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Now a computer training institute for the visually impaired in city – Explocity.com- by Geeta Mangar

Date on which testimonial was published:
24 Nov 2000

“A visually impaired lady lights up lives of her brethren in the IT world”

Mumbai: The visually impaired can now catch up with their other brethren in terms of computer literacy thanks to Voice Vision, a computer training institute for the blind students in suburban Mumbai.

Interestingly, the institute is administered by Arti Bubna, who herself is visually impaired.

The institution was started in April this year. “I was denied admission at the NIIT since I was visually impaired. People underestimate blind persons like us. It was then that I wanted to prove that even blinds are capable of working on computers,” Bubna told explocity.

“With India on the fast track of Information Technology, it is very imperative for even the visually handicapped people to get hands on training in computers. From my childhood I always wanted to learn computers. My aim of starting the institute is to ensure that the blind students I train gets some proper jobs. With the knowledge of computers, the visually impaired can achieve enhance employment and self-employment opportunities,” said Bubna.

After she was denied admission at the institute Bubna, took training from Hadley School for the Blind from USA. “Besides the training my friends and my brother helped me in learning computers with the help of cassettes. My brother had computer training from US. He has helped me a lot.”

So far, there are two computers installed in the institute. Bubna comes from a business family, which deals in automation and voice data conversion systems. With the help of her father and brother she has invested Rs 30 lakh for the institute. The expenses incurred by the institute per month go up to Rs 35,000.

Presently, the institute has nine students who are blind and trained by Bubna herself. The institute is well equipped with the latest hardware. The students are trained with the help of latest Screen Reading Software called JAWS, specially designed by Blind people in a company in USA.

The students are taught using the keyboard through an attached speaker, which spells out whatever is typed. The course materials are provided either in Braille or Large Print as required by the students. The institute charges Rs 5,000 for the course.

“We offer the basic courses like Windows, MS-Dos and Microsoft Excel. We are planning to introduce web-designing courses from next week. My friend, who is a NRI and also blind, will introduce the course. He is an instructor at a computer training institute in US,” said Bubna.

The students attending the institute are thrilled. “I thought I would never be able to learn computers in my life as all my other friends attend the computer classes. I am glad that I am now learning computers,” says Sneha Chandgothia.

“It is not for monetary gains I have started the institute. We attend to each and every student properly and only when he finishes one lesson we start the next lesson,” said Bubna.

Bubna was born with a cataract in both her eyes. Her eyesight steadily declined. She was unsuccessfully operated in the right eye in 1980. The left eye was operated on in 1982 and it was successful. The right eye was again operated on after two years but later her vision started blurring steadily. Ultimately, she lost her vision of the right eye and in 1988 there was a detachment in the retina of her left eye and she turned completely blind.

She completed her studies through Audio cassettes and appeared for her SSC exams. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Commerce and Diploma in Administrative Management from Bombay University.

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