In July this year, Vision-Aid entered into a partnership with Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, to establish a National Resource Center (NRC) for the visually impaired at Aravind’s main campus in Madurai.
Aravind is the largest, and the most productive eye care system in the world, seeing approximately 1.4 million patients a year, and performing about 200,000 cataract surgeries annually. More than two-thirds of Arvind’s patient base is poor and gets free treatment. The remaining one-third pay reasonable fees which, due to its sheer scale, is enough to sustain, Aravind’s operating cost.Even though Aravind is best known for its primary eye care functions, and cataract surgeries, a lesser known fact is that thousands of patients end up each year in the Low Vision Rehabilitation section, because they have terminal vision conditions that cannot be corrected or cured. Common examples of such visual impairments include macular degeneration, and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Patients sometimes have degenerative conditions which lead to complete blindness over time.
To help Aravind address this monumental challenge, Vision-Aid has been working with Aravind to setup a state-of-the-art National Resource Center (NRC) for persons with vision related disabilities. Aravind has earmarked a dedicated space of approximately 1400 square feet, within its primary hospital, with 7 rooms, and qualified staff.
Vision-Aid is providing Aravind with the funding, equipment, devices, training and expertise to establish the NRC. The NRC programs aim to offer high quality, free and subsidized rehabilitation services, as well as devices for an estimated 1,200 visually impaired persons in the first year , with further expansion likely in future phases.Vision-Aid board members and experts have visited Aravind in August and finalized a strategy and design for the NRC. Currently the space is being remodeled to adapt to Vision-Aid’s new design layout and recommendations. Aravind staff is being trained by Vision-Aid in September,and equipment installation is also planned in September.
The first phase of this resource center is slated to open on October 1, 2018 – which coincidentally marks the 100th centenary celebrations of the remarkable life of its legendary founder Dr. Venkata Swamy (Dr. V). As the project expands into future phases, Vision-Aid plans to expand the work to include several different elements of the Vision-Aid model which has 13 different elements as outlined below.
We warmly invite any Vision-Aid family of supporters who lives in or around Madurai to visit Aravind for the inaugural function on October 1.
We thank you for your support and good wishes which made this exciting project possible.
Lui Braille Blind School , Agra
The Vision-Aid Resource Center at Agra was launced in 2017. This new Vision-Aid center at the Lui Braille Blind School will bring to the residents of the Louis Braille School, a range of capabilities, which will open up the digital world to them. The center includes new computers, software and network infrastructure, along with distance learning capabilities which will allow the students in the blind school to access a variety of training programs offered by Vision-Aid. While today’s launch marks a significant milestone, it is just the start of an exciting journey for the Vision-Aid team and the visually impaired students at Agra.
Vision-Aid will train the teachers at the Louis Braille Blind School, working jointly with them to offer a range of education. It will include basic computer education, advanced computer courses, Spoken English courses and an orientation to MOOC’s like edX and Coursera, which will open up a wide range of digital learning opportunities for these students.
It should be noted that until now, the students at this school neither had access to computers or the internet, and this new resource center will be a transformative experience for most of them as they begin to realize the power of digital learning and the internet. The resource center will also offer innovative, low cost assistive technology solutions, and offer opportunities to the students at Louis Braille Blind school to connect with Vision-Aid’s network of mentors and job-placement programs such as our hackathons.
The Vision-Aid team is very grateful to its sponsors Vivek and Vandana Sharma for enabling the creation of a new Vision-Aid center. The centre will help in bringing valuable programs to an under-served community of visually impaired students, enabling them to live with independence and dignity. The Vision-Aid team also thankful to their technology partners in India, Gyanmantra of New Delhi for their support in "powering" the project with their technical expertise and implementation support.
Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
The Ahmadi School for the Blind in Aligarh is one of India’s oldest blind schools, being established in 1927. The school already has a computer training lab. Vision-Aid provides free laptops to the blind students in the school and has provided free training to its teachers using it Train the Trainer program.
Nethra Vidyalaya, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
In 2017, Vision-Aid started specialized computer training programs at Nethra Vidyalaya, a non-profit, which provides education for blind in India and is a part of the Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET). Nethra Vidyalaya provides educational programs from primary level to high school, junior & senior college, where hundreds of blind students are being trained every year. Vision-Aid and Nethra will establish a new training facility where Nethra’s students can learn from Vision-Aid’s standardized computer curriculum as well as take advantage of VisionAid’s specialized education in Computer Programming
and Spoken English.
Shankara Netralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
In 2017, Vision-Aid established a partnership with Sankara Netralaya to offer free assistive devices to non-paying (needy) patients in their low vision clinic at Chennai. The Vision-Aid Shankara Netralaya fund will provide free devices to hundreds of patients every month.
Vision-Aid Charitable Services Society based in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is Vision-Aid's nodal partner. It manages and operates the first dedicated Computer Center for the visually impaired in Vizag and also supports satellite computer training centers in the smaller surrounding towns of Vizianagaram, Parvathipuram, Chodavaram Madhuravada and Yendada for the benefit of the visually challenged persons living in those places.
VisionAid Charitable Services Society (VACS) is registered under the Societies Registration Act of India and is approved under section 12A of the Indian Income Tax Code. Donations to this organization are eligible for tax exempt deductions under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Code.
VACS, Visakhapatnam has a dedicated and qualified team of professionals who serve at the center in exchange for a modest remuneration. Most of them take on this role in addition to their other full-time careers because they believe they are making a positive difference in the lives of the visually impaired persons who are referred to the Center.
President Of Vision Aid India M.S. Raju Tests Software On A Computer Screen
Student Instructed on Computer at Vizag
Vision Aid Staff With Students
Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Centre is a partner of Vision-Aid.
Susrut is a “Centre of Excellence in Eye Care”.
In the 10 years of journey, Susrut Eye Foundation has proved itself as one of the best tertiary eye care institute in Eastern India with all modern facilities. Vision-Aid and Susrut entered into a partnership in 2008 to provide low cost, low vision devices to the visually impaired population of Eastern India.
Behala Screening Camp Chart
Behala Screening Camp Patient
Behala Screening Camp Patients
Behala Screening Camp Patient
Binding Large Print Book
Large Print Book
Students Susrut Thank You Sign
TV Enlarged Writing
Young Students Susrut Sit Lecture
Seva Bharathi - Roman Catherine School for the Blind, Mangalore, India
Seva Bharathi is a registered Trust working for people with disabilities including visually impaired and mentally challenged and supporting them in their efforts to become self-reliant and self-independent. Since its creation in 1991, the trust has implemented 14 projects of Seva Bharathi. One of the projects of Seva Bharathi is “Chethana Child Development Centre” which has been working in Mangalore since 1992 as a Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centre for the Mentally Challenged. In October2009, A new beginning was made with the setting up of a full-fledged school for the children with Blindness of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and surrounding districts.
Seva Bharathi's current focus is:
- Finding children with blindness and low-Vision is often difficult
- Providing Service is difficult because of economic disparity
- Overcoming Difficulty to organize proper services
- Providing a comprehensive effective service delivery model for children is yet to be established in many parts of India