Vision-Aid is offering a COVID response program for persons who are visually impaired, and their families - a segment hard-hit in the pandemic. (More details of the full program can be found at Vision-Aid's COVID Response website: www.COVID.VisionAid.org). Here is an update from the programs in Agra, and also in Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada (in partnership with the L.V.Prasad Eye Instittue).
Even though COVID still poses many challenges, Vision-Aid is already looking to brighter times are on their way. During this festive season, Vision-Aid would like to share with you some updates about programs in India. Several online programs are thriving, and in-person programs are gradually resuming across India, helping to bring light into the lives of the visually impaired we serve.
Vision-Aid's Python Program, one of its flagship technology training program for the visually impaired, is 100% volunteer driven. For the past four years, Vision-Aid has been teaching Python programming to the visually impaired, all over India.
Vision-Aid is getting ready to launch its new 2021 program, which includes programming classes for adults, advanced project-based mentoring for more advanced programming students, and a special program in collaboration with Indic-AI, a Delhi based NGO which partners with Vision-Aid to mentor young blind programmers.
Vision-Aid is set to launch it's Virtual Digital Accessibility Testing and Training Centre (DATTC). This important new initiative is being made possible by the generous donation of Ms. Sundari and Mr Samir Mitra of California USA, in the honor of Ms. Sundari Mitra’s parents, Sri Vissa Sahadev Rao and Smt. Kamala Sahadev of Bengaluru, India.
Mission : To enable, educate and empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity
The Vision-Aid model has 16 programs (and several sub-programs) to support the mission:
|Type of Intervention||Intervention - Intend / Target Audience|
|01||Functional Vision / Early Intervention||Enable training of infants and children and their parents to improve visual processing skills including CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment)|
|02||Comprehensive Low Vision Evaluation||Programs include low-vision assessments, performed by optometrists with training in low vision. As an extension of the low vision evaluation program run in the centers, camps are conducted in local schools to identify potential visual impairment|
|03||Assistive Aids & Devices||A comprehensive range of assistive devices for both individuals with low-vision and those with total vision loss (blindness), including affordable, low-cost, hi-technology alternatives. Affordability is a key consideration|
|04||Orientation & Mobility training||Orientation & Mobility training to help the visually impaired learn to navigate safely in challenging surroundings|
A range of training programs (one week to 6 months) to build proficiency in Computers skills. This includes suitable assistive technology and training in basic, intermediate and advanced computer applications like Word, Excel, Email and Internet use.
|06||Mobile Technologies||Educating and enabling use of various Apps for navigation, mobility and other functions.|
|07||Special Skills Training||
|08||Braille Training and Resources||Including advanced Braille devices|
|09||Livelihood and Employment Assistance||
Including job placement assistance, job skills training, advanced training programs including computer programming, spoken English, etc. (Currently offered via both the Vision-Aid Online Academy and residential scholarship programs)
|11||Spoken English Training||
|12||Counseling and Referral services||
|13||Advocacy & Outreach||
|14||Training and Professional Developments||
|15||Research & Development||To foster innovation in devices and services, paper publications, conferences, etc.|
|16||Conferences & Events||Participate in conferences to improve public awareness to Vision-Aid and expand visibility of the organization.|