The COVID-19 pandemic has brought dramatic if not drastic changes to our daily lives. But, lockdown and social distancing norms have impacted blind and visually impaired students adversely. It is extremely difficult to meet the learning requirements and manage the education of such students. 

We can mention two primary reasons for this situation. One, the traditional ways of teaching are disrupted due to mandatory social distancing. Two, blind or visually impaired students find it hard to cope with the online education method. What makes the matter worse is the remote locations of students. 

Thankfully, many NGOs for visually impaired people have lent a helping hand for continuing inclusive education of blind children. With the holistic approach for educating children with visual impairment (CWVIs), these NGOs aim to promote a positive environment in schools, homes, and communities. 

Availability of assistive devices, accessible educational material, infrastructure accessibility, and compensatory skills training are some of the effective ways to make education accessible for blind students in this pandemic age. 

How Does Technology Help in Continuing Education amid Lockdown?

Unlike other students, blind or visually impaired students cannot participate actively in the online education program. Advancing technologies can remain helpful for them through ICT (Information and Communication Technology) devices. 

Necessary aids and appliances like Braille Kits and other devices along with ICT devices like mobile and laptop can enable NGOs to establish Inclusive Education (IE) program for CWVIs. 

On one hand, ICT and other devices are useful for training visually impaired children, and on the other hand, trained personnel give regular support. 

The Digital Learning Empowerment Centre (DLEC) controls the entire IE program by provisioning ICT and other necessary study materials for visually impaired or blind children along with their learning assessment. 

Also Read: Top Ways NGOs Can Help The Blind And Visually Impaired People

Challenges related to mobility and lack of access to the conventional educational environment are posing a great threat for blind and visually impaired students amid lockdown. 

It is quite possible that social distancing norms can lead to a kind of self-isolation while supporting marginalization for such students. In such a situation, tele-education mode seems a viable solution to help visually impaired students who live in remote villages. 

IE programme is combined with a tele-education approach for continuing the curriculum-based education for CWVIs even during the lockdown period. The entire program has enhanced the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) skills of visually impaired students. 

It becomes possible because of the higher use of smartphones, basic phones, and laptops. Textbooks are in the e-pub format in some ICT devices for these students. The focus remains on teaching visually impaired students as per their regular curriculum through online or telephonic education. 

eNetra Foundation is a reputed NGO in India for blind people. We are committed to serving blind or visually impaired students, blind artisans, and people with degenerative eye diseases. 

Our dedicated volunteers and donors are our real strength to reach more visually impaired people across the nation. Join our mission to give independent and wholesome life to blind and visually impaired people by combining human effort and assistive technology.   


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