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.
Update December 2021:
At the Dr. R.S.Ayyar Vision-Aid center in Pune
We are really delighted to report that The Dr. Ayyar Vision-Aid center, at Pune, became the latest location where smart phones were distributed this week, in a joint event hosted by Vision-Aid, our partner Community Eye Care Foundation (CECF) and the Rotary Club of Pune. Our grateful thanks to the Saigal family - Anil Saigal Ranjani Saigal Parvathy Ayyar and the extended family for their support for the Ayyar Vision-Aid center in Pune in the honor of the late Dr. R.S.Ayyar, former Dean of IIT-Bombay. The Indian Express covered the event:
At the Lachhman Dass Gupta Vision-Aid Center in Delhi
Vision-Aid celebrated the #InternationalDayofPersonswithDisabilities, in Delhi at the Gupta Vision-aid Center at Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, with the launch of the new program which enables the visually impaired with life changing technology and training! Our sincere thanks to Ram Gupta & Meetu Gupta for their support and all team members in Vision-Aid and Shroff for making such programs possible.
The Financial Express covered the event:
At the Vision-Aid Vizag Center
Vision-Aid's center at Vizag also joined the rollout with devices being distributed to visually impaired students in the Vizag region, who now embark on their exciting learning journey!
Next in line is Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai and Voluntary Health Services in Chennai.
Update November 2021:
Vision-Aid Centers across India are celebrating Diwali this year by lighting up smart phones to brighten up the lives of the visually impaired.
Smart phone companies have poured a lot of money into creating very powerful technology in today's devices, and there are many sophisticated mobile apps freely available to the trained user which can have a life-changing impact on them. These apps range from AI-based apps which can help blind users see objects around them, to navigation apps which can help them navigate safely, as well as learning apps which can help them connect to a range of digital resources for learning and education. Through such apps, smart phones can become like constant personal companions helping to enable, educate and empower the blind and visually impaired to live with independence and dignity.
Participants are screened carefully based on both need (all of them are from under-privileged backgrounds) and aptitude – i.e. their potential ability to use smart phone technology effectively.Here are a few glimpses from roll out’s this past week.
The Palakurthi Vision-Aid Center in L.V.Prasad Eye Inst. in Hyderabad
This became the first location in the All India roll-out. The photos above shows Volunteer President of Vision-Aid India (Dr. Col. Sitaram) and Board member (Mr. Y.V.Ramana) with the beneficiaries and the entire LVPEI Vision Rehab team.
The Nethra Blind School in Vizag
The Nethra Blind schools in Vizag and Hyderabad have been long-standing partners of Vision-Aid, serving poor and rural children and youth from rural areas, with high-quality, free education (K-12 plus college). The photo shows our Vizag team with the students and the Nethra team, at the ceremony.
Sankara Nethralaya’s in Chennai
Sankara Nethralaya (SN) has been a trusted long term partner for many years, and the smart phone distribution event was attended by the entire SN leadership team, Low Visoin/Rehab and Vision-Aid India team in Chennai. The news report from the Indian Express and Hindeu provide good coverage of the event.
Click on the following link to see the article in The Hindu
The Vandana & Vivek Sharma Vision-Aid Resources Center in Agra
Around 20 blind students from the Agra region were happy to receive their devices, and commence their training with Vision-Aid. The members of the center were delighted to have Vandana Sharma at the event!
Vision-Aid sincerely thank everyone who has made this wonderful, life-changing program possible including the donors who donated smart phones,the team members and volunteers. May these smart-phones and the technology they contain lighten up the lives of many visually impaired in this festival season!