Vision-Aid rolls out programming course for Juniors at Nethra Blind School Hyderabad
Vision-Aid volunteers Sulochana Devadas and Sonal Patel teamed up for several months to design an entry level programming course for our visually impaired students that could help address the needs of our youngest students (typical age is 14 - 18). After an initial online-only rollout, which was successfully run for 6 months with these students, the course has taken its next steps – for the first time being taught in a blind school setting in India at Nethra Vidyalaya near Hyderabad.
Sulochana created the material and Sonal taught and ran the classes with Bhuvi and Aarush, young Vision-Aid students (age ~ 13), to refine it. Sonal also helped to train Pushpalatha, a Vision-Aid teacher in India. After running the pilot online for 6 months, with two students to test and refine the materials and teaching methods, Vision-Aid then offered the same course to blind students in one of our partner schools, Nethra Vidyalaya, Shamshabad.
Last month, Vision-Aid teacher Ms Pusshpalatha completed the first module of the course, in a school setting at Nethra Blind School. 12 students successfully completed the first module of the course. In addition to the programming course, 13 computer novices all visually impaired youth were trained in basic computer applications with Vision-Aid's Introduction to Computer Applications course (ICA). They were also tested at the completion of the course and passed. In addition, 38 students, who are already familiar with computers were given general lecture to align them to use of advanced features of accessibility software - JAWs /NVDA .
Now, the team is focusing on the Fall semester where the same course is being further refined to teach an even larger and diverse group and now includes a new volunteer from Microsoft India, Saheel, who runs weekly classes for our students online from Hyderabad with support from Sulochana and Pushpalatha.
Vision-Aid sincerely thanks all our volunteers and teachers for their tremendous work!