Vision Empower

We provide accessible solutions for education of the visually impaired.


Coming up

I-Stem Hackathon 2019
January 17-19

Get the details


Supported By:


According to the 2011 Census of India, there are more than 11 lakh visually impaired children in the age group 5-19, 68% of whom attend school, 11.5% have dropped out of school and 20.5% have never attended school. The challenges of education for visually impaired students in India include their large numbers, dispersed distribution, diversity of languages in the country, and education systems across vernacular mediums. Of the visually impaired children that attend school, very few pursue Science and Mathematics beyond seventh grade. There are significant barriers for the visually impaired to pursue Science and Mathematics based courses in India, mainly due to unavailability of simple and effective ways to present mathematical notations comprising of equations, diagrams, and other complex interpretations to the student. Apart from lack of appropriate technology aids for teaching Mathematics and Science, there is also a dearth of teachers in who can train these students on the usage of available technologies.


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Ongoing Research Projects

  • Design of a framework for creating durable sensor based 3D models for teaching of Science.
  • Design of a text to speech reader which can be used by the students for referring to any printed material in English and later in local languages.
  • Design of a refreshable tactile display for displaying essential diagrams in Mathematics and Science text books.
  • Design of a diagram to speech reader which can be integrated with the book reader to help the blind student comprehend the associated diagrams.

Student Reference Material

  • Content of Science and Mathematics textbooks for middle and high school students in accessible formats, such as Braille and e-book (audio/text)
  • Tactile diagrams and models for comprehension of Science and Math concepts.


Vision Empower (VE), incubated at IIITB Innovation Center, Bangalore, is a Not-for-Profit enterprise which will address the problems of inadequate focus on Science and Mathematics in schools for the visually impaired. Team VE aims to make it possible for visually impaired students to pursue the study of Science and Mathematics, with accessibility to content almost on-par with their sighted peers. The motivation for this initiative came from Vidhya Y, a gold medalist in Masters in Digital Society programme at IIITB, who has been visually impaired since birth. Overcoming her immense challenges, she excelled in academics with her grit and determination. She was the first blind student to take a Computer Science major in undergraduate studies in her university. It is her dream that no visually impaired child should. be denied the opportunity to study Science and Mathematics, if they wish to. The VE team will launch projects to provide accessible solutions for education of the visually impaired.

Our Vision

To empower visually impaired children through inclusive education.

Our Mission

VE will make Science and Mathematics accessible to school-going children with visual impairment, at par with that of their sighted peers.

The Pilot Project

Vision Empower will address the needs of content creation for middle school and high school students studying Science and Mathematics in schools for the visually impaired.


Supriya has been in the IT industry for more than two decades in firms such as Wipro, Lucent Technologies and Alcatel Lucent and was the Chief Manager for the Center for Software and IT Management, IIM Bangalore. She has a BTech in Computer Science and Technology from IIEST, Shibpur and a Masters by Research in IT & Society from IIITB.

Supriya Dey

Co-founder and Managing Trustee

Vidhya is the topper and gold medallist of Masters in Digital Society program at IIIT, Bangalore, 2017. She was the first blind student to study Math in higher secondary level in Karnataka and the first blind student to take a Computer Science major in undergraduate studies in her university. She has won numerous awards and scholarships for academic excellence.

Vidhya Y

Co-founder and Trustee

Shilpa Bhat is a software architect with over 17 years of world wide experience in the software industry. She has a Masters degree in Computer Science from University of Michigan, majoring in data science and algorithms.

Shilpa Bhat

Principal Consultant - Technology


Abhijeet Bharadwaj is pursuing M.Sc. In Digital Society from IIIT Bangalore and passionate about building a career in user experience Research and design. He has a B.Tech degree in Instrumentation and Control from Bharati Vidyapeeth college of Engineering, New Delhi (GGSIPU).

Abhijeet Bharadwaj

Pursuing Integrated Masters in Information Technology at International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B). Project: Assessing the degree of inclusivity of the visually impaired persons in the education sector of our country and designing assistive technologies to better this situation. Guide: Professor Amit Prakash.

Mounika Neerukonda

Pursuing Integrated Masters in Information Technology at International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B). Project: Assessing the degree of inclusivity of the visually impaired persons in the education sector of our country and designing assistive technologies to better this situation. Guide: Professor Amit Prakash.

Suprgya Bhushan


Amit Prakash is an Associate Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB). At IIITB, he is also the Convenor of the Centre for IT and Public Policy and is in the core team of the E-Health Research Centre

Prof. Amit Prakash

Dr. Srikanth obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1986, and has a B.Tech (Mech. Eng) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over 28 years of experience in the software industry.

Prof. T K Srikanth

Madhav Rao completed his Masters in Microelectronics from University of Arkansas in 2007 and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama in 2012.

Prof. Madhav Rao


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I-Stem Hackathon 2019

Hackathon Details:

Teacher Training Program

Vision Empower announces the first Teacher training program for Science and Math teachers for the VE-Pilot project between 27th and 29th of June. This will address the content for the first trimester for fifth standard for the Karnataka State syllabus.

