key partner: Kyambogo University 
Visio contact: Petra Wijen, 


Who we serve

An estimated 3.1 million people in Uganda have some form of vision loss - from mild to total blindness, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in 2020. Some 83,000 people (0.6% of the population) are blind, while almost half a million have moderate to severe low vision. The Ministry of Healthcare estimates that 4.5 out of every 1,000 children have low vision, implying that this condition affects about 80,000 people between 13 and 30 years. 

The most common causes of visual loss are cataracts, refractive errors, macular degeneration, chorioretinitis, glaucoma and corneal opacity. 

The Ministry of Education lists 43 primary or secondary schools hosting blind and low-vision students. There are three special schools for the blind. 

What do we do

Claire, a musician with low vision, playing the soundtrack during the shooting of the film “The Light in my Eyes”


We believe it is important that young people with visual impairments should be able to manage their own lives and contribute to society. We promote this through:
  • Training in self-discovery. We help young people understand their visual impairment and its causes, know their strengths and weaknesses, recognize the challenges and opportunities in their education, and know about their rights and responsibilities.
  • Help in being independent. We help the young people know what they can do and how to get the support they need. We teach them survival skills: how to prepare a meal, how to move from A to B, etc. We help them learn how to use assistive technologies such as screen readers, magnifiers and special computer software.
  • Increasing self-confidence. We help them manage their emotions and teach them how to deal with stress. We advise them on careers and put them in contact with support networks. We enable them to participate in extracurricular activities, school clubs and sports, and we promote their participation in decision-making bodies. 

Quality of services

Visually impaired people can use many of the same services that sighted people use, perhaps with only limited adjustments. They also need specific services tailored especially to their needs. It is important that the service providers such as schools and ministries understand their needs and can tailor services accordingly.
  • We sensitize teachers and school management about potential and challenges of visually impaired learners, so they can in turn help the learners choose the subjects they want to study.
  • We link eye care to education. We train teachers in screening and ensure that the students who have problems are seen by an eye-care professional. It is important that each learner with a suspected visual impairment be assessed medically so they can be assisted in the most appropriate way. For some, a pair of glasses may be enough. Others may require specialist equipment and training, while others may need medical treatment. Resources for the visually impaired are limited, so it is important that they go to the people who most need them.
  • We train eye-care and education professionals in how to support young people with visual impairments in various areas: maths, inclusive sports, eye-screening, sexuality, inclusion, assistive technologies, etc. We train trainers who can pass on their skills to other teachers and colleagues. 
  • We work with government ministries to develop and implement policies. For example, for the Ministry of Education we highlight the specific needs of students with visual impairments and advocate for special-needs teachers to be assigned to schools with such learners. We work with the Ministry of Health and Population and with NGOs working on eye care to define guidelines on how to manage low vision at different levels.

Assessing a student’s vision

Access to information and services

  • We ensure that learners with visual impairments can access the services and information they need. 
  • We help parents and caregivers understand their child’s visual impairment, the child’s potential and challenges, and the assistive devices they need. Since many families are poor, we offer training on income-generating activities. We help them form community groups for mutual support. 
  • We help schools set up resource rooms with assistive devices and accessible learning materials. We work with parents, schools, eye-care workers and the Mengo hospital’s eye clinic to promote access to personal assistive devices.

Where we work

We work with 32 schools, two universities and 10 eye care departments in 25 districts in Uganda
  • Central Region: Masaka, Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono districts
  • Western Region: Kasese, Kisoro, Kabale, Mbarara and Isingiro
  • Eastern Region: Jinja, Mayuge, Iganga, Kamuli, Tororo, Mbale, Manatwa, Serere, Soroti and Katakwi
  • Northern Region: Arua, Adjumani, Gulu, Apac, Lira and Napak.

Explaining the use of assistive technology to parents of visually impaired children

How we work

All We See Is Possibility is Visio Internatiopnal’s programme in Uganda. Our goal is that young persons aged 11-30 with low vision and blindness can develop their full potential and are fully included in society - at home, at school, and in communities. They should be able to lead their lives independently and in a dignified way, and have equal opportunities to excel at school, work and in their communities. 

All We See Is Possibility began work in 2016. It has three main objectives:
  • To improve access to information, resources and affordable services
  • To empower persons with visual impairment in society
  • To improve the quality of services for people with visual impairments.
In the first two phases (2016-21) we focused on secondary schools, Kyambogo University staff, and eye-care workers. The 10 secondary schools are in Mbarara, Kabale, Isingiro and Kasese (Western region), Gulu and Arua (Northern), Soroti, Iganga and Kamuli (Eastern) and Mukono (Central). 

We trained professionals and established resource rooms in 10 secondary schools and at Kyambogo University. We also empowered students with visual impairment and sensitized their parents and officials at various levels about the needs of visually impaired learners.

In the third phase (since 2021) we have expanded the scope to cover 32 schools located in 20 districts across Uganda. The starting point was the 10 secondary schools from the previous phases. The primary schools are special and inclusive schools with a visual impairment unit, located in the same or a neighbouring district to the secondary schools. 

Our partners

Our key partner in Uganda is the Special Needs and Rehabilitation Faculty of Kyambogo University, in Kampala. Kyambogo is one of the largest public universities in Uganda. The Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation has a long tradition in training teachers and other professionals in special needs education, rehabilitation, and inclusive development.
Other partners include:
  • Young people who have low vision or are blind, their parents and caregivers
  • Primary and secondary schools (special schools and those with a visual impairment unit)
  • Eye health-care services (government and private hospitals)
  • Makerere University Optometry department
  • Ministry of Education and Sports 
  • Ministry of Health and Population
  • Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development 
  • Ugandan National Union of the Blind 
  • National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda
  • National and international NGOs in the field of eye care.

Our impact


In December 2022, 665 students with visual impairment were enrolled in the primary schools, and 256 in the secondary schools. We also reached about 100 students at Kyambogo University. 
Resource rooms. We facilitated the establishment of resource rooms in 10 secondary and 22 primary schools, and have trained teachers on how to use and maintain the materials and equipment. These resource rooms also serve as a model for ministries and other organizations. We do not have the resources to provide all the equipment required, but can offer a starting point which schools can add to.
We also invested in a resource room at Kyambogo University to serve as a teacher laboratory. 
Blind students in classroom in Uganda using assistive devices



We have trained over 150 professionals in basic eye screening, classroom adaptations, assistive technologies, maths, inclusive sports, activities for daily living (such as cooking and washing), empowerment, and sexuality. We have also updated the skills and knowledge of eye-care workers. 

We have trained over 300 parents and caregivers in income-generating and life skills, and helped form eight parent support-groups.

Nothing about us without us

We ensure that students are represented on steering committees and for events such as World Sight Day, White Cane Day, International Disability Day, and the National Symposium on Inclusion.

More information