Vision-Aid Ambassador, Jeyanthi Ghatraju Visited Vision-Aid National Resource Center January 2020
Jeyanthi Ghatraju is a Vision-Aid ambassador and an active member in the Boston Vision-Aid community. She and her son Pranav visited Vision-Aid’s National Resource Center at Aravind eye hospital, Madurai on Jan. 30, 2020. "It was heart warming for me just as I walked in", said Jeyanthi . Some forty years ago, her aunt was one of the patients having lost vision as a young teenager to a mysterious fever. At that point, the family decided to avail the resources available and give her rehabilitation to live a life of dignity and self respect, it brought back memories.
Ms Flora Joseph, head rehabilitationist, a soft spoken and sincere caregiver, introduced them to the staff and the wide range of activities at the center. The early intervention program caught Jayanthi's attention the most. Low vision patients as young as 3 months can be screened and worked with. They have programs for parents to monitor progress at home and can visit once a month for checkup and updates, making it affordable time and money-wise to make use of the programs. Subsidized as well as free optical and state-of-the-art electronic assistive devices, orientation and mobility training, counseling and advocacy - the services are vast.
Mr. Venkatesh, the lead technology trainer, walked them through the “app” that does many useful things - helps one with currency counting, finding a contact in the phone address book and make a call, how a whole book could be captured in a format similar to PDF so that a low vision student can “read” on their own instead of depending upon the interpreter. It was touching a chord to hear about the number of low vision students benefiting from this and passing exams with flying colors. Dr. Sahitya , explained about the orientation and screening segment. During their discussion, Jeyanthi noticed, there were several students in training at various levels. The sheer motivation and the positive attitude in everyone at the center was contagious.
Jeyanthi says she wishes that more awareness on these valuable and helpful programs is created via social media and social groups and more people spread the word about the great work that is available right within their reach! She hopes that parents/people with low vision to get out of the old norm “it is one’s fate and let us deal with this”, come out, connect and make use of the resources!
As always Vision-Aid is deeply appreciative of its members, and hopes they continue to spread awareness.