Vision-Aid runs many programs which help train school teachers to become more inclusive in their classrooms that enables them to support better learning outcomes for their visually impaired students.
Since its inception fifteen years ago, Vision-Aid has offered specialized computer training courses which equip not only visually impaired students with skills to use computer applications, but also a parallel program to train B.Ed. and Diploma in Ed. trainee teachers. This program is geared to sensitize teachers in training and teach them skills to create more inclusive classrooms after they graduate and become teachers.
Over 750 teacher trainees have been trained with Vision-Aid’s intensive, one-week Administrator of Computer Applications (ACA) course, which equips the teachers with the tools and skills they will need to integrate visually impaired students in their classrooms.
In 2019, Vision-Aid has trained 73 teacher trainees who have successfully completed their one-week training program and Vision-Aid certification which includes 20 teachers from the Kaveri BEd Collège, Hyderabad and another 53 teachers LB College in Visakhapatnam. The graduation ceremony at took place at LB college.
In the last quarter of 2019, Vision-Aid’s Vizag Center will work with Andhra University to get their Special Education Post Graduate students trained at Vision-Aid Vizag, in the ACA program. Their 2019 batch of 24 post graduate students will spend one week in an intensive ACA training at the Vision-Aid center. Andhra University Visakhapatnam is a leading university in the state of Andhra Pradesh. We thank the Vice Chancellor as well as the head of department of Education for their leadership in this new initiiative.
Despite some great progress much more needs to be done. India churns out an estimated 500,000 teacher trainees each year. Many of these teachers will be teaching in integrated class room settings which have visually impaired students. Some will even be teaching in Special schools and Blind schools. The majority of them are graduating without the requisite training or skills to work with the differently enabled. In addition to the efforts to training teachers, Vision-Aid has also been lobbying the government to make the training in Access Technologies for the visually impaired, a mandatory component of all B.Ed. and Diploma in Education programs. Hopefully this will happen soon, so that an effort can begin to tackle the issue at scale and deliver more inclusive classrooms for all visually impaired students
The Vision-Aid team is grateful to their teachers Ms. Ramadevi Mangu, Ms.Pushpalatha Gutti, Mr.Ramesh Kumar, Dr.Sam Kumar, Mr.V.L.Narasimham and Mr. M.S.Raju for their sustained efforts in this important area.