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Free Special Higher Secondary School for the Visually Impaired Children

It is estimated that there are about 9.5 lakh visually impaired persons in Tamilnadu. However there are only two Government run free special Higher Secondary schools, one each for boys and girls in the whole of Tamilnadu. These two special blind schools cannot be expected to cater to the educational needs of thousands of the underprivileged and rural based visually impaired boys and girls in Tamilnadu. In order to provide free quality education with residential facility for visually impaired students in Tamilnadu. Nethrodaya has obtained approval from the State Government and has started the Free Special Higher Secondary school in its own premises with classes from 6th standard to 12th standard for visually impaired boys and girls in Tamilnadu. The school is being developed to become a full fledged model special school and educational center and will meet the educational needs of hundreds of under privileged visually impaired children in the years to come.


Inclusion of Disabilities in Submission of Online Application


Prior to the academic year 2012-2013, the application for Board examinations was required to be filled in manually and submitted physically. State Government has introduced online submission of application forms for Board examinations from the year 2012-2013. However this online facility could not be availed by visually impaired students as there were no provisions for indicating whether the candidate is visually impaired or not, and whether the visually impaired candidate require the assistance of scribes or not, in the online application form. Nethrodaya brought this deficiency in the online application form to the notice of the Directorate of School Education, Government of Tamilnadu, with an appeal to redesign the online application by including the data fields for obtaining information regarding the nature of disability and option for availing scribes in respect of visually impaired. The State government accepted the appeal of Nethrodaya and issued orders to modify the format of the online application form so as to include the details of visual impairment and option to use scribes. This online facility will benefit thousands of visually impaired students for years to come.

Ensured the Employment Opportunities in Government Sector


Even though the State Government had issued a G.O's to all the Government recruitment agencies to reserve 3 % of the vacancies for differently-abled candidates and in case there are no suitable candidates from the differently-abled community in a particular year, the unfilled vacancies should be carried forward to the next year, there are lot of backlog in filling up vacancies by Teachers Recruitment Board. Nethrodaya took up the matter with the State Government to take immediate action to fill up the vacancies of PG assistants and Lectures in various disciplines. In response to Nethrodaya's prolonged follow up action, the Secretary, Welfare of Differently Abled Persons Department, Government Of Tamilnadu, has given an order to notify special recruitment drive to recruit the differently-abled persons in various teaching posts.


Nethrodaya's initiative for getting fee exemption for private candidates


Direct private visually impaired students appearing for State Board Examinations were asked to pay examination fees. This requirement had caused unhappiness and discontent among the visually impaired students of Tamilnadu. Nethrodaya took up the matter with the State Government by meeting the officials of the concerned Departments and appealed to them to grant exemption of examination fees for the visually impaired students. Government of Tamilnadu considered our appeal in detail and issued orders granting exemption of examination fees for direct private visually impaired students appearing for Board Examination henceforth. This fee exemption has already benefitted many visually impaired students, specially the private candidates, for the current year and going to benefit hundreds of such students in future. Nethrodaya has thus addressed the felt need of the visually impaired student community and was instrumental in securing the great boon to the visually impaired student community.

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