DrLV Prasad Eye Institute

The Vasantha & Dr. Krupasagar Palakurthi Vision-Aid center of excellence at LVPEI has four focus areas:

Focus Area 1: Advanced training for visually impaired students  

Our Vision-Aid India training team works closely with LVPEI to offer several advanced training programs in areas which were not covered by LVPEI prior to the launch. This includes skills training for Banking/Govt exam coaching , Introduction to programming in Python, Corporate Skills Development , Digital Accessibility and Mobile training via our Smart Phone program.  As of now, there were 45 visually impaired students from LVPEI working on these programs and 17 had already completed one or more of the trainings.  Each of these training programs requires intensive 1X1 mentoring to cover challenging and advanced topics for blind and low vision students, by qualified mentors. 

Focus Area 2: Professional training for Vision Professionals

LVPEI is a world leader in training of Vision Professionals. Through this joint program, we have designed a special training focused on vision rehabilitation. Vision-Aid nominates and sends to LVPEI professionals from our other partner locations for training. The blended program in low vision rehabilitation includes one-month on-site training in Hyderabad and 2 months virtual training. As of April, our partner professionals from Shroff Hospital in Delhi and CECF in Pune had completed the training and found it immensely useful. Now they are rolling out the learned best practices in their own settings. This unique program helps to scale up quality professional training in vision rehabilitation throughout India.

Focus Area 3: Affordable Advanced Assistive Technology

While many advances have been made in Assistive Technologies, most of the devices are very expensive and out of reach of most Indians. Three devices were in active focus during last quarter. For each of these, the LVPEI team works closely with Vision-Aid India team to innovate and source affordable high-tech devices.  During the past year, the focus has been on 3 such devices: 

  • Smart Vision –AI powered smart glasses – this revolutionary device has been successfully developed by our partner SHG technologies and is now being rolled out to many locations for advanced field testing in settings including LVPEI Hyderabad and ten other major centers across India. The device costs under 10% of the cost of comparable Western Alternatives. and brings the power of AI and Computer Vision to help blind users “see” objects around them. 
  • Portable Digital Magnifiers –For persons with Low Vision, portable electronic digital magnifiers are a boon and can magnify text up to 32X allowing them to read books or printed materials in school, work or at home. LVPEI is now using in its mainstream device distribution, 3 affordable portable magnifiers provided by Vision-Aid. These cost less than 30% of the cost of comparable Western alternatives. 
  • Smart Phones –LVPEI is one of the major distribution points for Vision-Aid’s Smart Phones and Mobile training. Smart Phones come with many apps which can totally transform the lives of the visually impaired and this program helps to provide such devices to persons from poor and under-privileged backgrounds.  

Focus Area 4: Research & Development

A new, comprehensive R&D project has been commissioned and the team has started working on a ground breaking data collection and research project on using Contrast Sensitivity for Low Vision Assessments.  A team of researchers is already on the job and so far, a total of 260 visually impaired children from surrounding schools in the community have been tested for contrast sensitivity parameters. The end goal of this research to help improve identification and assessment of visual impairment by using modern methods of assessment including the use of contrast sensitivity which is currently overlooked and excludes many visually impaired children. Once the data collection and research has been completed, the team will work with policy makers in both India and at the WHO to advocate for positive policy changes for the benefit of many visually impaired children both in India and abroad. 

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.