First Phase of Vision-Aid National Resource Center at Aravind to launch on October 1

In July this year, Vision-Aid entered into a partnership with Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, to establish a National Resource Center (NRC) for the visually impaired at Aravind’s main campus in Madurai.

Aravind is the largest, and the most productive eye care system in the world, seeing approximately 1.4 million patients a year, and performing about 200,000 cataract surgeries annually. More than two-thirds of Arvind’s patient base is poor and gets free treatment. The remaining one-third pay reasonable fees which, due to its sheer scale, is enough to sustain, Aravind’s operating cost.Even though Aravind is best known for its primary eye care functions, and cataract surgeries, a lesser known fact is that thousands of patients end up each year in the Low Vision Rehabilitation section, because they have terminal vision conditions that cannot be corrected or cured. Common examples of such visual impairments include macular degeneration, and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Patients sometimes have degenerative conditions which lead to complete blindness over time.

To help Aravind address this monumental challenge, Vision-Aid has been working with Aravind to setup a state-of-the-art National Resource Center (NRC) for persons with vision related disabilities. Aravind has earmarked a dedicated space of approximately 1400 square feet, within its primary hospital, with 7 rooms, and qualified staff. 

Vision-Aid is providing Aravind with the funding, equipment, devices, training and expertise to establish the NRC. The NRC programs aim to offer high quality, free and subsidized rehabilitation services, as well as devices for an estimated 1,200 visually impaired persons in the first year , with further expansion likely in future phases.Vision-Aid board members and experts have visited Aravind in August and finalized a strategy and design for the NRC. Currently the space is being remodeled to adapt to Vision-Aid’s new design layout and recommendations. Aravind staff is being trained by Vision-Aid in September,and equipment installation is also planned in September. 

The first phase of this resource center is slated to open on October 1, 2018 – which coincidentally marks the 100th centenary celebrations of the remarkable life of its legendary founder Dr. Venkata Swamy (Dr. V). As the project expands into future phases, Vision-Aid plans to expand the work to include several different elements of the Vision-Aid model which has 13 different elements as outlined below.

We warmly invite any Vision-Aid family of supporters who lives in or around Madurai to visit Aravind for the inaugural function on October 1. 

Vision-Aid India Relaunches its Website

The launch of this new website gives us renewed hope that India will see more lives of the visually impaired being transformed.

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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.