We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s AER ISGI scholarship. We had several applicants this year and this year’s winners were truly outstanding individuals.

Image of Siomiris Albarran-Afanador Headshot
Image of Siomiris Albarran-Afanador

Siomiris Albarran-Afanador is working on her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, studying to become a teacher for the visually impaired, with plans to serve the needs in her home territory of Puerto Rico. Just within her few years as an undergraduate student, she has made enormous contributions to the field of visual impairments. For example she helped create a web-based program to help teach Spanish braille, called “Tecno Braille” ( She also assisted her professor and classmates in the creation of another web-based tool “Tecno PRSL” to help teach Puerto Rican sign language through various modes of communication–video images, text, audio description, and braille. Siomiris has also been involved in various organizations to promote access to healthcare, education, and financial support for those vulnerable populations (including those with disabilities) within her area. Aside from her school and work activities, Siomiris also started her own business called “PuntoS”, where she hand crochets jewelry to help support herself financially. We are so pleased to spotlight Siomiris’s efforts and achievements through this scholarship and wish her the best in furthering her education!

Image of Adonis Ovbigie
Image of Adonis Ovbigie

Ovbigie, Adonis O.M is a native of Nigeria and is currently working toward a doctorate degree in Special Education for the Visually Impaired at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. His contributions to the field of Visual Impairments are astounding. He has taught (and continues) to teach many classes and mentored many students at the university level. He has been published in several academic texts and scholarly journals. He has contributed greatly to the body of research in the field and continues to be active in research. In addition he has served on many committees and participated in numerous conferences and events in support of the blind/visually impaired.

Mr. Ovbigie himself has been blind since he was three years old when he was involved in a domestic fire accident that resulted in the loss of vision in both eyes, as well as severe scarring on his face and neck. From a very young age he has had to fight against opposition and several barriers in order to achieve an education and professional training. As one of his recommenders stated, “He is one of the very few individuals with disabilities who has not allowed his condition becloud his quest for academic excellence.”

We are so grateful to know of such remarkable individuals around the world like Mr. Ovbigie and it is with great pleasure that we also award him with this year’s AER ISGI scholarship!


2020 Scholarship Winners
Isaiah Anaeze Makam, from Nigeria
Tracey Joubert, from South Africa

2019 Scholarship Winner
Innocent Igba, from Nigeria