As the college admission season begins shortly, Xento Systems Pune, in association with National Association for Blind Satara, organized a “Career guidance workshop for visually challenged individuals” on Saturday, 20th May 2017. This event aimed to spread awareness about the different career paths that blind students can choose. The workshop was attended by over 40 visually challenged individuals, in the age group of 15 to 35 years.
Visually challenged students, especially in remote areas, have very poor access to good quality education. Even with the RTE Act and reservation quota, they may get admission in a nearby college, but do not truly receive knowledge the way sighted individuals do. Colleges and universities lack proper study material in the form of braille or audio books, as is required by them. Their computer labs are not equipped with required softwares such as screen reading software, which assist a blind student to use computers today. It is definitely difficult for a blind student to cope with the syllabus at the pace that it is taught and they may require extra classes, but there are no coaching classes available for them.
Even though a lot of innovation and advancements in technology has been made for VI individuals, there is a definite lack of knowledge of these facilities to both individuals and institutes. The aim of the workshop hence was to motivate and push students, especially those who have just completed their 10th or 12th exams, towards good careers, with facilities available in Pune.
Informative sessions were given by representatives from well-established organizations of Pune who are working towards education and rehabilitation if VI individuals. All our speakers who were visually challenged themselves, included Mr. Shantanu Ladkat from Poona Blind Men’s Association Technical Training Institute, Mrs. Sakina Bedi from NFBM’s Jagriti Schoool for blind girls and Ms. Sonali Pathare and Ms. Monica Randive from Niwant Andh Mukta Vikasalay.
The participants also had a Q&A session and an opportunity after the workshop to directly interact with our speakers. Interested students will be contacted by Xentian volunteers and Xento Systems will help sponsor their further education.