Technological intervention

Blind by birth, 23 -year-old Vinayak from Karnataka has braved many odds to compete in the upcoming Common Entrance Test (CET), so he can pursue his dream of becoming a Biotechnology Engineer. He relied on his friends to read and research study material for his preparation.

From a young age, Vinayak was inclined towards Science. However, visually impaired students are often discouraged from opting for Science after Class 8 as teachers are ill-equipped to teach such disciplines. Victim of such a bias, he was denied admission in Class 11.

Vinayak refused to let his disability become his shortcoming and kept applying elsewhere. Fast forward to today, he has completed his Class 12 securing 75% marks.

Given his lack of sight and family’s vulnerable financial condition, Vinayak’s zeal and motivation alone was not enough to pursue his aspirations. Eyeway identified a basic computer and life skills training programme that could help him become independent for ease of education as well as to increase his chances of employment.

However with the Coronavirus outbreak, all such trainings switched to the online mode, rendering Vinayak helpless, as he could not afford assistive devices to access these programmes.

Gadgets like computers and smartphones that seem ordinary to sighted individuals are life-changing assistive devices for students like Vinayak. Using a computer or smartphone enabled with a screen reading software, not only gives them access to a whole new world of online learning but also enables them to become self –reliant and confident in every aspect of life.

Eyeway explored ways to help Vinayak and succeeded in connecting him to a local organisation that offered the desired resources. Bangalore based NGO, Help the Blind Foundation provided Vinayak with a laptop along with screen reading software to enable him in continuing his learning.