Braille keytops helped go online- Bombay Times- By Roshni Olivera
Arti Bubna life dimmed three years ago when she lost her vision, almost completely, at 24. Not letting her dampen her spirits, Arti enrolled for a correspondence course in computers. She not only grasped the technology well but also set up a computer training institute called ‘Voice Vision,’ specially for the blind and those with low vision. “Computers can open new horizons to make the blind more independent. I have realised its potentials and so I want to help others,” says the 27-years old.
Both her eyes were affected with cataract since birth, and thereby she lost sight: first her right eye at the age of eleven, and despite a series of operations and consistent treatment, the other eye too. A commerce graduate, Bubna had also completed a diploma in administrative management in 1994-95, with the aid of audio-cassettes. In January 1998, she joined the rehabilitation course at National Association for Blind and learnt braille. Around this time, a friend of hers in the US advised her to enrol for a correspondence course in computer with the Hadley School for the Blind in the US, “Till then I knew nothing about computers. However, I actually completed a basic course in three months, in due course, I also found braille keytops from US-manufactured keyboards,” she says. But, while learning computers, she found that leading institutes refused to enrol her and there was no computer training institute for the blind in Mumbai.
“There is a false notion rampant among people that the blind and those with low vision cannot learn how to operate computers, I believe I can change that,” says the determined Arti. After researching a variety of software’s, she came upon a screen reading software called JAWS from US-based Henter Joyce Inc, which after further research, she decided to purchase and subsequently set up ”Voice Vision,” Situated at Goregaon (East), it offers courses that cover Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer 5.0 and Outlook Express 5.0, among others.
They also have a course in web designing. “These courses are conducted with the help of screen reading software. Personal attention is given to each student. We help our students understand the various options and icons in-depth. The course material is provided either in braille or large print as required by the students in every session,” says Bubna, who also plans to start programming courses soon.