Open up a Brave new world through your eyes
Your words can open doors of virtual eyesight to visually challenged. Lit the light is an organization created by volunteers for a noble cause to support the visually challenged. Let’s travel into the life of a child with visual challenge from birth. Recently I read a tutor material for a group of visually challenged teachers who are trainers to train visually challenged children. It’s a great effort to understand, comprehend and live a normal life to accustom to the open world. Initial years are spent on learning basic life skill training to manage their chores then children with partial eyesight or no sight learn through braille system till they turn 12-14 years. Only limited Braille books and Braille kits are available at our libraries and at schools hence there is a need for readers to support them to pursue high school or university studies.
The team of volunteers at Lit the light started preparing audio books to enable visually challenged school children and students at the university. Reading study material for students preparing for competitive examinations, recording voice over from school textbooks, magazines, stories and preparing volumes of audio for students interested in higher education are a few activities organized by the Lit the light team. Volunteers across the globe are connected through coordinators and study material is distributed after ‘chunking’ into a few units, after recording its compiled and shared with libraries at Lit the light centers at Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy and later distributed to students from various towns , villages who depend on audio version to prepare for exams. Recording is done in English as well as Tamil. The unique features of The Lit the light sessions are centralized method of collection, storage, distribution and simplifying English material through easy explanations in Tamil. The lit the light team is associated with centers at Porur , Anna centenary braille library, St Louis school at Adyar,NIVH at poonamallee and readers travel across the city to meet students at university , hostel and school campus to read at their convenience during examinations. The team of volunteers coordinate between students and readers to meet and utilize their services.
In order to create an awareness among the public to encourage more volunteers join the team Lit the light organizes ‘Read fest’ every year at Chennai with unique thematic ideas. 200 new volunteers read to 200 students for 2 hours was 2019 event at Chennai, In March 2020 at Madurai it was 150 :150 fresh volunteers: visually challenged. These events create awareness as well as provides a platform for new volunteers to obtain ‘Hands on’ experience to adjust on voice modulation, reading speed according to the needs of student. Though a lot of prerecorded AI materials are available in the market the students with visual challenges feel that live reading, planned recording with simple explanations prepared by Lit the light team is more effective and useful.