Vision-Aid’s Partnership with Aravind Eye Hospitals Flourishes

In 2018, Vision-Aid formed a partnership with Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai. In January of 2019 the Vision-Aid resource center was formally launched at Aravind Hospital. Some great work has since been done at the resource center since then. Here are some hightlights of the latest strides made at the center.

Camp for special school Children 

95 children from three schools, for children with special needs, were  screened with funding from the Vision-Aid programs at Aravind, in the past quarter. Vision-Aid was able to complete comprehensive ocular and functional vision assessment for all children.  14 children were provided with eye-glasses and 26 children were referred to Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai for further evaluation. Children who had cognitive visual dysfunction were recommended with various strategies based on the functional vision assessment. 

Low Vision Clinic at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai

143 individuals with low vision were screened at the Vision-Aid resource center at Aravind, Madurai, of whom 58 were provided with optical or electronic magnification devices.

Vision Enhancement program  for infants

14 children/infants with profound visual impairment were newly enrolled in the vision enhancement program at the Vision Rehabilitation center, Aravind Eye Hospital Madurai under the umbrella of Vision-Aid’s project. In this quarter a total of 38 children benefitted from the vision enhancement program. A total of 147 individual one-on-one sessions were held for the children with the rehab staff.

Computer Training

Computer training was provided for 16 individual with visual impairment during July to September 2019)at Vision Rehabilitation Centre, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai.  5 paid for their training and 11 were funded by Vision-Aid. These patients learnt to use Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software and to work with Microsoft word and Excel. The patients spent 7 hours in a day with the trainer. Each patient completed 5 days training. They were provided teaching material like NVDA manual and were guided to download the special software in their computer / Laptop.

Orientation & Mobility

The basic mobility technique with white cane was taught to 24 people with profound visual impairment at Vision rehabilitation Centre, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai of these 12 were funded by Vision-Aid for O & M training.

Strengthening low vision service in other Satellite Hospital and Increasing referrals

It is generally estimated that around 1% of the total population suffers from vision impairment. This percentage is bound to be several folds higher in a tertiary eye care center. However the number of patients availing low vision services at this time, is considerably lower than the anticipated demand. A major reason for this may be paucity of referrals from specialty consultants. Towards increasing referrals, Dr.P.Vijayalakshmi who heads the pediatric and low vision functions at Aravind, organized the following strategies at Aravind eye care system, this quarter.

Awareness and Training workshop for all satellite locations

26 participants from 5 Tertiary canters and 4 Secondary centers of Aravind eye care system participated in the 2 days’ workshop on “Strengthening Aravind’s low vision service”. The objective of this workshop was to understand the current services provided to the visually challenged and to develop the road map / strategies for the way forward. Each hospital participated with their team on Magnitude estimation, Demand Generation, Human resource and Infrastructure & equipment and presented their present scenario, challenges, needs and suggestions. The expert panel comprising Dr. P. Namperumalsamy,  Dr. P. Vijayalakshmi , Dr. Sarfaraz khan and Dr. R. D. Ravindran  put forth their views and shared experiences and ways to improve low vision services.  

Public Workshop in Chennai

In continuation of strengthening low vision service, Vision-Aid will also be organizing one day workshop on 20th October in the Chennai Aravind Eye hospital on ”Enhancing low vision”.   

Internal Training

To increase the potential referral from the regular outpatient department, Vision-Aid had an hour session on “Right to sight for the visually challenged” which was very much appreciated. All consultants, chiefs, post graduates and staff from other Aravind hospitals also joined the session.

Digital Teaching Training program

Dr. Vijayalakshmi was invited as a guest speaker for the “Digital Teaching Training Programme” on 27th of September 2019. Teachers with visual impairment from all over the country, working in normal school with sighted children participated in the workshop to develop their ability in the field of digital Technology.

Vision-Aid is proud to partner with Aravind, a global leader in the field of eye care, in driving programs which help the visually impaired live with independence and dignity. VIsion-Aid looks forward to continued growth and expansion in these programs in coming months and thanks their donors who enable these valuable programs.

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

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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.