Nethra Vidyalaya, a non-profit organization, provides education for blind in India and is a part of the Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET). Nethra Vidyalaya provides educational programs from primary level to high school, junior & senior college, where hundreds of blind students are being trained every year. Nethra Vidyalaya is unique in terms of their hi-tech approaches. One example is students are trained to write their Intermediate Board exams and Degree exams on laptops without the help of scribes (helpers) – currently the only such program in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with such arrangements. With its mission, to empower the visually challenged with the latest technology, it is now a growing NGO with over 1860 students. JET provides FREE boarding, lodging, and food, and study material, education for the blind in its facilities in both Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam (Vizag).
Bhargav is one of the student from Vision-Aid's first Python Programming classes. He has made greate strides in the world since the completion of the program.
Vision-Aid is in news once again. NASSCOM, a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, has lauded Vision-Aid in their magazine, Ideas that Impact. Vision-Aid has been credited with breaking down barriers and showing the way.
Vision-Aid has been conducting various programs to train visually impaired students to be lifelong learners, and reach their highest potential.
One success story is Ravi, an electrical engineering student from India. To read his story please see the link below
Vision-Aid provides rehabilitation for the visually impaired. Our world-class computer training programs, which are benchmarked with the programs of leading institutions, empower blind and low vision students to reach great heights. Students with vision impairment are provided with one-on-one assessment , training and devices.
Vision-Aid programs have won 6 national and international awards in its 10+ years of existence.
We appreciate Ravi Kiran Vissa, Director of Photography and Doug Milton, editor, for producing some videos that highlight Vision-Aid's endeavors in the past year.
The Vision-Aid team was invited by the Boston Accessibility RoundTable to present at its meetup in Cambridge. It was an excellent meeting where the Vision-Aid team met some interesting and inspiring people, all doing wonderfully innovative things to make our world more accessible to people with disabilities.
Vision-Aid is running several exciting new initiatives to teach computer programming to the visually impaired – both in India and in the Boston area.
Current programs include:
Python programming classes
Vision-Aid is back with an exciting program to teach Python programming. After successfully completing a pilot for teaching computer programming for the visually impaired in 2016, we are thrilled to offer an even more comprehensive program in 2017.
The Vision-Aid program uses material provided by Dr. Charles "Chuck" Russell Severance, Associate Professor the University of Michigan. We are profoundly grateful to Dr. Chuck , the University of Michigan and Coursera. Our visually impaired students who learn programming from his highly accessible, universally popular course “Programing for Everyone” taught via CoureEra, which is rated by Class Central to be one of the top 20 MOOCs in the world!
The program will run for 9 months in three sessions – beginner, intermediate, advanced. Each session will be 12 weeks long. During this program, the students will be introduced to computer science and programming concepts using Python, one of the most popular languages for getting started with computer programming.
No prior computer programming experience is necessary but certain pre-requisites do apply. Vision-Aid will conduct an assessment and enroll students at the appropriate level.
Students in this Vision-Aid program will learn from the experts in the field using the best online learning resources. The classes will be offered over Skype. Each student will be paired with a teacher who will work with the student to guide them through the course material.
Vision-Aid is pleased to offer this course free of cost to the students. However, each admitted student will be expected to pay an advance deposit of Rs. 500. If the student attends classes regularly and completes the 12-week module, the deposit will be fully refunded. The purpose of the deposit is to encourage students to stay committed to the course and complete it. There is no minimum passing grade required for the refund – we only expect regular and sincere participation to be eligible for the full refund.
We believe in training the students so they can be lifelong learners, and reach their highest potential. We encourage and guide our students to participate in Hackathons such as the Shaastra, IIT Madras Tech Festival in Chennai. Students, who complete the course, will be eligible to participate in a hackathon for the visually impaired, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai (all travel and lodging expenses will be taken care of). Vision-Aid will also provide scholarships to qualified students, to cover the cost of completing certification for a programming course online from MIT. (For a short film about the 2017 hackathon in IIT, please click on the link below)
A call for volunteers
HTML / Web programming workshop in Boston
Vision-Aid is excited to announce that in partnership with Our Space, Our Place - a Boston based nonprofit, we will be supporting a one week programming workshop for blind students from the Boston (and other regional) public school systems.
The coding camp will take place from July 10 – 14 in Microsoft’s NERD center in Cambridge, MA. It will run from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM daily.
The visually impaired students in the class will be 14-21 years in age. Most of them enter the class with no prior knowledge of HTML/CSS, and will leave the week-long workshop with the skills and tools they need to build their own web sites.
We need a few volunteers skilled in HTML & CSS to support this class, as teaching assistants (TA’s) to support the class. Prior experience in teaching the visually impaired (via other Vision-Aid courses, or otherwise) is desirable but not required. Experience in HTML/CSS, and the required time commitment for this workshop are the key requirements.
If interested, please fill in the application below ASAP and no later than May 22nd.
Vision-Aid has had a great start this year. Various programs have been rolled out in the field to help rehabilitate the visually impaired across our centers. The pictures below provide a glimpse of some the ongoing activities that have been successfully running by the love and support of our volunteers.
In the pictures below, you will see hands on computer training being conducted at one center. At another center, you will see vision impaired job aspirants being trained and counseled.
January 2nd, 2017 was a date which many of us @Vision-Aid had etched in our minds since August, when IIT Madras first approached Vision-Aid to help them train visually impaired students for a very unique event - a hackathon for the visually impaired as part of IIT's annual Shaastra summit. A team of 6 volunteer teachers in the US, 6 teaching assistants from IIT and 15 visually impaired students – adults and children, began an amazing and ambitious journey – to show the world that the differently abled can scale the most difficult heights with the help of a little technology, and with a little love and support.
Ram Raju and Revathy Ramakrishna are currently at Vellore, India. They had a wonderful opportunity to visit a very unique organization – WORTH Trust.
WORTH Trust is a fully self-sustained rehabilitation organization for the benefit of the disabled. They run a set of production centers that employ people with disabilities, enabling them to learn skills and earn a dignified living while assembling quality products, which are sold all over India and abroad. They have an amazing campus which includes a technical training center, school for speech and hearing impaired, early intervention center for the speech and hearing impaired, day activity center for the mentally challenged children and outreach activities. All the costs of these programs are fully met by revenues earned from sale of assembled products. Their products range from equipment for the disabled to automotive parts.
In early Fall, Vision-Aid volunteer teachers began working with student volunteers from IIT Chennai, and visually impaired students from multiple locations across India to teach them an MIT computer programming course. These classes have exceeded our expectations. Students are making excellent progress and excitement is building up at Vision-Aid and IIT Chennai as we near the Shaastra summit hackathon for the visually impaired at IIT to be held on Jan 2nd, 2017.
Thanks to well-wishers and supporters like you, 2016 was a marvelous year, ushering in several new initiatives.
1. Vision-Aid training programs for the visually impaired in Spoken English
2. World-class computer programming classes for the visually impaired.
3. A very colorful and memorable annual event in the Boston area in July
4. The receipt of recognition from NASSCOM, India as a finalist in technology entrepreneurship for our award-winning device "Haptic torch for the blind".
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- World Sight Day 2016 celebrated at Vision Aid
- Vision-Aid Python Programming class off to a flying start
- Vision-Aid has an exciting new opportunity for Vizag College Students - ACA course for Collegiate volunteers
- New Vision-Aid (2016) film
- CONGRATULATIONS TO RAFFLE WINNER
- Event Sponsorship
- Vision-Aid in the News
- An update from our partner Milton Charitable Foundation for The Visually Handicapped
- Year-end Update from Vision-Aid