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This institute provides IT vision to the impaired-DQWeek Chennai Edition- by Rashida Bakait

Date on which testimonial was published:
4 Dec 2001

This institute provides IT “vision” to the impaired

When most computer institutes are turning their backs on the visually impaired, Voice Vision India seems refreshingly different. Though the institute offers Web-designing and basic computer courses, the reluctance on the part of tech firm to employ visually impaired students only reflect the flawed policies of the Indian IT sector towards handicapped persons.

MUMBAI: They are visually impaired but the voice software installed in their computers, assist their fingers in keying the words on the computer. Though deprived of sight, their creativity reflects through the sites they have built independently. Welcome to Mumbai’s first computer institute for the visually impaired – Voice Vision India – where people suffering from impaired or poor vision are exposed to the emerging trends in the field of IT. Established in April 2000, the premier institute introduced Web-designing course for “special” people in November 2000. Since its inception, six visually impaired candidates and three persons with poor vision have been imparted in basic computer and Web-designing course, respectively. But what makes the institute stand apart from other organizations, is that it has not received financial assistance from any trust and is run by Voice Vision India’s director Arti Bubna, who suffers from cataract.

Though the disease deprived her of vision, it did not diminish her enthusiasm to get well versed with the current trends in technology, which ultimately made her to choose a career in the field of computers. But finding an institute to do a computer course was no easy task as several reputed training institutes refused to admit her.

Finally she found an institute for the blind in the US and completed a correspondence course in computers. It was also a tremendous urge to do more for the impaired that finally convinced her to open an institute exclusively for the visually impaired. Presently the institute runs on the financial assistance provided by her father and the revenue gained in terms of fees.

But the absence of job guarantees, like those provided by other training institutes, has severely dented the prospects of students passing from the institute. The result is that response from students has been far from encouraging. But with more such enthusiasts hoping to pursue a career in the field of computers she expects a good response from students. FYBA student Rajesh Mehta agrees and says: “At first I was apprehensive about my future. But with the encouragement I received, I now hope to make a career in the field of IT.”

However his hopes will remain a dream unless the IT sector, opens up to the visually impaired. Though job guarantee encourage more visually impaired to join such courses, the reluctant on the part of tech firms to employ visually impaired students, reflect the indifference and the generally flawed policies of the IT sector, she added.

The main purpose of the institute is to assist visually impaired students in pursuing a career in IT field. But this is possible only if training institutes, such as Voice Vision India, can provide placements guarantee to such students after the completion of the course, very much like those provided by NIIT and Aptech.

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