Vision Empower (VE) is a Not-for-Profit enterprise which empowers children with visual impairment through inclusive education. VE is incubated at IIIT Bangalore.
By Joel P Joseph
The Wire Science
Entrepreneur Christina Wallace wrote in 2015, “for most people – myself included – the default [picture of a scientist] is probably a white man in a lab coat, hunched over a microscope.”
Thanks to many individuals, collectives and movements showing the mirror on racial, gender-based and caste-based discrimination in STEM, this stereotype is slowly changing. However, few still have promoted the inclusion of people with a disability in STEM.
Vidhya Y wins the Special Women Achiever Award 2021 from Xiaomi India for her contributions to empowerment of the community through Vision Empower.
WHY we do what we do
One fourth of the world’s blind population lives in India. In fact, 30% of India’s blind lose their eyesight before the age of 20 and many become blind before the age of five. Given their special needs, children with visual impairment need special resources to have the same opportunities in education as their sighted counterparts. Of the 68% of blind students who go to school, 11.5% eventually drop out (Source : "Population Enumeration Data (Final Population) in Census of India. Derived from here).
While like every other child, a child with visual impairment has the right to education, the current Indian education system and a stark lack of resources leads to majority of blind students being denied the opportunity to learn Science and Math after class 7. Therefore they cannot pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. In the state of Karnataka, of the 45 schools for the blind only one offers these subjects in high school.
A child with visual impairment is debilitated by a ‘wall’ on her road to STEM education.
WHAT we do
Vision Empower seeks to shift the present statistic, making STEM accessible to students with visual impairment.
Srujan : Assistive Technologies
VE has initiated several research projects to design and develop assistive technology to enable students with visual impairment to learn STEM concepts on par with their sighted peers.
WHO We Are
The Empowering Ecosystem
Team VE, along with our partners, collaborate to create accessible content, instruction kits and technologies to assist the teaching and learning of STEM for children with visual impairment.
People at the heart of VE
VIDHYA: Visually impaired since birth, Vidhya overcame immense challenges to become the first blind student to study math at the higher secondary level in Karnataka and the first blind student to pursue a computer science major in her university. She is the motivation behind Vision Empower and aims to break down barriers in STEM education for the blind.
SUPRIYA: an IT professional with over two decades of experience is the powerhouse behind Vision Empower. Her experience in volunteering as a teacher to children with visual impairments since 2015 provided an impetus to conceive Vision Empower.
AMIT PRAKASH: is an Associate Professor at IIIT Bangalore. He actively engages with the notion of inclusion in designing digital technologies and democratizing social systems for his research and consulting endeavours.
Our valuable core team of ADITYA, RAJ, SHILPA, mentors and student interns who help build / steer the vision with more ambitious projects, connects.Know More
Big dreams, great ambitions need superstars to complete the ecosystem. These are our star partners and collaborators.
Make a difference to your life. We have such heartwarming stories to share!
A journey with VE is enriching and rewarding...
Take Maruthu, who enjoys learning/playing along with our 5th grade Prajwal, every saturday at SRMAB, or Nalina who helped with Maria or Biswesh who was a participant in the hackathon.
If you are looking for a meaningful way to contribute to society and wish to join us in this endeavour, we would be more than happy to hear from you! There are myriads of ways you could help us. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU & VE
Volunteer with Us
Students with visual impairment do better in smaller groups and with individual attention. Volunteers like you can play a crucial role in filling the gap and making STEM accessible to students. If you would like to know more about our volunteering opportunities drop us a line at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to talk to you.