Touching , Learning and Shining!

An exciting update from our “Touch Learn And Shine” program which brings tactile braille books to children in blind schools in several locations in India, helping them to “visualize” the world by adding rich content in the form of tactile images, diagrams , graphs and charts into the study materials used by the schools.  These books help the students to study STEM subjects more effectively. 

About the program

We are pleased to partner with Raised Lines Foundation (RLF), a start-up from IIT Delhi for this unique program. RLF designs, prints and distributes the books to schools inside the Vision-Aid Project Spring Board Network of Blind Schools. Our sincere thanks to the immensely passionate and dedicated team. The program is led by a retired IIT Delhi Professor and several IIT Delhi Alumni who have made a choice to invest their time and talent in this cause, despite having many lucrative career choices in the commercial sector. Our thanks also to  the many donors who support this valuable and impactful program.

Touch, Learn and Shine Program 2023 

In 2023, we continued scaling the program to distribute 1992 tactile books to 400 students in 6 new schools as listed below. The team also created accessible tactile books in multiple languages for language learning, storybooks, and activity books, focusing on STEM subjects among visually impaired students.

Schools served

1.     Victoria Memorial School for the Blind (Mumbai)

2.    Asian Aid School for the Blind (Bobbili)

3.    Vijayamary Integrated School for the Blind (Vijayawada)

4.    Helen Keller Memorial Blind School (Pallakad)

5.    Jyoti Sroat School (Meghalaya)

6.    Bihar Netraheen Parishad (Patna)

Feedback

The feedback from the school teachers and principals has been very positive. They reported that the books improved conceptual understanding and excitement in learning reported by students who were able to visualize many objects through the tactile diagrams for the first time.In the feedback 100% of the teachers found increased conceptual understanding, with 90% recommending continued use of tactile books in regular class room studies for their students.

Testimonials

“The tactile books will drastically reduce our effort in creating handmade tactile and we can invest that time in teaching children more concepts.” – Mrs. Vasanthi, Asian Aid School for the Blind.

“My imagination is converted into touch form in these books, and it feels good.” – A 9th grade blind Student testimonial.

Conclusion

The “Touch Learn and Shine” Program has made a remarkable impact on visually impaired students, providing essential resources for independent learning. This successful collaboration between Vision-Aid India and RLF marks a significant stride towards inclusive education. Together, we are lighting up the path of knowledge and opportunity for those who need it the most. Thank you to all our team members, volunteers, donors and enableers for being a part of this incredible journey!

The Vision-Aid Team

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.

Vision-Aid Newsletter

Vision-Aid Course Catalog

Vision-Aid Model

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.