I for Inclusion

Dates: 20th May to 22nd May 2019
Timings: 9:00am – 5:30 pm
Venue: R109, Ramanujan Block, IIIT Bangalore, 26/C Electronics City, Hosur Road, Bangalore 560100

This unique workshop will focus on essential skills to be acquired by teachers, mentors and friends of visually impaired persons, especially while teaching them Science and Math. The training will be conducted by associates from Xavier’s Resource Center for the Visually Challenged, Mumbai who specialize on awareness building and designing solutions to meet the pedagogical needs of this community.

Workshop : Early Intervention and Access to Education at APD

The workshop , “Early Intervention and Access to Education ”  held at The Association Of People With Disability (APD) was intended to create a more inclusive education system in India through culture, policies and, best practices.

Supriya and Vidhya participated in the workshop along with stakeholders such as students, special educators, inclusive schools and other disability NGO’s, to understand the challenges that children with disabilities face related to early intervention and education’.

ApD workshop

Challenges of VI persons Studying STEM

Vidhya spoke about the challenges of VI persons studying STEM , lessons from her personal journey and in an event organized by the Blind Graduates Forum of India, conducted by XRCVC, Mumbai and supported by Sight Savers. She shared information about the various Vision Empower initiatives, and the rationale behind the educational programs and the technology research portfolio at VE.

HPE’s Aruba wireless infrastructure deployed at IIITB Innovation Centre

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced that, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility efforts under its Living Progress program, the company has deployed end-to-end wireless infrastructure from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company at the I-MACX Studios located at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B) Innovation Centre in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

CRN India Reports…

HPE’s Aruba wireless infrastructure deployed at IIITB Innovation Centre
HPE’s Aruba wireless infrastructure deployed at IIITB Innovation Centre
HPE’s Aruba wireless infrastructure deployed at IIITB Innovation Centre
HPE’s Aruba wireless infrastructure deployed at IIITB Innovation Centre

Conversational Interfaces (Voice, Bots) for Good

RISE (Research and Innovation, Society & Entrepreneurship) Feb 15 2019 intended to showcase IIITB’s focus & contribution across these dimensions. Vision Empower took part in the Roundtable on “Conversational Interfaces (Voice, Bots) for Good”

Pragya VE Teacher Training Program – 2019

Dates: February 7 & 14

The third trimester teacher training program for teachers of Science and Math for Class 5 as part of VE-Pilot project was conducted at Sree Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind, CA-1B, Cross, 3rd J P, 3rd Phase, JP Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560078

Pragya Teacher Training from VE - Feb 2019
Pragya Teacher Training from VE - Feb 2019
Pragya Teacher Training from VE - Feb 2019
Pragya Teacher Training from VE - Feb 2019
Pragya Teacher Training from VE - Feb 2019

Inclusive STEM Hackathon 2019

Jan 19-21, 2019.The second edition of Inclusive STEM Hackathon 2019 was organized at IIITB in collaboration with our partners IStem, XRCVC and IIITB. Blind and visually impaired developers, industry professionals and CS students came together to work on exciting and challenging problems.

Pragya : VE Teacher Training Program 2018

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

Partners: Matruchhaya – Canara Bank Relief and Welfare Society


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 2018 – Edition 1

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.