After a successful participation in the Hackathon at IIT Chennai this January, two of the Vision-Aid students from their pilot class in python programming, Bhargav Vaghasiya and Ravi Teja joined the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from MIT on the edX platform. They continued their learning in computer science and programming, from one of the great institutes in the world.
On the edX platform they learned with thousands of students around the world, participated in all lectures, did the exercises, engaged actively in discussions and completed all quizzes, assignments and exams successfully. They worked very hard and in the world of online learning, they seamlessly became part of the global community of learners. Both the students were visually challenged but extremely motivated.
Vision-Aid supported their learning on MOOC platform by providing motivational mentoring and sponsorship for the certificate. Both these students have successfully completed the class with fantastic scores and have earned their first verified certificates from MITx. Now, they will continue their learning on MOOCs towards their career goals.
Bhargav does not have any vision, and he totally relies on a screen reader for programming and communication. He aspires to have a career in accessibility testing and software development. His dream is to ‘make everything accessible for everyone’.
Ravi has very poor vision, due to a progressive vision impairment condition, and he relies on magnification and color contrast to help him while working on a computer. He lost 50% of his vision after he joined IIT 4 years ago. He wants to have a career in data science and software development.
Both these students have become buddies, and care a lot for each other. They are path-breakers, for many of the visually impaired students in India, who would like to follow their path to achieve their dreams. Vision-Aid will continue to support their journey in the world of learning by providing support through enthusiastic, experienced and empathetic mentorship via its network of committed volunteers.
Vision-Aid is exploring a possibility to expand their program to help many such visually challenged students from India and around the world, to help them reach their highest potential by providing high quality mentorship accompanied by accessible and world-class teaching material. Many of these students will continue their learning on MOOCs.
Next month, Vision-Aid is starting their training with the new batch of students from India. All these students are visually challenged in various capacity but their commitment and motivation to learn more than makes up for their disability. Student who completes this class successfully will get a chance to participate in the Hackathon at IIT Chennai in 2018 and they will also have an opportunity to follow the footsteps of Bhargav and Ravi into the endless possibilities offered by MOOCs like edX!
For more information about Vision-Aid and to see a short film about Bhargav, and the Python program – please visit www.visionaid.org .