For Some Touching is believing!

Touching is believing! For children who are visually impaired, and who have never seen a tree or a star or a science diagram, the world of tactile diagrams and tactile STEM books opens up a whole new universe, using the sense of touch.  Vision-Aid is proud to partner with Raised Lines Foundation (RLF) a start-up coming out of IIT-Delhi to provide high quality tactile Braille books to children in blind schools across India replacing traditional Braille books which were lacking diagrams. We are grateful to Meetu & Ram Gupta Foundation of Boston, and several other donors for their generous support for this program.

 This week, two more blind schools joined the growing ranks.  

St. Louis School for the Blind

A distribution event for the tactile books was conducted at the school premises of St. Louis School for the Blind, Chennai on Feb 22nd. Members from Vision Aid, RLF and St. Louis teachers handed the new RLF tactile book kits to the excited 16 Class XII students. Few of the students and teachers who’ve used the RLF tactile books previously were eager to share their feedback with the team and the new recipients. 

One of the students explained : “My favorite book is the Map Book with which I understood the position of the cities, states , countries and oceans” [ Mas.Lakshminarayan, a student of class XII.] 

Poonamallee Blind School 

A distribution event for the tactile books was also conducted at the school premises of Poonamallee Blind School , Chennai on 24th Feb. Eleven students received their kits and were excited to explore the tactile books and explain to us what they understood from the tactile books. 

 “This is the first time I’m able to imagine the shape of a heart!” said a visually challenged student of Class VII. Younger students were thrilled to feel the various favorite shapes in their coloring books and scream the names of the object in chorus excitedly when they identified new shapes like “Apple” . They were delighted knowing they could color independently. 

“These books will be very useful for teaching kids of all classes. Our teaching will be much more efficient, and these kids can now imagine things which they have never felt previously. We look forward to your support in receiving such effective teaching learning aids for all of our children to improve the quality of education provided to them” said Mrs. Muda Mary, a primary school teacher . 

Vision-Aid is grateful to many supporters who enable this program. It began with a generous gift of a few, and has now spread to several other kind donors who feel inspired to give to this program. Vision-Aid welcomes anyone to donate towards this program to do so in any amount.The hope is to reach blind schools all over India and help more children, who seek to be enabled, educated, and empowered so they can live with independence and dignity!  

The kids who are beneficiaries of this program show their gratitide in this video.

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.