Coronavirus-news May 18, 2020
Kerala NGO Chakhshumathi launches online training programme for visually impaired students worldwide
A 60-day online training programme for visually impaired students worldwide has been launched by Kerala-based NGO Chakshumathi. This is as part of the global campaign Lets FICE that aims to remove the barriers blind and low vision students face when it comes to education.
Visually impaired students from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Europe and even the Caribbean islands are among the over 50 participants who have signed up for a 60-day online training programme launched by prominent Kerala NGO Chakhshumathi.
The programme is a part of Lets FICE, a global campaign that aims to remove the barriers faced by students with blindness, low vision and print disability. Engineers and developers at Google, BookShare, University of Birmingham, Progressive Access, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Daisy Forum of India are supporting the programme.
Global campaign to end inaccessibility barriers
The aim of the campaign is to create awareness about the importance of assistive technologies in education and the daily life of people with visual impairments and print disabilities. The first batch has started and registrations are open for the second batch. The sessions are in English and all participants need is knowledge of basic English and keyboard orientation.
Chakshumathi is the first agency to focus and popularise assistive technology in the state of Kerala. It started as a Daisy Resource Centre to popularise reading among the print disabled and produced numerous accessible books in the Malayalam Language. The agency has slowly started narrowing their activities of blind empowerment to focus on quality meaningful effective education for the visually impaired students with focus on STEM education and inclusive education. – Prof. V.K. Damodaran, Head, Chakshumathi
Registrations open for second batch
The classes are for free and will be held in two different time zones to accommodate global participants. “The aim is to flatten the curve of inaccessibility that prevent blind and low vision students from attending regular school training programmes from home during the ongoing Covid lockdown”, says BookShare, which is one the organisations supporting the programme.
Topics addressed will include basic and advanced usage of computers, professional usage and exploring of worldwide web, writing and reading mathematics and science, usage of online libraries and effective epub book reading, special coaching in all school subjects including English, Science and Mathematics and GSuite as a platform for studies etc.
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