Advocacy and Outreach
While the blind community can benefit substantially from more accessible math and science documents, what is even more concerning is the attitude of people in the country regarding these fields, as well as the lack of awareness within the community. Our advocacy and outreach initiatives seek to change just this.
Unfortunately, a large section of the blind and visually impaired community in India is made to believe that math and science is not a viable option. this is far from true, as is evident from several success stories both in India and abroad. We at I-Stem want to encourage blind and low vision students across the country to appreciate the beauty of math, science and tech, and consider this as a possible option for higher studies or career. We have already conducted outreach sessions in Delhi and Chennai, and are planning to continue these efforts through radio programs, webinars and in-person math and science workshops in other areas. Sign up for latest I-stem updates so that you don't miss out on a session in your area.
Advocacy and Policy
It is important that appropriate policies are in place to enable students with disabilities to complete their secondary and post-secondary education successfully, including allowing them to compete with others on an equal basis. Until very recently, blind students have been prevented from focusing in sciences in class 11 and beyond, and our members have successfully advocated for policies that now allow blind students in Central Board of Secondary Education, India's largest national board, to study math and science in class 11 and 12. Further, very recently, we successfully advocated against discriminatory rules in JEE Main that stipulated a class 10 writer, and got them to issue a corrigendum that updates this to a class 11 science scribe. Similarly, we worked with the IITs to provide some reasonable accommodations for JEE (Advanced) as well. However, we realise that we have a long way to go to make these exams completely accessible and inclusive.
Our advocacy initiatives thus strive for suitable policies and rules that ensure accessible entrance exams and educational experience at tech schools across the country. We are currently working with premier tech universities to design more accessible curriculum and strategies, and we appreciate the support that we're receiving. If you would like to help us with this important work, get involved with our community.