Update December 2021: Vision-Aid joins hands with RLF to improve access to STEM
Vision-Aid has joined hands with Raised Line Foundation (RLF), a startup coming out of IIT-Delhi, to improve access to STEM education with tactile braille books for students with visual impairment. Currently most of the braille books available to blind students do not have diagrams and other rich content which makes science and math education more easily understandable and accessible to blind students.The new initiative introduces much improved, quality of STEM books with tactile diagrams and rich content and helps to level the playing ground for them to compete with their sighted counterparts in regular schools.
How does a child who is visually impaired "see" a duck?
Tactile braille diagrams allow visually impaired students to visualize objects, opening up a new universe - whether it is visualizing an elephant or a duck, or understanding STEM subjects in Physics, Chemistry or Biology through figures and diagrams , the program makes a whole dimension of new information accessible to the children now. Almost all braille books used in blind schools in India have basic braille with text only, missing the richness of diagrams and pictures which rich content can provide.
Vision-Aid is happy to share this update from our tactile braille book program. Since its launch earlier this year, and despite COVID, over 1800 books have been distributed to 350+ children in blind schools across India.
Thanks to Vision-Aid partners Raised Lines Foundation (RLF) a start-up coming out of IIT-Delhi, and to our dedicated Vision-Aid India team for working this program which helps blind students visualize concepts in their school subjects more effectively.
The first phase of the program covered blind schools in the north in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and also covered Chennai and Madurai in the south. Several more schools in other states are planned in future phases. Our thanks to Ram & Meetu Gupta for helping us jumpstart this program in 2021, and many other donors who have come forward to generously support this important initiative in 2022. A gift of $50 provides a full "kit" of grade-appropriate tactile braille books for a student in a blind school.
A key goal of this Vision-Aid / RLF program is to improve STEM education for blind students in India an area of immense need, since most blind students drop out of STEM subjects in the course of their education, thereby missing many opportunities later in life.
Here is a short video of one of our young students thoroughly enjoying his tactile book. The look on his face is priceless . Due to COVID his school is still closed but Vision-Iad shipped the books to him at home and he continues his learning remotely, until schools resumes.
The pictures above are from an event where a total of 25 tactile books were distributed to blind students of National Association for the Blind (NAB) Chennai on 6th September 2021. This book distribution ceremony is just one of several such distributions happening across blind schools in India.
Please donate to improve the quality of STEM education in India, for blind students! Your support will help Vision-Aid provide more books to more blind students who wish to pursue STEM education.