“Break the barriers and stereotypes” is what we teach our blind students.
We took our current batch students to GOGOLAND, located in the Poovar Islands, Trivandrum which is famous for adventurous sports.
Our blind students actively participated in rock climbing, trampoline and other play activities which was a very different experience for our students. It was a wonderful unique and exciting experience for the whole Jyothirgamaya team.
We thank GOGOLAND, team members and volunteers who helped us in making this trip a memorable one.
Disneyland Paris has introduced audio description content across the resort, offering a more magical experience for visually impaired and blind guests.
Many locations at Disneyland Paris, including attractions, restaurants and hotels, are now equipped with audio description. This comes after the resort put in place a new accessibility programme in December.
“At Disneyland Paris, we are committed to providing a magical experience for all,” says a news release.
“Our approach to accessibility is intended to empower those with disabilities and special needs through a collection of offerings and services provided for guests.”
Accessibility at Disneyland Paris
At Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, audio content is available inside attractions and at the entrances so that visually impaired and blind guests can “live the experience in total immersion”.
Audio description and interactive audio menus can be found in restaurants at both parks, and a synchronised audio description of the Mickey and the Magician show at the Animagique Theater is on offer.
The new Avengers Campus has been equipped with audio description in its restaurants, attractions and Hero Training Center.
Disneyland Paris is using the AudioSpot mobile app and in-park installations to provide audio description information. AudioSpot is a start-up company located near Nice.
“Disneyland Paris is committed to listening and learning from our guests, cast members and accessibility experts to develop new standards of inclusion in the French theme park industry,” Daniel Delcourt, senior VP at Disneyland Paris, said in December.
A life without eyesight seems to be very challenging and difficult for us. Most of us will agree that leading a normal life with a visual impairment is next to impossible. However, there are exceptions in our society who every day prove this notion to be completely wrong as despite being visually impaired they tend to live like every other person around them with a healthy vision.
One such personality is 53-year-old Anand Chandra Sahu, a visually impaired person who runs a snack shop inside the Utkal University campus in Bhubaneswar all by himself for the last 20 years.
Students who crowd his shop to get quick bites between the classes are often amazed when they see Anand nonchalantly recognise the currency denomination, returning exact change and operating the microwave, fridge and other electronic equipments in the shop just with his sense of touch and a rough idea of distance.
Anand, who hails from Nayagarh district, was just four-years-old when he lost his eyesight after suffering from typhoid for six long months that severely affected his corneas.
However, Anand had not lost his hopes after the tragic turn in his life and came to Bhubaneswar to complete his schooling in a school for the visually impaired. After that, there was no turning back for Anand as he not just completed his secondary education but also paved his own way to get an M. Phil from Utkal University.
“I came to Bhubaneswar in 1977 and joined Bhima Bhoi School for the Blind to pursue my secondary education. After completing my schooling there, I got admission in Ravenshaw University (then Ravenshaw College) in Cuttack to complete my +2 and +3. I then returned back to Bhubaneswar and Joined Utkal University where I did my post-graduation and M.Phil in Sociology. I have also won several awards in cultural events during my educational career,” claimed Anand.
However, Anand, with his wife and two children depending upon him, probably had ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time as despite having such high educational qualifications, he was unable to make a fruitful career out of it.
“Odisha was going through a critical economical crisis when I completed my higher education at Utkal University in the 90s. Due to this, the Odisha government had frozen most of the job recruitments in the state,” said Anand.
“People surely opposed me for starting a business in the campus. But once my shop was set up inside the campus, people were very cooperative with me. No one has ever tried to steal anything from my shop and harass me. However, negligible miscalculations of a few bucks is a common thing for anyone who does business,” he said while serving the students crowding his shop.
On being asked whether he has ever been ripped off by any customer, Anand said that no one in the university has ever wished ill of him and he has never been duped during the 20 years of business in the campus.
“I have never expected anyone, including the government to help me exclusively due to my disability as I have never considered the visual impairment as a weakness of mine,” Anand said proudly.
On being asked about his message to society, he said, “A life lived without hardships is not worth considering a life. Whatever life throws at us, we should keep going without losing our spirit.”
The first ever inclusive fashion show Jyothirgamaya takes part in proudly.
Olympics and other activities for people with disabilities is being organised on the 13th of November by Big Friends, Big FM and Sanathalaya. In view of this, as a promotion Big Friends organised an inclusive fashion show on the 5th of November, Saturday which included people with disabilities, cancer patients and other achievers.
Our Jyothirgamaya students participated whole heartedly in this fashion show. We were also joined by Sristi KC, the Founder of Blind Rocks, an organisation working for inclusive arts and which is known worldwide.
Sristi KC is an international dance performer, a motivational speaker and a lover of inclusive arts and fashion. This fashion show was a wonderful experience for our students. Our students Manoj, Rajesh Heera, Adarsh and Christi all took part in this event. They looked magnificent in their costumes.
They were all presented with gifts by Big MJ Sumi and Kidilam Firoz from 92.7 Big FM. We thank all the Big friends team and everyone else who made this event a great success.
On October 15, White Cane Safety Day is observed around the world. “White Cane Day is observed worldwide to recognize the movement of blind people from dependency to full participation in society.”
White Cane Safety Day celebrates the achievements of blind or visually impaired people. A white cane is an important mobility tool for such people as well as the symbol of their independence.
On White Cane Safety Day, being a blind, parents or relations of blind children, special educators, blind associations we can participate in gatherings and activities to create social awareness that will benefit persons who are blind or visually impaired which will lead to social inclusion.
Knowing the importance of white cane, Jyothirgamaya Foundation try to spread awareness on how the visually impaired can be in this world and work independently, recognize the achievements of blind people and to respect the contributions made by the visually impaired people to the society.