Vision-Aid: A Memorable Picnic in Bangalore

In any non profit, the quantitative impact made is important i.e. evaluating how many people are served, how much it costs, etc. Equally important, or perhaps more inspiring on a personal level,  are the stories of the individuals behind the numbers. In Bangalore, Vision-Aid founds Ramakrishna and Revathy Raju had the opportunity to learn about some of these stories. They met with many of Vision-Aid’s visually impaired  students, along with interns and staff. The meeting was in a lovely setting, a picnic at Cubbon park. Ram and Revathy got to know each of them, a little better as inspiring individuals that they are and not just another name in a list.

Bangalore has organically become the hub for Vision-Aid’s advanced technical training programs. Around 3 years ago Vision-Aid started training programs in Python, for the visually impaired, for the first time in India. Many of the volunteers and students happened to be from Bangalore. Earlier this year, Vision-Aid started their new program on Digital Accessibility Testing. Unsurprisingly the core team of trainers as well as several students hail from Bangalore.

Several of them joined Ram and Revathy for a memorable get-together at Cubbon park, where a picnic was organized, with around 20 of Vision-Aid’s blind students, interns and several team members joining the fun, including Jayanthi , Senior Program Manager, from Hyderabad and V.L.Narashimhan, who leads the India efforts as Member Secretary of Vision-Aid India,  from Chennai.

Every participant shared their personal stories with the founders of Vision-Aid. The conversation threw light on certain interesting facts like Ruby, one of Vision-Aid’s blind students is a piano teacher. Nibin Matthews, another visually impaired student, who is now pursuing an engineering degree at IIITB with a scholarship from his Vision-Aid mentor, is an expert violin player. Aruna another student from the Accessibility course is learning to dance from her four year old!

The stories went on – each one revealing a unique human being, trying to make their own mark on the world. Pranav, Vision-Aid’s youngest bubbly 8th grader, a passionate coder and currently doing MIT’s edX CS 50 course on Introduction to Computers, also loves track and running and wishes he had more time to spend on coding while juggling school work….

A common theme among all participants was a sense of gratitude for this newly formed community around Vision-Aid. Many of the participants shared how special it was for them to be part of not only the Vision-Aid programs but to go beyond that to find a real community of friends, supporters and well wishers for life. They pledged to stay as engaged members.

A few rounds of fun games was organized by Ramya Raju, Ram and Revathy’s daughter, who is training to become an Occupational Therapist and enjoys being part of inclusive events.

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.