Thought it was all over

Earlier this year, Eyeway Helpdesk in Bangalore received a call from a worried father whose son’s vision had drastically deteriorated in the past few months.

Although Suresh’s son Sumanth had low vision and night blindness by birth, he could still function with the limited eyesight. Studying in a mainstream school, suddenly he was unable to read or write.

The father-son duo was depressed in their own ways. While Sumanth felt it was impossible to complete his education, Suresh didn’t know how he could help his son cope with such difficulties.

The Eyeway counselor addressed their concerns, helping them take baby steps forward. Suresh was guided on ways to teach by recording audio notes. Sumanth was put through extensive counseling sessions to come to terms with his disability.

They were put in touch with NGOs specializing in teaching Maths and Science to persons with vision impairment. Sumanth was also enrolled for computer training at Enable India and connected with scribes who could help him write his exams until he became confident of doing so using the digital medium.

Hearing inspirational stories and meeting with other visually impaired students during the course of his training, Sumanth slowly began to accept his blindness. He moved away from self-pity to a more reassuring attitude towards life. And with all the guidance, family’s help and his own hard work, he cleared Class 12 scoring 91 percent!

Rejoiced with the progress, Sumanth is beginning to see the benefits of proper mobility and computer training. Our counselor has created a customized training schedule for him, before he starts preparing for college.

As for Suresh, who had quit his job to look after his son, this intervention has brought hope and the smile back on his face. He is confident that Eyeway will empower Sumanth to build a bright future for himself.

Switching to a smartphone

Mahesh Pandule is a 30-year-old visually impaired person from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Due to lack of proper eye treatment at the right time, he lost his vision at the age of eight. Following this, he was shifted to the Poona School & Home for the Blind Trust where he completed his studies up till Class 12. Throughout his schooling, he was always curious about things around him and tried to gather as much information from his teachers. He went on to complete his Masters in Arts through distance learning mode.

In 2016, he heard about Eyeway on radio and has since been in connect with the Helpdesk. Through their conversations, the counselor understood that he was well versed with how to use the computer using a screen reader. However, Mahesh did not have his own personal laptop. Therefore, the counselor suggested that he start using a mobile phone with which he can readily gain access to a vast pool of information. He was initially skeptical due to his lack of awareness on how to use a smartphone. Nonetheless, the counselor explained to him the ease with which he can use it and apprised him of the different applications that are available to assist visually impaired users with various needs. The counselor took him through a step-by-step process of the different gestures of using a screen reader enabled smartphone. After several days of training given through telephone, Mahesh was happily informed that he could independently obtain accessible study material and pay online using the Google Pay app.