Helping the blind groom their social skills, personality

March 14th, 2009 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) How does a blind person communicate effectively with those who can see despite being unable to establish eye contact? This is part of the social skills and personality development that an NGO is to impart to the visually impaired at a mobile training camp here.
The Score Foundation will hold a workshop with 50 blind students in Delhi in April where they will also be helped to choose their career.

The camp, a three-day pilot project, will have students from different blind schools in Delhi and the National Capital Region, where they will be groomed in communication skills with the help of a talking software.

They will be helped with career options, job opportunities and told how to apply for jobs.

“We just have 250 formal blind schools in the country catering to 16 million blind people. Through this project we want to connect to the blind people in villages and towns,” George Abraham, head of the Score Foundation, told IANS.

If the pilot project is successful, the NGO will hold similar workshops elsewhere.

“We have roped in professional trainers, counsellors and educationists to train the blind. They need to have very effective communication and social skills as they are unable to establish eye contact while speaking,” said Abraham.

The NGO, through its vocational training programmes, has already brought a new ray of hope into the lives of many completely blind people and those with low vision.

“I was working as a teacher in a government school when I suddenly began to lose eyesight and gradually became blind. It came as a shock to me and I was so depressed that I lost all hope. Then one day, I listened to a radio show for the blind and called the helpline of the NGO, which helped to shift my whole perspective,” said S.P Singh, who has rejoined his teaching.

Singh was told about a talking software for the blind, which he found very useful.

The NGO has recently launched a dedicated website for the blind that has a wide range of information on eye disorders, its services and on educational opportunities and career guidance.

The NGO’s helpline is - 46070380 - and its website is www.eyeway.org, which is a talking software.

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