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The Vision-Aid Model

VisionAidModel

Mission : To enable, educate and empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity

 The Vision-Aid model has 16 programs (and several sub-programs) to support the mission:

  Type of Intervention Intervention - Intend / Target Audience
ENABLE
01   Functional Vision / Early Intervention Enable training of infants and children and their parents to improve visual processing skills including CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment)
02 Comprehensive Low Vision Evaluation Programs include low-vision assessments, performed by optometrists with training in
low vision. As an extension of the low vision evaluation program run in the centers, camps are conducted in local schools to identify potential visual impairment
03 Assistive Aids & Devices A comprehensive range of assistive devices for both individuals with low-vision and those with total vision loss (blindness), including affordable, low-cost, hi-technology alternatives. Affordability is a key consideration
EDUCATE
04 Orientation & Mobility training Orientation & Mobility training to help the visually impaired learn to navigate safely in challenging surroundings
05  Computer training

A range of training programs (one week to 6 months) to build proficiency in Computers skills. This includes suitable assistive technology and training in basic, intermediate and advanced computer applications like Word, Excel, Email and Internet use.

  • Introductory Course in Computer Applications
  • Certificate Course in Computer Applications
  • Diploma Course in Computer Applications
  • Administrators Course in Computer Applications
06 Mobile Technologies Educating and enabling use of various Apps for navigation, mobility and other functions.
07  Special Skills Training  

This includes:

  • Computer programming Training
  • Digital Accessibility Testing Training (DATT)
  • Test Preparation for Banking and Govt. jobs
  • Training in MOOCs
08  Braille Training and Resources  Including advanced Braille devices
09  Livelihood and Employment Assistance  

Including job placement assistance, job skills training, advanced training programs including computer programming, spoken English,  etc. (Currently offered via both the Vision-Aid Online Academy and residential scholarship programs)

  • Scholarship Training programs
  • Job Interview training
  • Soft Skills training
10 Life Skills  
  • Activities of Daily Living: Examples include ADLs like safe cooking for visually impaired housewives
  • Exercise and physical fitness, recreational activities (for example Yoga)
11  Spoken English Training  
  • Spoken English (Beginners)
  • Spoken English (Intermediate)
   EMPOWER
12  Counseling and Referral services
  • Emotional, psychological counseling referral, sharing informing on
their rights and benefits and providing a list
of resource referrals and career counseling. Includes information on government schemes, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, training programs for sighted teachers and a helpline.
  • Disability Rights Training
13  Advocacy & Outreach
  • Advocate for societal awareness programs, industry sensitization, policy changes
  • Teacher Training program
     
14 Training and Professional Developments
  • Vision-Aid Online Academy (VOA)
  • Skills training programs to train the trainers
15 Research & Development To foster innovation in devices and services, paper publications, conferences, etc.
16 Conferences & Events Participate in conferences to improve public awareness to Vision-Aid and expand visibility of the organization.

 

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Young patient undergoing low vision screening

Low Vision Screening

Low Vision screening programs supported by Vision-Aid offer low vision assessments and help patients who have significant loss of vision to utilize their residual eyesight to the fullest possible extent with the use of optical and electronic magnification devices, assistive devices and technology and special training. The process also involves counselling of low vision patients so as to instill hope and confidence in them and motivating them to live their lives with independence and dignity.

Low Vision Assessment is a comprehensive process and can take up to three hours per patient. The optometrist who performs this requires specialized training in Low Vision Care.

Only patients who have been declared as having Low Vision conditions by a qualified ophthalmologist are accepted for Low Vision assessments. Such patients suffer from eye disorders resulting in a loss of sight that cannot be improved by medicine, surgery or eyeglasses. While most of the patients are referred by outside hospitals or clinics, walk-in patients who do not have a low vision referral, are offered an evaluation by the resident doctor who, after evaluating a patient's condition will assess if the patient qualifies for low vision assessment.

During the Low Vision Assessment, the optometrist will gain an understanding of not only the patient's vision condition but also the patient's needs, in terms of job requirements, day to day activities, mobility needs and such. Then the patient is prescribed an appropriate combination of low vision aids or Assistive technology to help them perform their tasks as independently and confidently as possible.

