Computer Institute for the blind needs assistance of IT companies- DQ Week Madras- By Rahida Bakait
They are deprived of vision software installed in their computer commands their fingers on the keyboard as the words get keyed onto the monitor of the computer. They may be blind or with low vision, but their creativity reflects through the sites they have built on their own.
Mumbai’s first computer institute for the blind people Voice Vision India is one where these people with no vision or low vision are exposed to the emerging world of IT. The institute was established in April 2000 to train blind people. The institute also introduced a web designing course in November 2000.
Says Arti Bubna, director of the institute, “Voice Vision India was the first one to introduce a web-designing course for the blind people”.
Since their inception six blind people in the basic course of computers and three people with low vision have got trained in the web designing course. The institute does not receive assistance from any trust and is run by Arti Bubna who herself suffered from cataract disease. This deprived her of the eyesight and she rendered blind, but her interest in the technology made her choose computers field. So she chose to do a computer course but the going was not easy. As she says, “I approached many reputed training institutes, but they did not have anything for the blind people and refused to admit me.”
Finally, she succeeded and did a correspondence course in computers from an institute for blind people at the US. Then decided to open an institute for the blind people. Presently the institute runs on the financial assistance provided by her father and small earnings from her institute, But, the institute is not getting good response as she says, “The absence of the job guarantee like other training institutes and the less awareness about the institute results in low response from the students.” But she believes that there are enthusiasts who are very keen to learn computers and pursue a career in it.
And Rajesh Mehta, FYBA, a student seems to prove her words as he says, “At first I was very apprehensive about it. But then with encouragement I could do it and now I want to make a career in IT.”
But people like Rajesh could only be able to pursue a career in IT if the IT companies entertain in IT if the IT companies entertain them and give the respectable jobs.
As Arti also puts that job guarantee is very necessary as this will encourage more low vision and blind people to join the course and pursue a career in IT field.
She worries of not getting the assistance of big IT companies for providing placement guarantee to the efficient students of the institute and raises questions about the efficiency of the policies by the IT companies in favour of disabled people.
According to her, the main purpose of the institute was to help blind people to pursue a career in IT field. This she believes would be possible only if her training institute could be able to provide placements to the student after completion of the course like other training institutes. This again is possible and accept such institutes in the ambit of employment. This we hope will be real sense the ‘next big happening thing’ in the IT world.