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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.