In the case of a visually handicapped school going child, for example, the solution may be spectacle mounted telescope which can help the child to see the black board better. In the case of a senior citizen, who has lost vision due to Age related macular degeneration the prescription may be an electronic CCTV magnifier which the patient can connect to a TV at home and use that to read magnified images of print (newspaper or book) on a TV set at home. Sometimes simple techniques like effective use improved lighting or thick tipped felt pens for writing may make a big difference in improving a patients efficiency. , The solutions will vary widely depending on the nature of the patient's eye condition and the tasks they would need to perform but almost all solutions will use either optical or electronic magnification of varying types in combination with training in the use of such devices.

Visit our success stories page to see how our Vision Enhancement services are helping people who are visually impaired.

 

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Two female students undergo computer training at Vision Aid supervised by an instructor.

Computer Training

Computer Training for the Vision Impaired 

Our world-class computer training programs, which are bench-marked with the programs of  leading institutions, empower blind and low vision students to reach great heights! Students with vision impairment are provided with one-to-one intensive training in computer applications ranging from basic to advanced.

We offer the following training programs: 

  • ACA Administrators and Teachers Access Technologies  training course
  • BCA Beginners course (one week)
  • CCA Certificate course (3 months)
  • DCA Diploma course  (6 months)
  • ECA Employment oriented course (9 months)

For all courses we offer the following: 

  • No tuition fees for un-affording candidates.
  • Subsidized, nominal fees for all students.
  • Free software, individual tuition, English language and placement assistance for all.  
     


A male student undergoes computer training at Vision Aid supervised by an instructor.

 

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patient undergoing rehab with orientation and mobility training

Rehabilitation

Vision Rehabilitation is a comprehensive training and counseling process that attempts to help both blind and visually impaired persons to develop skills and use strategies that can assist them in their efforts to live their lives with independence and dignity.

This training process, which is facilitated by a specially trained Vision Rehabilitation Specialist usually lasts for several sessions, spread over multiple weeks, and is tailor-made to each individual patient, based on the extent of disability and their living needs. This process can help to enable the visually impaired cope with vision loss, travel safely, take care of their day to day activities, meet career objectives and enjoy leisure activities to the maximum possible extent.

Some of the programs offered in Vision Rehabilitation are:

Classroom Training for School Children

Visually impaired school children are trained in a simulated class room environment about how they can effectively use assistive tools and develop confidence to participate and integrate in a classroom environment with other normally sighted school children.

Kitchen Training for Housewives

A mock kitchen set-up allows housewives who are blind or have low vision to be trained in safe and efficient cooking habits.

Mobility Training

Blind or significantly visually impaired persons are taught to regain their independence and mobility with the use of mobility canes and special mobility training.

Computer Training

Computers are an invaluable tool in helping to level the playing field for people with visual impairments. Blind or visually impaired persons (including school children can be taught skills which include the use of special tools to enable word processing, data entry , use of Internet and more. A wide range of computer based assistive technology is available to help the visually impaired. Popular tools include JAWS and MAGIC.

Job Skill Training

Blind or visually impaired people can be taught certain skills like basket weaving which can help them to find employment.

Equal Opportunity Orientation

Blind or visually impaired people are made aware of their rights and of the benefits they can get from governmental and non governmental agencies.

 

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Devices

Assistive Devices are one of the most important elements in our Vision Rehabilitation 

Blindness and Low Vision, together known as Vision Impairment (VI), are conditions  of the eye  beyond cure  by currently available  surgical procedures or  medicines. VI should be addressed by an individual Sight Evaluation, performed by a qualified vision rehabilitation specialist who will perform a low vision evaluation, and recommend Sight Enhancement where possible, using Assistive Devices. The Clinicians  or Vision-Aid will  also recommend  standard Rehabilitation Methods like training in Orientation and Mobility (O&M)  and learning of Computer operation by  Low Vision or blind persons where appropriate. 

For every case of VI, rehabilitation is individually prescribed, aimed at removing or alleviating the disability associated with the client’s vision impairment. The central idea is to manage the vision impairment and to enable the VI by alleviating the disability associated with impairment as much as possible with devices and training. Assistive devices are mostly for the moderately Vision Impaired (Low Vision) persons though some devices like Canes, Living aids and GPS serve the severely Vision Impaired (or Blind).

The technical principles used are creation of  Illumination, Magnification, and Contrast for Low Vision and Audio and Tactile for the blind.

All of these devices, and many more, can be found in Vision-Aid resource centers.

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Our Mission

Vision Aid Mission Banner - Serving the visually disadvantaged

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Contact

8 Vine Brook Rd Lexington Massachusetts 02421 United States

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(781) 333-5252

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