Education for persons with vision impairment

For students with visual disabilities, accessible education includes the use of digital tools that can improve their ability to easily navigate through materials and access content without having to rely on Braille textbooks or another sighted individual.

Accessible content does not include just textbooks but also the design of learning activities that are designed to deepen the understanding of new concepts. 

In October 2020, the Bombay High Court heard a case filed by the National Association for the Blind (NAB) which sought better access to education for persons with low and/or no vision. NAB argued that even platforms like e-Pathshala and Diksha that were introduced by the government were not “in conformity with the provisions of the RPWD Act.” 

Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, every child between the ages of six and eighteen is entitled to free education, and government institutions are supposed to offer them “inclusive education”. NAB had earlier approached the Ministry of Education and the NCERT and not having not gotten a response, approach the court. 

While NCERT is working on making these platforms accessible for persons with vision impairment, students with disabilities continue to struggle to access schooling, including access to digital modes of education. It is commonly known that children with vision impairment are either implicitly or explicitly discouraged from studying higher levels of science1. This leads to a great need for schools and teachers to adapt to fresh and non-visual thinking by incorporating experiential and immersive learning into the curriculum. Therefore, it is important to encourage innovation in this field because much like science, trial and error will surely give results in time. 

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