The Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute, organised a three-day Training Programme on Orientation and Mobility from 30.01.2023 to 01.02.2023. The programme was inaugurated on 30.01.2023 with a prayer song. Swami Nirmaleshananda, Asst. Administrative Head, FDMSE, RKMVERI, delivered the presidential address. The chief guest address was delivered by S. Shankar Subbiah, an assistive technology consultant, Agate Info Tech, Chennai. Dr. S. Parween, Assistant Professor, welcomed the gathering. Dr. K. Dhanalakshmi, Assistant Professor, oriented about the three-day training programme. Mrs. P. A. Tharini, Special Educator, proposed a vote of thanks.
The first day of 30.01.2023 forenoon sessions was handled by Mr. S. Shankar Subbiah, Assistive Technology Consultant, Agate Infotek, Chennai. During the session, he stressed the importance of orientation and mobility, the basic terminology associated with orientation and mobility, the role of other senses in O&M training, and various assistive devices and apps for individuals with visual impairment.
Afternoon sessions on 30.01.2023 were engaged by Mr. R. Jaganathan, Computer and Mobility senior trainer, Help the Blind Foundation, and Mr. P. Sathiskumar, Braillist, Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education. Training and hands-on experience were provided to the participants on the Sighted Guide Technique, which includes passing through doorways, staircases, and upper and lower body protection, as well as searching pattern techniques for locating dropped items.
Dr. K. Dhanalakshmi, Assistant Professor, FDMSE, handled the forenoon session of 31.01.2023, which focused on cane techniques, types of canes, and fundamental cane handling techniques such as grip, hand position, wrist movement, arc, instep, rhythm, and room familiarization. P. A. Tharini gave students with visual impairments hands-on experience with a cane. A simulation experience for using a cane with blindfolds was given to parents by Dr. K. Dhanalakshmi.
Mr. S. Sasi Kumar, Program Officer, Karna Vidya Foundation, Chennai, and Mr. Athiban, Hope Foundation, Coimbatore, handled the afternoon sessions on January 31, 2023. During the session, electronic devices for orientation and mobility (Torch-It) were explained and demonstrated. The presentation provided a thorough explanation of the functions and use of the smart cane in various living environments and demonstrated auditory maps for using mobile applications. The forenoon sessions of 01.02.2023 were handled by Mr. S. Sasi Kumar, Program Officer, Karna Vidya Foundation, Chennai. He highlighted the devices and apps available for orientation and mobility interventions. And hands-on experience was given using Torch-it, a smart cane for mobility.
The last day’s afternoon sessions of 01.02.2023 were handled by Dr. S. Parween, Assistant Professor, FDMSE. She demonstrated cane techniques such as touch techniques, touch and drag techniques, and the diagonal technique. The hands-on exposure was given by Dr. S. Parween, Assistant Professor, FDMSE, and P. A. Tharini, Special Educator, FDMSE, to students with visual impairment and their parents. The evaluation was done for both the parents and students. Finally, feedback was collected from the participants. In total, 37 individuals [20 Students with visual impairment (11 Male & 9 Female) and 17 parents (1 Male & 16 Female)] benefited out of this programme.
Below are some photos.