Project #2382

Breaking Barriers for the Visually Impaired

by Ann Foundation Inc
IELC students attending online class
IELC students attending online class

Happy Holidays from the IELC Children and the Ann Foundation

Our IELC team has made a tremendous progress this year and here are some highlights of our achievements.

We regrouped the students according to their different skill levels. To that end, we conducted assessment tests measuring their vocabulary and communication skills.

Ann foundation has been stepping forward toward utilizing technology for the betterment of visually challenged children.Here is how our online English classes benefitted our students.

Pavithra, an 11th grade student said, “The online classes are very interesting and informative. Our teacher encourages us to speak in English, and she shares quotations and inspiring stories.”

Following are some stories shared with us by our volunteers working with the IELC students:

Teacher Vidya’s Testimonial

One of my students said “I love English classes and I am not nervous about the exam.” This truly made me realize that, given the opportunities, students can succeed both academically and socially. After one of my classes was over, the students were not willing to leave the classroom; they wanted me to tell them a story in English!

Vidya’s testimony indicates the confidence that these students have gained and how much they want to succeed in life.

Teacher Latha’s Testimony

Latha says that she is proud of her students’ performance. She says “Students were awesome as usual. I am very excited to see their enthusiasm in taking the test. All the students are outstanding and they just need little bit more push and encouragement from all of us to reach their goal. I would definitely put more efforts toward bridging the gaps.”

Sruthi, a new member of Ann Foundation says:

“I have come across many gifted students who never had an opportunity to pursue their dreams. Giving them exposure to the wider world is really what they need. One thing I really like about the classes is that the teachers have built a good rapport with the students.”

A goal for our teachers is to maintain consistent goals and expectations to ensure academic success. Students shouldn’t use their visual impairment as an excuse for late or unfinished work. Teachers should hold the same expectations for visually impaired students as for other students. We provide visually impaired students with extra tutoring where needed.

Students with low vision are often at a disadvantage when presented with information in regular classrooms. Many technology solutions exist for accessing information via computer. Low vision students in IELC never had an opportunity to use the school computers but we were able to persuade the school administration to provide additional classes for the low vision students and access to the computers. Our students have benefitted from the resulting weekly computer classes. Now they are able to type in a Word document, saving and retrieving those documents. They are making good progress.

Our team of volunteers work hard to bring positive change in the lives of the visually challenged children so they can become lifelong learners.

Online Class for IELC Students
Online Class for IELC Students

We are proud to share our recent achievements as we have completed the first quarter of this academic year 2016-17. 

At the start of the academic year, we grouped students based on their previous’ year performance. This helped us in ensuring that students of the same level could be given similar attention. This provided great improvements on both the teaching methods that were used and also on the level of assimilation by the students. Over the course of the year, tutors had open dialogues with the students to assess their learning abilities which gave great feedback to adjust classes and teaching methods in virtually real-time. Due to one of these discussions, it was decided that a completely new group had to be created for students who required additional learning guidance, care and affection due to their troubled background.

On a regular basis we conduct conference-call meetings between all tutors to internally provide feedback on students and on teaching methodologies so that improvements can be made and new ways developed.  During this quarter we had the possibility of discussing with Ms. Ann Parsons who is an expert in tutoring visually impaired students. Her experience and knowledge helped us in improving our teaching strategies. 

“The visually challenged students are usually shy because they are not encouraged to question. Ask them leading questions. Each student is unique. The same teaching technique may not apply to all. Teach them the words/sentences which are applicable in their everyday life, it will be easy to relate to and remember.” – Ms. Ann Parsons. 

We are seeing tremendous positive outcomes through Ann Moideen’s efforts to empower the low vision children and youth to use technology to their advantage, here is the outcome of her efforts. 

Our computer classes which are being conducted on weekends are a great success stories with children previously feeling marginalized are now feeling empowered as they learn how to type and perform tasks using specialized Jaw software. 

Volunteers are also being empowered as they feel their great work is leaving real benefit to the children and the world in general. 

Kavita, one of our tutors, mentioned how “after coming to US, I felt a void, that void was filled through online volunteering. Now I give just a couple of hours a week and this already is enabling students to continue their education.  I feel it’s my responsibility to bring education for all. Now I feel I am part of a bigger family. When class is over my students could not believe how time has flown…it’s such an immense satisfaction”

The basic need of these children is love and care along with constant motivation. The education Ann Foundation is giving them is making independent and better as individuals.” – Shobana – Volunteer Tutor.

Another volunteer Srivardhini told us: “This experience has been a great learning experience for me.  I have become more understanding of these marginalized children, now I feel real empathy”.

Our work is full of sacrifices and challenges but the success stories we see more than justifies it.  We continue our work to bring education for all especially the marginalized children. 

Students back from summer vacation
Students back from summer vacation
Students are back from summer vacation, absolutely rejuvenated! Fifteen new students have enrolled in our program. Our E- Classes commenced on June the 13th,2016. 

A new team of composed and enthusiastic volunteers  from various countries have come forward to teach the visually challenged children.  

School has resolved the Connectivity issues  therefore the classes are running without any difficulties. 

This year we have made many changes,our curriculum team is designing new  teaching modules,in addition we will be initiating computer and personal development classes in the coming months.  With our new class timings ( 6-8pm IST),we notice a tremendous change in the children ,they are more focused and are able to concentrate better than the previous year. 

The end of last year was marked by massive floods in and around Bargur, severely impacting classes not only during the rains, but also disrupting the school’s internet connectivity. Ann foundation team worked diligently with the IELC school leadership to address the connectivity issues and brought the classes back to normal by early January.

Despite these connectivity disruptions, the Ann foundation volunteers succeeded in bringing the ESL classes back on track. The children were able to resume their education goals and reacted with renewed energy and excitement.

Many of the IELC teachers continue to provide positive feedback toward our classes and confirm the children’s eagerness regarding their learning and their continued initiatives to converse with both friends and teachers in English whenever possible. We take pride in the positive difference being made at IELC. 

Ann Moideen, the founder of the foundation has designed an assessment for all students of IELC with plans for implementation for the upcoming academic year. The assessments, which will regroup children based on their current levels of proficiency, will be administered personally on a one-on-one basis and will allow for more focused and efficient teaching methods going forward.

Attending the class
Attending the class
Due to severe rain in Burgur, we were unable to give classes for almost four weeks. Below is a testimonial from our ESL teacher. 

Mathaiyan, Sivashanker, and Navanitha are fourth grade children. Initially they were very shy and nervous but now they have gained confidence. 
Sivashanker is very smart and he is a  learns fast learner with sharp memory. Mathaiyan absorbs everything which is taught ,he has a very positively attitude. Among all the other students, these three children are very energetic, responsive and obedient. In summary, the kids are always looking forward for the next class and they seem to converse well in English.
I am glad that  the students are benefitting from my classes.
Ann Foundation Tutor.

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Organization Information

Ann Foundation Inc

Location: Roslyn, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ann Moideen
Founder & CEO
NY, NY United States

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