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Vision-Aid's Presence Felt At National Conference on Technology for the Visually Impaired

On January 11th, a major all-India seminar was held on the theme of “Technology-based devices for persons who are visually impaired”. The event was attended by over 60 participants representing eye hospitals and NGOs from different parts of India. The keynote sessions was presented by Aravind Eye Hospital, L.V. Prasad Eye Inst., Vision-Aid and Smart Health Global Technologies – Vision-Aid’s partner who is bringing the first AI-powered , affordable, India-made Smart glasses to the Indian market. The event covered technology in general, with a focus on the new AI-powered smart glasses, and a formal launch of Smart Vision Gen 2.0.

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Diwali update

Smart phones - a major enabler for the visually impaired!

Vision-Aid and Trees For Life India are joining hands to provide life-changing Smart-phone technology to visually impaired from under-privileged backgrounds. In 2021 , we started with a pilot which covers ten locations, and the results have been phenomenal. 

About the program

Smart phone companies have poured a lot of money to pack smart technology into today's devices and there are many innovative apps (including AI based apps) which can totally transform the life of a blind or visually impaired user. Our dedicated volunteers and team members in US and India have been hard at work, coordinating the logistics of this multi-location rollout. A matching grant from Trees For Life Foundation doubles the impact with every donation to the program being doubled. With your love and support, we are sure we can keep growing this program in 2022.

Visually Impaired beneficiaries are carefully selected based on both need (i.e. under-privileged backgrounds) and aptitude - i.e. their ability to learn and utilize the devices and training optimally to get the most benefit.

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Smart Vision Device

Smart Vision Device Launched

Vision-Aid has entered into a collaboration with Smart Health Global Technologies (P) Ltd, Bengaluru and Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai to assemble a revolutionary new device called Smart Vision. This device uses Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision to help the visually impaired “see”. 

The first prototype of the Smart Vision has been already tested by Aravind Eye Hospital, (AEH) Madurai, LVPEI Hyderabad, and others and feedback given for improvements has been incorporated. 

The release of the 2nd Generation of the device with significant upgrades is ready! A launch  event is planned at Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai  in January 2022. The event will be co-sponsored by Aravind, Vision-Aid, SHG and Rotary in Chennai with participants from many locations expected. 

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Kids Reading with devices

St.Joseph's Blind School, Madurai, onboards to Project Spring Board

Helen Keller once said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”. Doubly blessed are those who have both sight and vision and help to break the barriers to learning for the blind. Ms. Ranga Geetha of Millbury MA is one such visionary. Celebrating her 72nd birthday on 19th November, 2021, in a very special and meaningful way – by making a commitment to help improve the welfare of visually impaired students in a blind school in Madurai, India, by giving them the gift of technology and learning through her support of Vision-Aid’s Project Spring Board. Through her gift, Ms. Ranga Geetha is “adopting” one of the blind schools in Vision-Aid’s “Project Spring Board” network - St. Joseph's Blind School in Madurai, Tamil Nādu.

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A long distance relationship that is thriving!

As we look back at 2021 there are many bright spots to celebrate amid the dark clouds of COVID. One of the brightest spots was - Vision-Aid's Digital Accessibility Testing and Training Center (DATTC). This is one of Vision-Aid's most successful initiatives - Truly a Win-Win-Win-Win for all invovled!

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Update December 2021: Vision-Aid joins hands with RLF to improve access to STEM

Vision-Aid has joined hands with Raised Line Foundation (RLF), a startup coming out of IIT-Delhi, to improve access to STEM education with tactile braille books for students with visual impairment. Currently most of the braille books available to blind students do not have diagrams and other rich content which makes science and math education more easily understandable and accessible to blind students.The new initiative introduces much improved, quality of STEM books with tactile diagrams and rich content and helps to level the playing ground for them to compete with their sighted counterparts in regular schools.

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Vision-Aid students making waves

Months and months of hard work by Vision-Aid's students and their dedicated mentors are paying off. 

  1. Four of Vision-Aid's visually impaired students have successfully cleared the Indian Banking Exam Prelims with flying colors. Two of these students are part of the Palakurthi Center at LVPEI. The other two are from the Maskati Scholarship program.
  2. Two students from the Vision-Aid Corporate Skills Development Program have secured jobs in leading private sector companies with competitive salaries. 

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Vision-Aid annual event dazzles, drawing over 1400 viewers!

Vision-Aid scaled new heights in their 2021 annual event this year on August 1st. All prior records were broken. With over 1400 viewers tuning in from all over the US and other countries , a spectacular "Better than Broadway" production staged by an amazing team of talented Producer, Artistic directors and Volunteers Dancers, and generous support from donors, seamless efforts from a large team of volunteers - it all came together beautifully. Vision-Aid is grateful to each and every person who helped to make their annual event be such an amazing, grand success. The support ensures many valuable programs for the visually impaired in the coming year.

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Vision-Aid Maskati Scholars Graduate

The virtual graduation of Vision-Aid students from the Maskati scholarship program in Vizag, was a bright ray of hope and good cheer, in an otherwise very challenging time. Even though several Vision-Aid family members are seriously impacted by COVID, either directly or indirectly, everyone came together to celebrate this joyful, memorable and magical event, which helped us focus on positive things which we can continue to do despite the pandemic. Congratulations to all graduating students, and bravo to all team members who worked so hard despite being affected by the pandemic, for putting togehter this deeply inspiring event.

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