Project #2382

Breaking Barriers for the Visually Impaired

by Ann Foundation Inc
Students of IELC, Bargur, India
Students of IELC, Bargur, India

As promised, we are happy to share with you, our first Youtube project! In this promotional video, we have narrated the story of Ann Foundation’s work with IELC. We hope you like it. Tell us what you think! Here is the link:

This academic year, our focus is on revamping the curriculum based on best practices. We would like to introduce assessments and evaluations that will help us identify what is working, and where we need to improve. To this end, we have engaged a new project manager and teaching volunteers who will take this project to the next level. They are already working hard, and we hope to update you soon about what is new!

We hope you will continue to support us. Thank you, donors and supporters of Ann Foundation. Do share the story of our children to friends and family by forwarding the Youtube link or posting it on your Facebook page, twitter and other outlets!


This April, the academic year at IELC ended on a positive note. Our IELC representatives tell us that all our children were successful in their year-end school exams. What’s more, six students graduating from the school intend to pursue English Literature in their undergraduate studies! We are thrilled that so many of our students wish to take up English in college. Our hope, at the outset, was not only to provide IELC children with important communicative skills in English, but also to foster motivation to learn and love the English language. Kudos to our students on their academic success and career plans!

In keeping with our goal to provide computer education, the IELC management has brought in a new specialist computer teacher who will start training our students when school reopens on July 1st. Ann Foundation believes technology is a great way to break barriers brought on by visual impairment, and we are hopeful about receiving generous donations to support this effort. Donations can be made for any of our specific technology needs listed on this webpage. 

At this time, we are also pleased to announce that Ann Foundation has launched Project YouTube in our effort to make our projects more visible on the web. Since IELC has been one of our oldest and most successful projects, we decided to tell the story of IELC first!  After collecting audio and video material from IELC students and AF volunteers these last few months, we are working on completing the promotional film by end of summer. Keep an eye out for a Youtube link on our next update!

Children attending the online class
Children attending the online class

During her recent trip to India, Ann Moideen visited the Foundation's project in Bargur, Tamil Nadu. Here, Ann Foundation has been in partnership with the Indian Evangelical Lutheran Society to support the work of the school for the blind.

The visit with all the teachers and students was most rewarding. Ann could see tremendous improvement in the children. Teachers shared their enthusiasm as they pointed out that they, as well as their students, are benefiting from the classes. It was truly heartwarming to hear their praise for our Foundation and its efforts to provide the classes, begun in July 2010. Our work is bringing hope and promise for a brighter future for these children.

Children attending the online class
Children attending the online class
Students attending the class
Students attending the class

This is our second successful year at IELC School. We at the Ann Foundation would like to thank all our generous donors for their support during 2011.

At present, 80 visually challenged students are making good progress in both conversational English and interpersonal skills. The classes have been running smoothly while the enthusiasm of the students is growing. Many students say it is the highlight of their week, a time when they can learn and speak English in a fun way without having to sit for exams.

In addition to their English skills, the students are enjoying extra-curricular activities.  They have won numerous awards and accolades, participating in many Quiz competitions, volleyball, cricket, dance, music, kabaddi and more as they compete in state level tournaments.

The teachers also enjoy the classes conducted in both Tamil and English. Every teacher is given a chance not only to speak from the script but also to come up with impromptu lines for the topic under discussion. When they assign homework, the teachers complete it along with the students and present their work in class. Even the shy, hesitant teachers have now become more vocal as compared to the start of the classes. 

Interacting with these students has been a rewarding experience for our volunteers.Even though the school has limited resources, teachers and students show so much enthusiasm, inspiring everyone to strive for more. All the volunteers agree that they learn more from the experience than the students learn from them.

Our volunteers have also spent much time and effort over the past several months designing and developing a curriculum that could be adopted by our international tutors. We look forward to reaping the rewards of these efforts.  

In addition to continuing the current classes, in the coming year, we plan to give a sleeping bag to each of the 170 students at a cost of $50 each.

We appreciate your continued support for our project.

Students of IELC school
Students of IELC school


Students of IELC School, Vellore, India
Students of IELC School, Vellore, India


Our  ESL educator Deepa visited  IELC school and here is her testimonial.

My experience at the school was simply great. The students came to me on their own and initiated conversation in English. The difference between the students who have had the conversational English classes and those who haven't is evident. 
More than anything, these classes have given students the confidence to want to speak English on their own. In fact, two students, Anbu and Sandini, have chosen English literature for their undergraduate degree because of the confidence they have gained from the conversational English classes. 
The students are very friendly, respectful and eager to learn. Despite their disabilities, they are working hard to learn a trade. The students gave me a tour of  their weaving and envelope-making blocks. 
In contrast to the increasing arrogance and boredom we see in a lot of young people these days, these students are a happy, humble and respectful lot.
The teachers are also very friendly and co-operative, inspiring their students to perform their best. 

Deepa Padmanabhan
ESL Volunteer
Ann Foundation
Students attending the class
Students attending the class

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Organization Information

Ann Foundation Inc

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

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