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Assistive technology saves the day

Eighteen-year-old Neeraj Kumar hails from Siwan, Bihar. Totally blind by birth, Neeraj lives with his mother and siblings. His father left the family, and his brother works hard to provide for them all.
Neeraj went to the local school till Class 8. He went to an education camp where he was taught to read and write in Braille. He also learned how to use his phone with the Talkback feature. He lost two academic years in pursuance of treatment for his eye condition, Glaucoma. After the surgery he could see a little and navigate through spaces in a better way. Presently, he is studying in Class 12 from a special school for the blind in Gorakhpur.
When Neeraj called the Eyeway Helpdesk inquiring about a part time job, the counsellor was curious to know the reason behind scouting for jobs when he should be focused on studying. The boy wanted some income so he could pay for coaching classes. Neeraj shared that he was facing issues while studying on his own as he couldn’t access his books and study material which is mostly printed. If he uses audio recordings stored in a memory card, he finds it hard to sift through specific sections, going back and forth. It’s a tedious exercise.
The Eyeway counsellor gave him an easier solution, one where he didn’t have to work and study simultaneously. Neeraj discovered that there are other digital sources through which he could access his course material, books, or reference notes. The counsellor apprised him of Sugamya Pustakalaya, a national online library for people with vision impairment or print disabilities.
In the absence of internet, there is also another resource called Shravan Audio Library, developed by the National Association of Blind, Delhi. Using both these platforms, Neeraj can listen and download books as per convenience. He has submitted his documents and created an account to access these resources. Now he can solely concentrate on acquiring knowledge and prepare for employment once he completes his studies.
Team Eyeway

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