Ray of hope

19 year old Alvin Paulose is a resident of Ernakulam district in Kerala. Since birth Alvin suffers from a nerve disorder due to which his eyesight is deteriorating gradually. This impacted his education in a mainstream school where the modes of teaching were largely visual. Alvin had to rely on his teachers and friends to read out study material he had trouble seeing. In addition he used an audio recorder to keep notes from his classroom proceedings.

But as his vision deteriorated further, he struggled to write exams on his own. Alvin requested his college authorities to allow him to use a scribe to write his first year English Literature exams. That’s when he realized that he needed something called a Disability Certificate, stating his percentage of blindness. Alvin wasn’t aware that as a visually impaired person, using a Disability Certificate he was entitled to certain government provisions.

On his visit to Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly for an updated medical report, Alvin was redirected to the Eyeway Helpdesk. On his interaction with our counselor, Alvin expressed his present concerns regarding a scribe and his future academic as well as employment ambitions. As someone with deteriorating vision, Alvin wasn’t sure of what opportunities were available to him.

Eyeway counselor shared complete details of the district hospital where Alvin could get his Disability Certificate issued. The counselor also advised him to complete his graduation, pursue his masters in the same subject so that he could apply for possible jobs as an English teacher or a content writer. To inspire confidence in Alvin, our counselor shared with him the story of Pranjal Patil, the first visually impaired IAS Officer in India. Alvin was also surprised at the ease with which the Eyeway counselor operated in his job role. He asked several questions pertaining to the counselor’s personal struggle as a totally blind person himself. The counselor shared his journey with Alvin, apprising him of several assistive tools and technology available for blind people that can help in various daily functions, education and employment.

Our counselor motivated Alvin to work hard, make use of assistive devices and provisions available for blind people and reconnect with Eyeway for any help in the future.

Alvin has already acquired a Disability Certificate that mentions 80% visual impairment, on the basis of which his college will permit him to use a scribe for his upcoming examination.