Education and empowerment of visually impaired students for quality education and independent living - CSR Projects India
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last Updated:  21/01/2020

 

Project Pitch By: Saksham Trust

 

Proposed Project Title


Education and empowerment of visually impaired students for quality education and independent living

 

Thematic Area

Promotion of education, special education and vocational skills

Sub Thematic Area

Education Programs

Project Synopsis

Lack of reading and writing resources and tools remains a crucial issue that results in persons with visual impairment having very limited opportunities to study, work, enjoy the culture and fully participate in society. To tackle this issue, active steps have been taken by both the global and national stakeholders, including the adoption of the landmark Marrakesh Treaty (2013), which promotes inclusive publishing. However, even though we have made significant strides in the right direction, multiple challenges remain. Looking at the above-mentioned challenges, SAKSHAM intends to implement an inclusive education project in schools and colleges of Delhi region, which enables students with visual impairment and print disability for education, rehabilitation and welfare for their empowerment and independent living through assistive technology solutions. This includes awareness and sensitization workshops, dissemination of assistive devices loaded with course materials along with hands-on training for making them self-reliant and independent.
 
 
 

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
below INR 0.3 Cr
Proposed Location
Delhi, New Delhi, Lucknow

Key Project Partners
NGOs

Project Status
Proposed
 

Facts

Beneficiary Type (Primary): PWDs
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): PWDs
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 100 - 500 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done
 
 
 

Proposed Project Description

India became the first country to ratify Marrakesh Treaty (2013) and also launched Sugamaya Pustakalaya, an online library for persons with visual disabilities with over 5 lakh books available in accessible formats. Also, various reading software has been developed such as the INDO-NVDA software, which makes computers accessible for visually impaired people.

Even though we have made significant strides in the right direction, multiple challenges remain. Firstly, converting books into accessible formats requires high resources leading to visually impaired students facing a lack of accessible study content in schools and colleges. Secondly, where accessible books do exist on platforms such as Sugamya Pustakalaya, students and faculty are often unaware of the existing resources, which is amplified by the high cost of assistive devices. Finally, even though many schools/colleges have started imparting digital training to students, many continue to be dependent on scribes, thereby increasing their dependency and affecting their ability to read and write independently. This is also accompanied by a lack of incentives for the students to switch to tools that promote independent reading and writing and fear that they may not be able to use the new system. All these factors impact their quality of learning and opportunities to further their academic growth.

Assistive technology devices and infrastructure have been developed to make persons with blindness or low vision completely independent for all their reading and writing needs. Yet, 98% of students in senior school and colleges continue to depend on human assistance for reading and writing.

All government jobs where reservation is being provided are identified assuming that persons with blindness or low vision can read and write themselves using computers. However, students continue to use writers for writing. Thus most persons with blindness or low vision remain unfit for jobs identified for them.

 

Goal

Enabling students with visual impairment and print disability for education, rehabilitation and welfare for their empowerment and independent living.”

 

Objective

Enhancing the capabilities of 200 students to read and write independently, Saksham has developed this proposal for students of high schools and colleges of Delhi region. The project will pursue the following key deliverables based on the factors identified in the background.

 

Deliverables 

  1. Academic content based on curriculum will be converted into an accessible format for the visually impaired students of identified schools and colleges;

  2. Students will be made aware of current resources available for accessible books and will be inducted into the Sugamaya Pustakalaya, thereby gaining access to lakhs of books;

  3. Teachers and faculty who teach students with visual impairment will be provided hands-on training and sensitization workshops by our technical experts;

  4. 50 students will receive a subsidy on the – device, which will have pre-installed reading software thereby promoting independent learning;

  5. Saksham will provide incentives to students and by the end of the project 50 students will switch to reading and writing independently; 

Expected results

  • 200 sight loss and vision-impaired students of high schools and colleges have access to their educational materials and curriculum.

  • 200 students are aware of the resources available for accessiblebooks in online Sugamya Pustakalaya.

  • Teachers and faculty members are more aware of the issues f aced by visually impaired students.

  • 200 students are trained on assistive technology devices.

  • 200 sight loss and vision impaired students are now aware of  the reading contents, assignments and syllabus books that arealready available in online Sugamaya Pustakalaya.

  • 200 students are capable and able to download and do their assignments independently.

  • 50 visually challenged college students received assistive technology devices at subsidized costs.

  • 50 visually impaired students received incentives in the form of credit systems. 

 

Key activities 

  • Identification of schools and colleges in Delhi region where visually impaired students are pursuing education.

  • Need assessment of present gaps in the academic curriculum for visually impaired students.

  • Identification and registration of 200 students of schools/colleges and some teachers/faculty members.

  • Capacity needs assessment of students and teachers/faculty members.

  • Dissemination of assistive technology devices.

  • Capacity building and sensitization of students and teachers/faculty members.

  • Identification of students for incentives, who could read and write independently. 

 

Monitoring and evaluation

The project will be implemented in high schools and colleges in Delhi region with a focus on student-centric approach. A follow up including reading and writing level assessments will be conducted at various stages of the project to ensure that the materials created are suitable for the specific reading stage and to effectively transform the intervention into a sustained habit. During the project period, it will also be ensured that the students are proficient in doing their assignments independently and can link with Sugamya Pustakalaya which is an online library for accessible reading materials for print disabled.

Furthermore, attention will be paid to make sure the views of different stakeholders of the schools and colleges, students and teachers are incorporated into the design of project activities.

 
 

Salient Features

  1. Education through Kit, Content, Conduit and Confidence
  2. Inclusive Education for print disabled students
  3. Enabling the visually impaired students for pursuing higher education through assistive technology solutions.
 

About Saksham Trust

SAKSHAM is a not for profit Trust established in 2003. It is primarily working for 15 years for the education, rehabilitation and welfare for persons with visual impairment and print disability. The sole aim of the trust is to empower persons belonging to this marginalized section of society through a variety of strategies.

Our Mission and vision is to empower communities by creating multiple opportunities for the underprivileged for sustainable social upliftment, thus enabling them to emerge as significant contributors in India‘s growth story.

As a National Award-winning NGO, SAKSHAM has taken up several projects which are provided to the end-users without extra cost. Following this our specific goals are to –


  • Reach out to blind children with multiple disabilities and facilitate them with education. Prepare them to integrate into mainstream school/vocational rehabilitation for economic independence;
    Provide the latest assistive devices and technology solutions to persons with visual impairment and blind so that they can harness their skills and potentials to lead a better life;
    Provide printed matter in an accessible format for the visually impaired persons.
    Reach out to blind children with multiple disabilities and facilitate them with education. Prepare them to integrate into mainstream school/vocational rehabilitation for economic independence;
  • Provide the latest assistive devices and technology solutions to persons with visual impairment and blind so that they can harness their skills and potentials to lead a better life;
  • Provide printed matter in an accessible format for the visually impaired persons.
 
 

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