Every year World Braille Day is observed on 4th January to commemorate the birth anniversary of Louis Braille – inventor of the Braille code. The worldwide event helps in spreading the importance of Braille and creating awareness.
India is home to the world’s largest number of blind people with 60 million individuals across the country; an additional 30,000 being added every year. Out of this, only 5% of the total population of blind children receives an education. The number reduces further in higher education
While there are many institutes that offer courses to learn Braille in India, there is a dearth of teachers for special education and also the availability of assistive technology to the masses.
Some of the government institutes that provide education specifically for the visually impaired include:
- National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (Divyangjan) (NIEPVD)
- National Association for the Blind (India)
A complete directory of institutes can be found at Information Technology for the Visually Impaired
If teaching students with special needs is your area of interest then you can consider looking at these courses:
|B.Ed. in Special Education (Visual Impairment)||Arunachal University Of Studies|
|Durgabai Deshmukh College of Special Education|
|B.Ed. in Special Education (Visual Impairment – Mathematics)||Banaras Hindu University|
|M.Ed. in Special Education for Visual Impairment||Alagappa University|
|Diploma in Special Education (Visual Impairment)||Ashtavakra Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences And Research|
|Poona School And Home For Blind|
|National Institute for the Visually Handicapped|
|National Association for Welfare of the Physically Handicapped – NAWPH|
|Montfort Centre for Education|
Courses for Special Education for the visually impaired is regulated and monitored by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). If one chooses a course in special education then opt for courses/ institutes/ training programmes that have been cleared by RCI.
Not interested in teaching?
While teaching is the most opted career when it comes to helping the visually impaired, one can look at other career options that can assist the visually impaired. These include:
- Designing for visually impaired
- Developing assistive technology
- Transcribing course materials into Braille
How can one help the visually impaired while being a student?
Why not volunteer to be a scribe? All visually impaired students require scribes to read out questions for them and write the answers for them. But a lot of these students suffer due to unavailability of volunteers and even many scribes dropping out at the last minute. Additionally, there is a lack of scribes that are available to write in regional languages. There are countless NGOs that are seeking volunteers to fill the gap of student: scribe ratio.
Who can be a scribe?
According to Suresh V. Nadagoudar, Registrar (Evaluation) at Bangalore University, “The scribe has to be a junior to the person taking the examination, if he or she belongs to the same stream. This is not mandatory if they are studying in a different course.”
Know a friend that is interested in specializing in Special Education? Download GoCheck App and help them search for the best programs that the country has to offer.
Also published on Medium.