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Aspiring to new heights

Umar Bandari lives in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He and two of his siblings are visually impaired. After losing his mother at an early age, he learned to take care of household chores as his father was busy working around the clock to feed the family.
Despite the vision problems, Umar prioritized his studies and worked hard in pursuing his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Kashmir University.  When he enrolled for a B.Ed. program, his vision deteriorated further, making reading a daunting task to undertake independently.
He persevered and cracked the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) National Eligibility Test (NET), securing admission to a Ph.D. program at Kashmir University. This was a joyous moment for him as well as his family. While pursuing his research, Umar decided to take up a job to support his father. 
He is employed as a primary school teacher in a regular school. Although he can walk without a white cane as he still has some vision, he faces problems in reading from a distance and identifying things. At school also, he faced challenges in communicating with his sighted students.
So he reached out to the Eyeway Helpdesk to understand how he can use digital aids to overcome such barriers. The counsellor in the Kashmir centre apprised him of various assistive technology available for the ease of access for persons with vision impairment. Both low vision and blind people can use digital innovations to resolve access issues.
Umar was told about bi-optic glasses, Talkback feature on the smartphone, several mobile apps that can help with navigation et cetera. Using these assistive aids, Umar is now able to navigate between places independently, and he can also seamlessly engage with his students. The counsellor could understand from his interactions with Umar, that he was curious to learn various ways of becoming entirely independent and capable of doing his job.
Umar is currently pursuing an additional master’s degree from Indira Gandhi Open University, so he can enhance his chances of landing a higher paying job. Eyeway continues to be in touch with Umar, helping him make the right decisions.
Team Eyeway

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