Hurdles teaching progression

Living with blindness is not easy but it’s even more hard-hitting if your entire family is suffering from the same medical condition. Juzer and Taha are brothers hailing from Karjat, Maharashtra. Their father owns a hardware shop and their mother is a homemaker. All of them are visually impaired and suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa since birth. In this medical condition, the vision of a person deteriorates gradually over time.

Juzer is 22-years- old and has completed his schooling from a mainstream institution. While studying in Saifee High School, Juzer faced several challenges due to his weak eye condition. He could not read the entire text from the blackboard and hence his class notes remained incomplete. His mother has always been a pillar of support to him and his younger brother. Although she was visually impaired, she made sure to collect all the notes from Juzer’s classmates. She even used to tell him to recite his notes aloud so that she could record them and use it for further corrections.

In 2017, Juzer completed his graduation in liberal arts. However, he was unsure of what to do ahead and was skeptical about finding a job because of his eye condition. He wanted to acquire some more skills with a hope to find employment. His family got to know about Eyeway through a promotion they overheard on All India Radio and also from their friend circle. Juzer personally visited the Eyeway center and explained his journey so far and his current issues. Our Helpdesk counsellors motivated him to acquire additional skills such as computer knowledge and personality development as nowadays these are necessary for every government jobs. The counsellors suggested him to join MSCIT and Typing course in Victoria Memorial School for Blind and further encouraged him to join the competitive exam course which was being offered at the same institution.

Juzer simultaneously joined all the courses. However, after a couple of months he again contacted Eyeway as he was having an issue in finding a reader for his final typing exam. It was essential for him because the reader is supposed to read out a given paragraph which the candidate should type in a stipulated amount of time to qualify for the typing exam. Before contacting our Helpdesk, he approached several other organizations but he did not get any response. Eyeway arranged a volunteer within two days and connected him to his assigned reader for submission of relevant documents. Finally, Juzer can appear for the examinations and is currently preparing for the same.

While Juzer’s issue was successfully resolved, his younger brother Taha had a major setback with his school management. In 2015, Taha took admission in Geeta English and Semi English Medium School in Karjat. Initially, the school management was reluctant to offer admission and insisted his parents to put Taha in a special school for the blind However, the parents managed to convince the school authorities that blind children can avail education from mainstream schools.

As Taha was the only visually impaired student in the entire school, the management was not aware of the facilities provided to such students. Also, due to frequent change of staff members the parents found it cumbersome to visit every teacher and explain their child’s situation repeatedly. At first, Taha had enough vision to write his own paper with extra light conditions. However, in the middle of 2017, his eye condition deteriorated and he was unable to complete his papers within the prescribed time limit. When his parents tried to explain this situation to the Principal, he made an insensitive remark and told the parents that as Taha didn’t face any issue while playing, he was sure that he wasn’t facing any problem in completing the paper. The Principal said Taha was only making up an excuse because he didn’t know the answers.

His parents were taken aback. Not knowing what to do, they contacted Eyeway to seek help and assistance. After analyzing the issue, our counsellors provided them with the ‘MSJE circular on Universal Examination guidelines for candidates with Disabilities’. They explained his parents, that as per the guidelines Taha can take help of a scribe to write his papers and he is also entitled to get 20 minutes extra for the duration of an hour while writing the examinations. After submitting the guidelines to the school, the management has accepted to provide all facilities to Taha and there is no need of visiting the school frequently as well.

Juzer and Taha are more accepting of the advice and support of our counsellors than of their own family members. Eyeway is glad to know that the parents and the clients have maintained their trust and credibility with our intervention for providing information and guidance in all aspects.