People with visual impairment are usually treated with pity and charity in our country. Their ability and potential are not fully recognized, often the focus is on their limitations, not on the possibilities available. Consequently, they are often marginalized, ill informed, and not stimulated to explore their potential. They are viewed as liabilities as opposed to potential human resource for a developing country.
India accounts for around 20% of the global blind population. A large chunk of this population is ignorant. We believe there is a deficit in terms of Awareness, Resources, Reach and Perception. The deficit is also reflected in the policies formulated. Attitudinal biases act as barriers pushing blind people towards exclusion. There is also a lack of trained personnel like counselors and special educators.
Eyeway was formed to address this deficit by providing relevant information collected from multiple sources and communicated through a team of trained counselors, a majority of whom are visually impaired as well.
Eyeway was set up as a one-stop knowledge resource for living life with blindness. Eyeway operates a national toll free number, 1800 300 20469. People call in with questions regarding education and employment opportunities, mobility, assistive technology, legal rights and so on. Eyeway also disseminates relevant information like news alerts and job updates through a Whatsapp group and other social media platforms. We also give out information and sensitization messages through our Radio and TV initiatives. Score Foundation also takes up matters of advocacy, where rights are violated and people are discriminated against.
At present, Eyeway is a network of six organizations- National Association for the Blind, Saksham Trust and Score in Delhi, EnAble India and MitraJyothi in Bangalore and Navchetna Institute in Patiala.