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Vision-Aid's Collaboration with Sankara Nethralaya is making a huge impact

Vision-Aid is proud to report that it's successful collaboration with Sankara Nethralya, Chennai is having a impact on the community. Vision-Aid’s collaboration with the Low Vision Clinic at Sankara Nethralaya/Medical Research Foundation started in July 2017. The goal was to provide free and subsidized low vision devices to the visually impaired “non-paying” patients.

The collaboration has benefited 530 patients the past 2.5 years. The graph below illustrates the number of patients serviced across each quarter with Vision-Aid funds.

People Served by Vision-Aid Funds
Of those 530 patients  - 242 received spectacles, 527 received optical aids and 15 received non-optical aids. The graph above illustrates the service provideed across each quarter, reported thus far.

Vision-Aid pioneered the establishment of the Vision-Aid Resource Center at Sankara Nethralaya in January of 2019.  This clinic is revolutionary in its ability to serve the visually impaired focusing on vision rehabilitation. It's enabling the visually impaired to benefit from services beyond just being provided with corrective spectacles or optical aids.

The various services offered are:

  • orientation and mobility training (O&M)
  • assistive technology training
  • visual skills and device use training
  • early intervention/visual stimulation
  • counselling services to enable social, educational, vocational, and emotional well-being.
Participants per service

Vision-Aid has impacted the quality of lives of 179 patients in just 9 months of starting the resource center.  In the the statistics above, the panel on the left illustrates the number of patients who received services for various aspects of vision rehabilitation and the panel on the right enumerates the number of sessions provided for each services. In all an impressive 492 sessions averaging about 3.23 session per working day in the last 6 months was provided by the Vision Resource Center at Sankara Nethralaya.

Mobility training
Orientation and Mobility training helps the visually impaired to learn how to safely navigate their visual environment. The picture above shows two patients who are deaf and blind due to a condition that affects their hearing from infancy and causes vision to slowly deteriorate over the years.  The photos shows patients at the Vision-Aid Resource Center at Shenoy Nagar in Sankara Nethralaya undergoing Orientation and Mobility training that helps the visually impaired navigate the environment at and around the center.

Tools for early intervention

Early intervention and visual stimulation is an evolving area that offers services to infants and children who are expected to have visual challenges due to being born premature, birth related complications such as a stroke or born with genetic and congenital anomalies that causes deficits in how they see and use visual information around them.  A functional vision evaluation by the provider helps understand current visual status and develop tools and recommendations on how to improve visual efficiency and residual vision. Many of these patients have significant developmental delays affecting multiple sensory and motor systems like speech and gross and fine motor skills. Early interventions help these children to use their visual system to best capacity and counsel and guide parents in enabling these children develop prime visual potential. The photo above illustrates tools that are used to assess vision and visual status.

 

Overall, an impressive amount work is being done for the visually impaired in Vision-Aid Resource Center. Vision-Aid looks forward to more trailblazing work by the team at Sankara Nethralaya and Vision-Aid. This project is still young and growing, but making continuous strides every quarter, so the impact is expected to increase significantly over time. 

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