Vidhya Y Shares About Vision Empower On The International Day For Women And Girls In Science
“The current generation has over 1.1 million children with visual impairment in India yet in all the generations till now, less than 50 of them have chosen to study STEM subjects beyond high school”, shares Vidhya Y in the panel discussion conducted by World Summit on Information and Society (WSIS) Forum 2022 on the International Day for Women and Girls in Science.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for Development’ community. The Forum provides structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation.
WSIS in collaboration with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organised a talk on ‘Uniting efforts towards equal and inclusive future’ on 11th February 2022 as a part of observing the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To celebrate courageous women and girl leaders, activists, change-makers in STEM, a diverse set of 6 panellists from different countries representing various organisations and initiatives were invited to share their knowledge and experience.
Vidhya Y, the co-founder of Vision Empower was one of the 6 panellists who shared how Vision Empower is making STEM education inclusive and accessible for children with visual impairment in India.
Vidhya shared how her personal experience as a person with visual impairment motivated her to start Vision Empower.
After founding the organisation, in-depth research was conducted in the area of inaccessibility of STEM subjects for children with visual impairment. The research findings motivated Vidhya to first make the content i.e study material accessible through tactile means so a child with visual impairment can touch and understand the visual concepts. The second step was to train the teachers in teaching the accessible content effectively in blind schools. Next was ensuring access to affordable and assistive technology through Technology Portfolio as technology plays an important role in achieving independence for a person with visual impairment by making daily lives easier.
Vidhya also shared how Vision Empower believes in the power of collaborative efforts as the organisation works with the teachers and children with visual impairment starting from the design stage till the implementation. The role of government partnerships, content creation assistance, research collaborations and volunteer support cannot be undermined according to Vidhya as these have played a vital role for Vision Empower in designing an accessible and inclusive ecosystem that is scaling up to 5 states in the country.
There is much hope that the number of children with visual impairment choosing to study STEM would be higher in the near future due to the work Vision Empower is doing in this area.
Tap here to know the insights shared by the panellists!