New Delhi: On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Vision-Aid- an international NGO that works for the welfare of the visually impaired has partnered with Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, one of the largest tertiary eyecare institutes of India based in New Delhi, to provide smartphones to the visually impaired. The programme aims to help the community of visually impaired gain access to assistive technologies through smartphones that can have a life-changing impact on them. Various AI-based applications available in smartphones will help them navigate and connect them to a range of digital education resources thereby opening the doors to sophisticated and freely available mobile applications.
Speaking on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, V.L.Narasimhan, Member Secretary, Vision-Aid India, said, “Through this effort, we are working towards making basic facilities accessible to the people who are in need. We are grateful to Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital for being a part of this initiative and bringing us one step closer to helping more and more people. We believe this program will prove to be a meaningful social development.”
Dr Umang Mathur, Executive Director, Dr Shroff`s Charity Eye Hospital, said, “We believe this programme will be a game-changer and will empower hundreds of visually impaired persons to live a life of independence and self-sufficiency. With the help of technology, the receivers will be able to lead an independent life and we believe with this collaboration we will be able to make day to day activities simpler for them.”
Through this programme, Vision Aid intends to provide a few hundred smartphones over the next few months. The initiative will be implemented in phases, with an initial pilot of Phase 1 whereby 100 smartphones will be distributed, followed by a larger rollout covering a couple of hundred smartphones in Phase 2. Vision-Aid partners with NGO Trees for Life India which provides matching grants for their smartphone programme.
The mobile phone dissemination will be followed by a Mobile Technology training programme to onboard users with the assistive features of the Smartphone, as well as the various applications available. The training will be conducted at the Lacchman Dass Gupta Vision-Aid Resource Center at Dr Shroff Charity Eye Hospital, a resource centre funded by Ram & Meetu Gupta, philanthropists from Boston, USA, who support the Centre in honour of their late father, Lachhman Dass Gupta of Delhi. Following the completion of the training program offered at the resource centre, the beneficiaries have to take a short online assessment conducted by Vision-Aid Academy before they are certified for the same. The Vision-Aid centre offers many other types of innovative training programs and technology resources for the blind and visually impaired.