University of Mysore to set up center for students with vision disabilities to enhance their skills
Asia-Pacific, June 12 2017
MYSORE, INDIA: University of Mysore, oldest university in the country, has proposed to set up a National Institution, a nodal centre in the country, exclusively for students with vision disabilities to enhance their skills and increase their employability in the market-driven corporate world.
The university said it is committed to provide inclusive education and training to students with disabilities. One of the major goals of this project is to generate employment and make students with vision disabilities self-reliant. The university claimed that this will be a first-of-its-kind institution of education for students with vision disabilities among the universities in the State.
The proposal, submitted by the university through the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Board (PMEB), is before the Karnataka State Higher Education Council. We are awaiting a reply from the government on our proposal, said Lingaraj Gandhi, Director, PMEB.
According to the university, the digital divide has relegated visually impaired students to the background. Interestingly, the technology is disabled-friendly as new software and learning tools are developed for the benefit of such students.
There is a need to create opportunities in universities to establish computer centers for students with vision disabilities to provide education and training in ICT along with various soft skills.
Universities have the responsibility of facilitating education and training to disadvantaged students in higher education, said the university’s concept note.
Preparing students who are employable and self-reliant in the competitive job market is the main objective, according to the note.
Aimed at offering specially designed professional courses and developing skills and knowledge in assistive technology and ICT, the centre proposes to develop a collection of learning resources such as Braille software, talking studio, Braille books and periodicals.
Also aimed at designing and developing instructional material for students with vision disabilities and creating a database of question banks of competitive examinations in Braille form, the centre plans to provide training to teachers/special educators and prepare a database of visually impaired people in all the districts across Karnataka.
Besides evolving strategies for teachers in special school settings to assist in enhancing the quality of education for students with vision disabilities and to educate parents, social workers and preschool teachers, the centre will encourage adoption of ICT education for students with vision disabilities in regular university curriculam.