Fostering Inclusive Growth: Vision-Aid’s Collaborative Approach To Vision Rehabilitation at Aravind Eye Care, Madurai

At Vision-Aid, we recognize the power of community in fostering growth and learning. Our dedicated team at the Vision-Aid Resource Centre for Vision Rehabilitation, located within the renowned Aravind Eye Care in Madurai, has identified an approach that enhances therapy for children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) and multiple disabilities with visual impairment (MDVI). 

The collaboration with Aravind was incepted in August 2018. Hundreds of children are managed at the center every year. The team offers tailor-made training sessions that focus on enhancing visual skills and conceptual understanding for children with CVI and MDVI. This dedication to personalized care ensures that each child receives the attention and training they need to thrive. 

A New Perspective on Therapy 

Traditionally, vision therapy has been characterized by one-on-one sessions between a special educator and a child with CVI/MDVI. Sometimes parents/caregivers will be allowed to be part of the therapy so that their children feel safe and respond better. 

In recent times, the team noticed that when coupled with their siblings or children similar to their age, they actively complement each other in therapy and also perform better. Seeing the other child perform tasks, these children respond and improve, increasing acceptance of therapy and glasses. This also serves as a form of augmented communication, better comprehension, and improved socialization. 

Benefits of Inclusion 

Having friends or kids their age joining the therapy sessions has made a big difference. Working together in a group and seeing each other do well has become a really important part of how we help the children. When they see their friends doing well, it makes them feel excited and motivated to do well too. It’s like creating an energetic and friendly space for learning that goes beyond the usual way of doing things. The team found that this creates a synergistic learning environment that goes beyond the confines of traditional therapy. 

Nurturing Social Skills and Confidence 

One of the remarkable outcomes of this approach is the increased acceptance of therapy and also assistive aids, including spectacles. By engaging in therapy alongside their peers, children with CVI/MDVI not only find solace in shared experiences but also form bonds that extend beyond the therapy room. This sense of community might contribute significantly to socialization skills, fostering a spirit of inclusivity and acceptance. 

The group setting encourages a sense of camaraderie and provides a platform for children to develop communication and socialization skills. This method becomes a supportive addition to our therapy programs, offering children the chance to learn from one another in a structured environment. 

Strengthening Community Ties 

Engaging in group therapy sessions can help children form meaningful relationships that extend beyond the therapy room, fostering a community that supports their growth and development. 

The positive results of peer interaction and group therapy have propelled us to seek out new and exciting opportunities for innovation. Vision-Aid is not just committed to vision rehabilitation; we’re dedicated to welcoming innovative ideas to management and transforming vision rehabilitation to specific needs. 

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.

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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.

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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.