Inclusive education

Sightsavers supports inclusive education to ensure that children who are blind or visually impaired are included in mainstream education. This is crucial to lifting people out of poverty.

A girl with dark glasses in school.

Blindness creates a cycle of illiteracy, poverty and social exclusion for blind children, making them one of the most vulnerable groups in the world. A small number of them receive any kind of education.

When children with disabilities participate in mainstream education on an equal basis with other children, they learn from an early age that they are equal and valued members of society. They remain in a normal social environment, are no longer isolated and participate more actively in general community activities throughout their lives.

Sightsavers aims to promote a positive and enabling environment in schools, families as well as communities to support the holistic education of children with visual impairment. Enablement is facilitated by availability of assistive devices and accessible educational material, provision of compensatory skills training, infrastructure accessibility and building education management and leadership among others.

What we’re doing

Tools and technology
Today people who are blind can function as effectively as their sighted colleagues in diverse professions and vocations. We support children and adults who are visually impaired or blind with the right technology, physical aids (i.e. educational materials in Braille; Tabs, etc.) and tools such as low vision devices that give them greater independence and allow them to perform tasks they may have previously found difficult or impossible to accomplish.

Working with teachers
For inclusive education in India to succeed, teachers are the key. We support the training of specialist teachers to:

  • Aid the inclusion process in the classroom by helping enroll more and more visually impaired and blind children to school
  • Visit schools in their local area and teach visually impaired and blind children skills such as Braille
  • Prepare visually impaired and blind students for the classroom
  • Provide one-on-one help to children in the classroom, such as by using Braille machines so that they can be more involved in the classroom

The programme is currently implemented in five states namely, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan with district as unit of intervention.

Kiran’s story

Kiran was enrolled in her local school, but didn’t attend because of her visual impairment. Now, her parents and teachers have received counselling to make sure she is able to attend school and learn with other children.

Read her story

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More on inclusive education

Aliya’s story

With the help of Low Vision Devices six year old Aliya was finally able to read and regularly attend school in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

A man handing laptop to a boy with dark glasses on.

Children with Disabilities get a Resource Centre to Learn

A Model Resource Centre for Children with Disabilities provided seven children with disabilities with a laptop and a mobile phone each.

Three men stand on stage, accepting an award from another man.

Sightsavers India bags the prestigious ICC Social Impact award felicitated by Indian Chamber of Commerce

There were 45 shortlisted projects in the prominent ICC Social Impact Award and Sightsavers India came out victorious in the Health Domain category.