Clearing the roadblocks in education

Dushant Waghmare is an 18-year-old visually impaired person from Umred, Maharashtra. He was detected with Glaucoma a few months after his birth. Despite his deteriorating eye condition, he studied in a mainstream school where he was provided adequate support by his teachers. After completing Class 10, he wanted to pursue his education in Science stream and so he applied for the same. However, the school authorities denied him admission on grounds of vision impairment and insisted that he opt for Arts stream instead. The school authorities felt that a person with vision impairment is incapable of studying Science as it involves formulae, experiments, practical etc. Dushant was also told that the school did not provide an accessible environment for students like him.

That’s when he contacted the Eyeway Helpdesk looking for a solution. The counselor understood his problem and put him in touch with the Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) which is a National Advocacy and Support Centre for the blind and low-vision people across the country. He was provided with a government rule citing that schools must permit visually impaired students to pursue education in the Science stream. He took the document to Nutan Adarsh Mahavidyalaya in Umred and was granted admission. At this new institute, Dushant’s teachers provided all the help he needed except they did not have the required study material for the syllabus in an accessible format. To overcome this challenge, the Eyeway counselor apprised him of a group called Yashowani where volunteers create audio books as per the student’s requirement. Dushant was also informed about accessible books available with XRCVC and on Bookshare.

The counselor further guided him through various educational opportunities available to him once he finishes his schooling and apprised him of organisations that offer courses in improving English communication as well as Computer proficiency. Although Dushant aspired for higher studies and a bright future, he felt crippled by financial constraints. So our counselor suggested him to apply for an education loan through the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC). Dushant expressed his sincere gratitude towards Eyeway for supporting his stand in pursuing the stream of his choice and for providing the right solutions for his queries.