Assistive Aids and Devices

Assistive Devices are one of the most important elements in our Vision Rehabilitation

Blindness and Low Vision, together known as Vision Impairment (VI), are conditions  of the eye  beyond cure  by currently available  surgical procedures or  medicines. VI should be addressed by an individual Sight Evaluation, performed by a qualified vision rehabilitation specialist who will perform a low vision evaluation, and recommend Sight Enhancement where possible, using Assistive Devices. The Clinicians or Vision-Aid will also recommend standard Rehabilitation Methods like training in Orientation and Mobility (O&M)  and learning of Computer operation by Low Vision or blind persons where appropriate. 

For every case of VI, rehabilitation is individually prescribed, aimed at removing or alleviating the disability associated with the client’s vision impairment. The central idea is to manage the vision impairment and to enable the VI by alleviating the disability associated with impairment as much as possible with devices and training.

Devices for the blind/ severely impaired:

Assistive devices are mostly for the moderately Vision Impaired (Low Vision) persons though some devices like Canes, living aids, Braille tools for education, recreational tactile games, smartphones, computer accessibility tools/software and GPS serve the severely Vision Impaired (or Blind).

Figure: Braille Kit, Cane, Smartphone

Figure: Some daily Living aids- talking Thermometer, Kitchen safety tools

 

The technical principles used are creation of Illumination, Magnification, and Contrast for Low Vision and sensory substitution like Audio and Tactile for the blind.

Low vision devices:

Low vision devices include optical devices like magnifiers either spectacle based or handheld, illuminated magnifying systems, telescopes, binoculars etc. Non optical devices like reading stand, reading lamp, filters/ tints, signature guide, typoscopes / writing guides etc are prescribed either solely or in combination with optical devices.

Figure: Spectacle magnifier

Figure: Telescope – Monocular and Binocular systems

Figure: SEE TV Magnifier

Figure: Dome magnifier

Figure: Reading stand and goose neck reading lamp

Figure: Some devices for Contrast Enhancement

Digital devices:

The advent of digital enhancement system is better accepted nowadays because reading is better enhanced with controls to change magnification, improve the brightness and contrast to better suit the preference of the person. Portable options of these digital devices make it even more convenient. Some of these devices come with mountable which facilitates writing.

Smart Vision Gen 2.0 is an affordable, innovative, made-in-India, AI-powered “Smart Glass”, the first of its kind brought to India by Vision-Aid in partnership with SHG Technologies of Bengaluru, in collaboration with Aravind Eye Hospital. This is a wearable device that helps the visually impaired read, navigate and recognize objects & people.

 All of these devices, and many more, can be found in Vision-Aid resource centers.

A Digital Accessibility Testing Testimonial | Nibin Mathews

Nibin Mathews’ journey is a testament to resilience and determination. Despite facing

significant visual impairment challenges since birth, Nibin pursued education with unwavering determination. Losing sight in one eye due to a cricket ball stroke in 6th grade and later losing vision in the other eye to glaucoma didn’t deter him. He completed his Bachelor’s in English and even secured a job with Indian Railways. Yet, his thirst for knowledge led him to pursue computer programming, which he found through Vision-Aid. With their specialized training, he mastered coding and digital accessibility testing. With their financial support, he pursued a Master’s degree. Now, as the Accessibility Lead at Bosch Global Software Technologies, he’s excelling professionally. But Nibin’s achievements don’t stop there; he’s also an international tennis champion and a skilled violinist. He attributes much of his success to Vision-Aid, acknowledging their pivotal role in his journey. His story is not just one of personal triumph but also a testament to the impact of support systems in overcoming challenges and inspiring others.

A Job Coaching for Banking and other exams Testimonial | Gautam Gulati

Meet Gautam, a remarkable individual based in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, whose life story is a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of organizations like Vision-Aid India.

Gautam’s life commenced with the diagnosis of Retinist Pigmentosa. Despite experiencing a 40% loss of sight, he persevered through attending a regular school, successfully completing his education and earning a B Com degree. His world took an unexpected turn after graduation, when, he had the major sight loss. Faced with the challenges of navigating everyday activities like driving, reading, writing print, and mobility etc. Yet, rather than allowing these obstacles to define him, he chose a path of resilience and determination. Undeterred by his circumstances, Gautam turned to technology, becoming dependent on tools designed for visually impaired individuals, including screen readers. His quest for independence led him to explore new technologies with the support of various NGOs. Through his social networks, Gautam discovered Vision-Aid India, an organization dedicated to empowering the visually impaired. Recognizing the potential for growth, he enrolled in Vision-Aid’s IBPS banking crash course, specifically tailored for visually impaired individuals, in April 2022.

Determined to enhance his skills further, Gautam pursued an additional course in mobile technology. This commitment to personal and professional growth showcased his unwavering spirit and determination.

Armed with newfound knowledge, Gautam faced the Bank of India Credit Officer exam after completing the IBPS crash course. His hard work, coupled with the right guidance from Vision-Aid, resulted in success. In 2023, Gautam proudly joined Bank of India as a Credit Officer, marking a significant milestone in his journey.

Gautam attributes his success and newfound independence to Vision-Aid India. With deep gratitude, he acknowledges the organization’s role in providing IBPS coaching and shaping his path towards independence.

A Python Testimonial

Tejas

Tejas, born with visual impairment in Mumbai, pursued his education at a Blind School. After school, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 2007. His quest for technology education led him to NIIT Bangalore, but job challenges followed. He worked as an HR Recruiter at Thomson Reuters but continued his search for software engineering opportunities. Tejas found his path at Vision-Aid India, where he gained certifications in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, and Digital Accessibility Testing. Vision-Aid then helped him secure a role as an Associate Software Engineer at Pristine InfoTech Inc. He’s deeply grateful to Vision-Aid for enabling visually impaired individuals to learn software languages and work independently as software engineers.

Bindhu Sri

Meet Bindu, from Hyderabad. Who began her life with the gift of perfect vision? She embarked on her educational journey in a conventional school, but at the tender age of 9, her world dimmed as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) impacted her sight. Loosing major of her vision with lot of challenges she still could complete her graduate degree in 2020 and her post-graduate degree in 2022. Being interested to pursue her career in computer programming she discovered Vision-Aid India, a beacon of hope and opportunity. Enrolling in their online certification programs, Bindu successfully completed both Python and SQL languages. Armed with these newfound skills, she opened doors to her career, securing a position as a Data Engineer at RX Data Science, a renowned company.

“All of this was made possible through the invaluable support and guidance provided by Vision-Aid India” She Says.

A HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and ARIA Fundamentals for Accessible Web Development Testimonial

Tejas

Tejas, born with visual impairment in Mumbai, pursued his education at a Blind School. After school, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 2007. His quest for technology education led him to NIIT Bangalore, but job challenges followed. He worked as an HR Recruiter at Thomson Reuters but continued his search for software engineering opportunities. Tejas found his path at Vision-Aid India, where he gained certifications in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, and Digital Accessibility Testing. Vision-Aid then helped him secure a role as an Associate Software Engineer at Pristine InfoTech Inc. He’s deeply grateful to Vision-Aid for enabling visually impaired individuals to learn software languages and work independently as software engineers.