Living with visual impairment can be very difficult to deal with. It has multidimensional implications on a person’s quality of life – physical, functional and psychological. It also poses challenges related to education, employment, socialization and use of technology. Some experience intense emotions like anger, shock and denial. Timely counseling and proper guidance play an integral role in helping them develop a positive attitude and enhance their functional ability, thus preparing them to cope with the day to day challenges that they face. Our counselors with their rich professional knowledge understand the needs of people with vision loss and provide them proper guidance taking into consideration their individual strengths, capabilities and future plans. They also educate them on the various services offered at LVPEI, government concessions, and the various assistive devices available for people with visual impairment.
In today’s technologically advanced society it is more or less impossible to complete education, let alone gain meaningful employment without basic computer literacy. Computer assistive technology enables people with visual impairment to access variety of information, complete their tasks more efficiently and independently, achieve higher levels of academic and professional excellence, and thus achieve higher levels of financial independence.
The Assistive Technology resource centre offers training to persons with visual impairment to use computers through a wide range of assistive devices like Screen Reader and Screen Magnifiers such as Job Access with Speech (JAWS), MAGic, Kurzweil 1000, Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), Window-Eyes, etc.
Special features of the computer training lab
Accessibility to assistive software to best suit the trainee’s requirement
Structured curriculum include training on MS office package, Internet, Email, Social media, e-commerce, video calling and Tally
Individualized assessment, training and evaluation
Adequate and convenient time schedule
One-on-one instruction from highly committed and experienced professionals
An organized, safe and stimulating environment
Combined with supportive classes such as spoken English, personality development, mock interview drill, etc., for job readiness
Free study material, handouts to the clients and professionals
Continuous follow-up for educational guidance and job placement
Currently we have two computer training centres in LVPEI for the visually challenged. The first centre was started in Hyderabad in 2011 with the generous support of Tech Mahindra Foundation. A similar centre was started in Visakhapatnam in 2014 by Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) – Employee giving campaign.
Low vision is described as functional vision loss that cannot be corrected by spectacles, contact lenses or medical interventions such as surgery, and makes everyday tasks difficult. Low vision does not mean blindness but significantly reduced vision loss. For persons with visual impairment first a thorough assessment of their functional vision is done. Based on the assessment they are trained by qualified and experienced professionals to use their residual vision to the optimum and live as much as independent life as possible. The key components of the training are – visual awareness, orientation and mobility, improved concentration level, independent living skills and socialization skills. They are also prescribed low vision devices (both optical and non optical) based on their needs and are trained on how to use and take care of these devices.
Vocational Guidance and Job Placement
Based on individual requirements, the centre offers the below support services
Schemes and Concessions: The government of India has announced various schemes and concessions for the persons with disability related to travel, education, financial, communications, and employment. The counselors at vision rehabilitation centre, guide people with visual impairment on the various government schemes and benefits that they can avail. L V Prasad Eye Institute also has the authority to issue the disability certificate for those who have irreversible vision loss after confirming their visual status, visual acuity and age.