A unique session on STEM education for blind students
Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged-XRCVC was launched in 2003 with the aim of creating an inclusive space. The centre is a part of the prestigious St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai.
Since its inception XRCVC has been working steadfastly as a support provider for students with visual impairments though various awareness programs and training initiatives.
As part of its awareness initiatives, XRCVC is coming together with the Blind Graduates Forum of India-BGFI for a special session.
Blind Graduates Forum of India has also been organizing events and workshops that touch upon vital aspects of life for people with visual impairments. The organization aims to create awareness and empower the blind community.
On 23 March BGFI and XRCVC are presenting a session on STEM education for the blind students.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and these subjects are vital parts of our education system. STEM education is important for the creation of science literacy as it results in innovation and discoveries in technology.
“There is a huge shortage of accessible infrastructure in the country when it comes to STEM education for blind students. Another major issue is the lack of awareness and information about the resources available to students. We need to create awareness so that teachers and visually impaired students can have the information. They can then pursue the STEM subjects and build their careers. “ Amar Jain, Lawyer
Through the session XRCVC aims to create awareness about how the STEM education is made available for students with visual impairments.
Various technologies are employed to make the concepts of Maths and Science accessible for the blind students such as LaTeX.
XRCVC has been working for years in this field and making STEM education an option for students with visual impairments. Rebecca Carvalho, Aditi Shah and Vidhya Yella Reddy will be sharing their insight about STEM education.
While Rebecca Carvalho is a consultant for the Math-Science Access Project with the XRCVC, Aditi Shah is pursuing a Masters in Cyber Security at Georgia Institute of Technology in USA.
Technology has made it possible to do a lot of things for persons with visual impairment which were not initially doable and that applies to pursuing STEM careers as well. Getting on this less travelled path of studying Math and Science can be challenging and a bit overwhelming at times though. Therefore, it is very important that we connect with people who have travelled this path and learn whats out there to make this journey as smooth as possible. Sessions like these can also help a lot of young students to know what is feasible and what is not and thus help them take more informed career decisions when it comes to STEM.Aditi Shah, Cyber Security Student
Vidhya Yella Reddy is the co-founder of Vision Empower a non-profit organization working to provide education to students with visual impairments in science and mathematics. She is currently a research fellow at Microsoft Research India.
These women have been closely involved in STEM education and will educate the participants about why STEM is important.
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