Sankara Nethralaya

Sankara Nethralaya – Chennai -Eye Hospital

The collaboration has enabled a resplendent 895 patients to be benefitted by Vision-Aid in the past 5 years. The graph below illustrates the number of patients serviced across each quarter with Vision-Aid funds. Those 895 patients received 1266 aids in the form of spectacles, optical aids and non-optical aids.

bar graph showing number of paitient served by vision-aid collaboration quarterly over period of 5 years

VISION RESOURCE CENTER

Vision-Aid pioneered the establishment of the Vision Resource Center at Sankara Nethralaya in January of 2019.  This clinic is revolutionary in its ability to serve the visually impaired focusing on vision rehabilitation and enabling the visually impaired to benefit from services beyond just being provided with corrective spectacles or optical aids. The various services offered are computer training, orientation and mobility training (O&M), assistive technology training, visual skills and device use training, early intervention/visual stimulation, and counselling services to enable social, educational, vocational, and emotional well-being. In the past year we have also helped set up a modular kitchen to train women with low vision on “safe” use of the space. Recently the center has also employed an occupational therapist to help provide a comprehensive rehabilitation to enable and empowering the visually challenged with better life skills. 

Through the Vision Resource Center, the quality of lives of about 500 patients have thus far been positively impacted.  This is in its short tenure of 2.5 years, which includes the world being affected by the COVID pandemic.  About 106 patients received computer training, 182 orientation and mobility training, 132 assistive technology training, 441 counseling, and 93 visual skills and assistive devices rehabilitation.  The panel below enumerates the number of sessions provided for each service.

bar graph showing Vision resource Centre services Number of intervention/sessions

ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING (O&M):

Orientation and Mobility training helps the visually impaired to learn how to safely navigate their visual environment. The panel below shows two patients who are deaf and blind due to a condition that affects their hearing from infancy and causes vision to slowly deteriorate over the years.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Early Interventions

Early intervention and visual stimulation is an evolving area that offers services to infants and children who are expected to have visual challenges due to being born premature, birth related complications such as a stroke or born with genetic and congenital anomalies that causes deficits in how they see and use visual information around them.  A functional vision evaluation by the provider helps understand current visual status and develop tools and recommendations on how to improve visual efficiency and residual vision. Many of these patients have significant developmental delays affecting multiple sensory and motor systems like speech and gross and fine motor skills.

Early interventions help these children to use their visual system to best capacity and counsel and guide parents in enabling these children develop prime visual potential. Few interactions of the staff with the children illustrated below.

Computer Lab

Sankara Nethralaya is in the process of launching a full-fledged computer lab at the Vision-Aid resource center in Chennai. This lab will help provide advanced computer training to students at the center. Process of recruiting a full-time trainer is currently in progress.

Smart Vision Glasses

One of Vision-aid’s goal is to provide assistive devices at an affordable cost and in that venture Vision-aid was able to provide Smart vision glasses to about 20 beneficiaries.

Resource Centers Scale-up

Vision-Aid has provided go ahead to setup a Vision-Aid resource center at SN, Kolkata. Work on the new center is underway.

The Vision Enhancement Clinic has 4 optometrists trained in Low Vision Care, and 1 optometrist exclusively trained to manage the Clinic. On an average, the center provides services for about 1500 patients in the Low Vision Care.

In conclusion

Overall, we are seeing an impressive work done for the visually impaired on ground and look forward to more trailblazing work by the team at Sankara Nethralaya and Vision-Aid.

Read articles published by Sankara Nethralaya

Sankara Nethralaya articles

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.