Onwards and upwards

Twenty-five-year-old Tanmaya is a resident of Karimnagar in Telangana. She started to lose her eye sight gradually after contracting jaundice at the age of two. She somehow managed to get by school, but with deteriorating vision, her difficulties in studying amplified as she reached college.

The significant sight loss left her dependent on her mother who either read out or recorded notes for her. Tanmaya and her family were oblivious to any assistive technology or ways of coping with blindness. A friend directed her to contact the Eyeway Helpdesk.

Tanmaya opened up to our counselor, expressing her desire to gain financial and physical independence. Before she came in touch with Eyeway, she had never heard of a white cane, a common mobility aid used by blind and visually impaired people.

She also shared her ambition to work as a teacher for which she required to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET). During the pandemic, Tanmaya explored some online courses to learn computers using screen reading software. She purchased a computer with her brother’s help but she lacked practical training. The Eyeway counselor shared some effective tips and screen reader commands that enabled her to start exploring the device on her own.

To gain professional expertise, she was recommended to join computer and mobility course at LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad. Using computers to read and write on her own and walking independently with a white cane would boost her confidence. Hence, the counselor persuaded her for rehabilitative training.

Tanmaya was also introduced to some smartphone applications to ease her daily living. For instance, the Google Lookout app is designed for blind people to use the camera and sensors to identify objects and text. Similarly, the new I-Stem app, an OCR based android app helps with documents and audio-video accessibility.

With regular guidance from the team of counselors and subscription to our WhatsApp messaging service, Tanmaya is equipping herself with information that will enable her to take small steps towards integrating into the mainstream.