Panaji: H R Sandesh of Bengaluru-based organisation 'Enable India' is visually impaired, and is aware that the blind in today's age cannot be self-sufficient unless trained in the use of computers.
Sandesh is the resource person who is training 23 individuals in techniques of teaching the use of computers to the visually impaired. The ongoing 10-day workshop being held at Sanjay Centre for Special Education at Porvorim, in collaboration with the National Association of Blind, Goa, is the first of its kind in the state. This is because Goa has no more than three persons who can train the visually-impaired in operating computers.
The workshop is also special because more than 50 per cent of the participants aspiring to be computer trainers for the blind are visually impaired themselves.
It is a special skill teaching the blind the operation of a computer, says Sandesh. "Many a times, the persons teaching the blind how to operate a computer are sighted and treat this as a part-time job. But that doesn't work. Because for someone who has been visually impaired since birth, you first need to help him or her visualise how things like a drop-down on a computer look. The workshop trains these trainers in how to put such teaching methodologies to use," said Sandesh.
The workshop being hosted by Goa also has participants from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Taha Haaziq, the new member secretary of the Sanjay Centre, made the training programme happen in Goa. "It will help fill the gap in Goa for trainers for the visually impaired in use of computers. These small steps will help us know the capacity of the disabled. We don't know what they are really capable of," he said.
The participants are excited about the training which continued beyond designated hours of 9am to 6pm, Sanjay Centre chairperson Guruprasad Pawaskar said.