Vision-Aid scholars have found success in different fields. Every success is a validation of the hard work put in by the scholars themselves and the support and initiative of Vision-Aid volunteers, donors and Vision-Aid community. Ankit Deb is one such success story. Ankit has been a Vision-Aid scholar and taken many courses conducted by Vision-Aid. He was recently hired by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm.
In India and globally, amid the continuing COVID crisis, one of the big challenges faced by Persons with Disabilities (PWD) is their inability to access vital information and resources published by governments and organizations because this information is not digitally accessible to persons with disabilities.
Thursday, May 20th, is “World Accessibility Day”. To commemorate this global accessibility awareness day, Vision-Aid is organizing a special webinar on the important topic of making Covid-19 information accessible for persons with disabilities.
The virtual graduation of Vision-Aid students from the Maskati scholarship program in Vizag, was a bright ray of hope and good cheer, in an otherwise very challenging time. Even though several Vision-Aid family members are seriously impacted by COVID, either directly or indirectly, everyone came together to celebrate this joyful, memorable and magical event, which helped us focus on positive things which we can continue to do despite the pandemic. Congratulations to all graduating students, and bravo to all team members who worked so hard despite being affected by the pandemic, for putting togehter this deeply inspiring event.
On April 19th, Vision-Aid announced the creation of a new center of excellence in partnership with the global leader in eye care, the L.V.Prasad Eye Institute. Support for this major new initiative comes from the Palakurthi Foundation of Massachusetts, USA, a philanthropic foundation created by Anuradha & Prashanth Palakurthi of Westwood, MA.
Vision-Aid would like to present short video from their new Sundara-Srinivasan Vision-Aid center at VHS Chennai. It shows a low vision student learning how to read with a portable Digital Vision-Aid magnifier.
Vision-Aid has assembled and offered these portable Digital Vision-Aid magnifiers to beneficiaries inIndia at a fraction of the cost of comparable models. Market prices range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000. Vision-Aid gives these magnifier sto low income patients at Rs. 500 and to affording patients at prices at a slightly higher price but much lower than the market rate. This has been only possible because of philanthropic support from Vision-Aid donors and well wishers.
Over the past several months, Vision-Aid's visually impaired students have been training in the Python training program (Intermediate level) and have been honing their coding skills by developing solutions for various real-life problems faced by the visually impaired. Working under the guidance of experienced volunteer Vision-Aid mentors, the students worked in teams that brainstormed and selected interesting problems to solve. They developed solutions using agile software development methodologies. The projects include the use of machine learning to recognize images for the visually impaired, converting text to speech, solving the indentation problem in writing Python programs and developing search and catalog keywords in various types of documents to make them more accessible.
Vision Aid is happy to report that the new Srinivasan-Sundara Vision-Aid National resource centre (VA NRC) at the Voluntary Health Services (VHS) facility in Chennai, was inaugurated on February 1, 2021 evening at 5:00 p.m. by Dr Surendran, Vice Chairman of Sankara Nethralaya, who is an alumni of VHS. The function was very well organized by Vision-Aid partners and hosts (the VHS team).
Vision-Aid has partnered with Community Eye Care Foundation, (CECF) at Pune. As COVID slowly recedes, one of the first events that was organized was a large virtual session inviting all Ophthalmologists from Maharashtra to join in. The Opthamalmologists of Maharashta is a very large state-wide group with over 3,000 members. The idea was to publicize the importance of low vision and rehabilitation, an area which is generally not understood or supported well any where in India even in leading eye hospitals.
MediCircle is a leading Indian media organization, based in Mumbai, is focused on health and medicine. They recently interviewed Vision-Aid Founder and Executive Director, on the occasion of World Braille Day to discuss vision impairment, braille, accessibility and a range of other topics and published this short (~10 minutes) information-packed interview which is available both as a video and an article.
Please click the following link for the video Interview
To read the article please click the link below
A meet and greet event with the Vision-Aid program at the Agra center was held on 18th Decemeber EST. This ceneter is run by Vision-Aid with the support from Vivek and Vandana Sharma foundation. The Agra center works with the local blinds schools and other organizations in Agra, India to offer a range of services to the visually impaired.
During the past year VIsion-Aid volunteers have been teaching blind and low vision students skills online during the COVID pandemic. People wonder understandably, how exactly such training works, and if this is really effective.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video to see close-up how visually impaired students are learning complex Excel skills online during COVID. This video is from the Vision-Aid Resource Center in Aravind Eye Hospital at Madurai. The conversation is in Tamil, and thanks to Vision-Aid volunteer Kavalapar, for adding English subtitles to make it accessible to all.
Vision-Aid launched its latest innovative initiative for the visually impaired – the Vision-Aid Digital Accessibility Testing & Training Center (DATTC) on Oct. 18 2020. This Center will offer a comprehensive range of resources for Digital Accessibility Testing and Training.
Vision-Aid’s team uses leading international standards, highly trained, skilled and certified staff and state-of-the-art processes, technology and tools to deliver a high-quality program in both testing and training in this space.
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