Each of these colleges faithfully maintains records of success stories that continue to inspire others.
The empowerment of the differently abled and the visually challenged in a globalised competitive world such as ours is possible only with adequate and appropriate infrastructural and technological assistance. Undergraduate colleges in Mumbai such as St. Xavier’s, SIES, Ruia and Wilson are aware of this responsibility and have been for the last several years consistently pursuing a policy of inclusive education supported by updated software systems that enable the visually challenged to cope with the curriculum prescribed by the university.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Each of these colleges faithfully maintains records of success stories that continue to inspire others. Assisted ably by the teachers and the non-teaching staff as well as the student population of the college at large, these initiatives are very often unknown to the parents and other stakeholders of society. Parents as well as students and the teaching staff actively assist these centres such as the Pragnya Vision at SIES by helping to record audio material on mobile phones and sending them to the students using WhatsApp, working as scribes who transcribe matter dictated by the visually challenged during exams and as readers who volunteer to read out chapters from reference books to assist their research work and study. With such proactive assistance, 100 per cent results in 2014-15 have been achieved among the visually challenged students of these colleges. Newspapers would do well to highlight the work done by such centres affiliated to colleges that exclusively cater to the needs of the visually challenged. This will help disseminate useful information that will enable these students to avail of such facilities nearest to their place of residence. Colleges such as SIES, St. Xavier’s, Ruia and Wilson provide computer training, remedial coaching, increase their employability with value added and certificate courses and also cater to their co-curricular and extra-curricular needs by encouraging them to participate in chess and cricket tournaments, yoga and meditation sessions held especially for the visually challenged. Challenges are thus converted into opportunities that open new windows to the world. Therefore I appeal to the differently abled and visually challenged to pursue higher education and not be discouraged. They should aim higher. Dr Harsha MehtaPrincipal, SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sion
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