Partners:  Matruchhaya - Canara Bank Relief and Welfare Society

27th Cross, Banashankari II Stage
Bangalore 560 070

Timings: 9:45 am to 3:30 pm

TedXIIITBangalore - A Blind Eye's Perspective


Vision Empower and Vividha Trust organized Anubhav – a Science and Math summer camp for children of 5th grade for the visually impaired children in Bangalore from 25th March 2018 to 30th March 2018. The camp, attended by 10 students, provided an out of school learning environment to absorb certain concepts of Science and Math through experiential learning. Along with the classroom activities on Science and Math, the camp included fun and games and outdoor activities such as a visit to an animal petting farm.

Supported by: IIIT Bangalore and Wipro Ltd.

I-Stem Hackathon

I-STEM or Inclusive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a self-advocacy group of individuals with visual impairment, who have chosen to pursue careers in STEM related subjects. On January 20 & 21st 2018, the I-Stem hackathon was held at IIIT BangaIore. It was co-organized by E-Health Research Centre at IIITB, Vision Empower, Vision Aid and Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC). The hackathon highlighted the need to develop awareness in the information technology industry about the necessity to recognize the capabilities of visually impaired programmers and provide the necessary accommodations, so that they may not be denied the opportunity to pursue their chosen occupations.

The twelve hackathon teams comprised of five participants in each team, comprising of two visually impaired programmers, two sighted programmers from the industry and one engineering student from IIIT Bangalore. The twenty five visually impaired participants who came from across the country, are either currently studying at premier institutes such as IITs, NITs, IIITs, NSIT or are working at leading technology companies, government and public sector organizations and other startups. Twenty three sighted engineers from eleven companies including Deutsche Bank, Honeywell, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Mindtree, Oracle, Salesforce, Sasken, TCS, Uber and Wipro participated in the event.

Prof. S. Sadagopan(Director, IIIT Bangalore), Mr. Ajay Seth, IAS (Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Dept., Govt. of Karnataka), Dr. Y.S. Rajan (Honorary Distinguished Professor, Indian Space Research Organization) and Dr. Chieko Asakawa (IBM Fellow) shared their perspectives at the inaugural event.

A panel discussion on “Disability and the Tech Industry: Employment and Product Perspectives” was organized in which representatives of corporate HR practices and Inclusiveness were invited to share their thoughts on the demands and practices in the industry and the necessity of creating inclusive workplaces. The honorable panelists were Mr. Ankit Rajiv Jindal, Dell/Friends for Inclusion, Mr. Karthik Padmanabhan (Google), Ms. Meenu Bhambhani (Mphasis), Mr. P. Rajasekharan (V-Shesh), Mr. Rakesh Paladugula (Adobe Systems/Maxability), Ms. Sonia Sahgal (Microsoft), and Ms. Vidya Rao (Wipro).

Besides informal networking and exchange of ideas between the organizing partners of the event, the hackathon provided a forum for students, academicians and industry practitioners to confer about the challenges faced by the visually impaired in society, and suggest ways to promote STEM education among them. Recruiting managers from several firms joined on both days to interact with the budding engineers and others who are already employed, to understand their needs, capabilities and potential, and to equip themselves to take the first steps in providing for an inclusive workspace. Several visually impaired participants received interview requests during or soon after the event.

The twelve teams presented their creations to the panel of judges comprising of Prof. T K Srikanth, Professor & Faculty-in-charge Computing, IIITB, Mr. George who leads the Economic and Technology Inclusion and Accessibility initiatives at Enable India and Mr. Srinivasu Chakravarthula, Lead Accessibility Consultant, IAAP - International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

Winning teams:

First prize: Rishabh Jain (IIT Roorkee), Rutwik Ravi Teja Vempati (IIT Madras), Aman Datta (Honeywell), Ramakrishna Kulkarni (Wipro), Mayank Senani (IIIT Bangalore) : A product using computer vision and NLP to identify objects in an image, determine relationship between them and return a description of this relationship.

Second prize: Manjot Singh (DPS Gurgaon), Harsha HD (Bangalore University), Abhijit Dasgupta (Honeywell), Sai Krishna (Juniper Networks), Mohammad Khalid (IIIT Bangalore) : A novel inclusive game of snakes and ladders with Harry Potter.

Third prize: Team 4-Kartik Sawhney (Stanford University), Abhishek Agarwal (Securities and Exchange Board of India), Sidharth Raja (Uber), Shashidhar Gurumurthy (Salesforce), Tarun pandey (IIIT Bangalore) : A product for currency identification for the blind which is especially useful after demonetization, since the identifying features to distinguish currency by the blind are no longer available.


Chapter on Assistive Technologies in ICT Trends : United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) created for inter-governmental organizations, available at: OR

CodeTalk: Improving Programming Environment Accessibility for Visually Impaired Developers


Vidhya wins the Namma Bengaluru award for "Rising Star of the Year 2018"

Vidhya wins the Eastern Condiments award for eminent women on International Women's Day 2018

Reebok Fit to Fight Award for Vidhya Y

Tie-Aspire Young Achievers Award for Vidhya Y

Aadhi Aabadi for Vidhya Y


Vision Empower welcomes you to join us and support our operations. Some of the areas where you can help us:

  • Content Development – Create reference material for students and teachers for Science and Math
  • Volunteer – Volunteer with us to support our technology, teaching activities, content development, fundraising
  • PR & Marketing – Help us raise funds for VE projects


Your contribution means a lot to further this cause. To donate towards Vision Empower projects you may reach us at .


098454 09146

Vision Empower

W103 Innovation Center, IIIT Bangalore, 26/C Electronics City, Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560100