Prayatna Nepal is the self-help organization working for empowering the living condition women and girls with visually impairments. The organization is established by the composition of both women with and without visually impairments.
The first day of the event was started by Ms. Sarita Lamichhane (chairperson of Prayatna Nepal), who welcomed all the participants and invited Ms. Jima Lamkolia, executive board member of Prayatna Nepal to formally commence the program. Ms. Jima shared the objectives of the training and asked all the participants and organizing members to introduce themselves before getting into the session. After the introduction round, the logistic staffs collected participant's expectations from the training while Ms. Sarita simultaneously shared ground rules of the training. Then, Ms. Jima encouraged to nominate one participant as reporter (who would share overall learnings of the training), one time keeper (who would take notice of the time during sessions and breaks) and one evaluator (who would evaluate overall sharing of the training). After nomination, the session was started by Mr. Khom Raj Sharma who initially presented about digital rights and its importance. He then informed the participants on domains of assistive technology. After the participants could grasp concept of assistive technology, they were informed further about how these can be beneficial/supportive for blind and visually impaired people. After this session, the participants were engaged in hands on activities where they learned about basic screen reader gestures in their smart phones. The second day started with the reporter sharing about previous day's activities and learning, while the evaluator added to the shared content. Then Ms. Jima again encouraged the participants to choose one reporter, time keeper and evaluator for the day. After that was done, Ms. Sarita reminded the participants about ground rules of the training and handed the floor over to the facilitator. Mr. Khom started his second day's session by sharing about one of the assistive software called Auto Text-to-Speech (Auto TTS) and guided all the participants to download the application in their smart phones and navigate it. After this session, Ms. Sarita involved the participants in an energizer game to help them understand more about accessibility. Further to this, Mr. Khom informed the participants about an application called Be My Eyes which is a popular assistive application intended to provide support to blind and visually impaired people. Mr. Khom also invited Ms. Ritu (programme coordinator of Prayatna Nepal) to share her experience as an active volunteer of Be My Eyes. After that, the participants were further taught and guided to download and use the application. For this, some of the participants also were engaged in practical demonstrations where they made call through Be My Eyes and checked its accessibility aspects. Then, Mr. Khom guided the participants to use mobile application called Cash Reader that is used to identify money. The participants were given practical orientation to use this application, for which the facilitator and logistic staffs guided them. On the third day of the training, the reporter reviewed second day while evaluator shared her thoughts on few aspects of the previous day's sessions. Ms. Jima again invited the participants to choose one reporter, time keeper and evaluator for the day. After this, she handed over the floor to Mr. Khom Raj Sharma who proceeded with his session on reading without seeing where he informed the participants about an application called Insta Reader. They also learned to use it while Mr. Khom and logistics staffs guided them to download and use it practically. Then, Mr. Khom also guided the participants to use Google Maps in order to navigate directions and travel with the help of technology. Similarly, he also informed the participants about other Google applications such as Gmail and contact management. In this session, they learnt more about sending emails, blocking/unblocking, subscribing/unsubscribing users and contents in Gmails and saving contact details in Google contact. They also learned about Google assistant and its use to browse internet using smart phones. Then the participants were divided into groups for group activity to learn more about the learnt applications practically. On fourth day of the training, the reporter first shared previous day's learning and evaluator added on to it. Then, the floor was handed over to Mr. Khom, who started the day by sharing about accessibility and universal design. In this session, the participants were sensitized on importance of making digital platforms accessible to all (persons with or without disability). He also highlighted that making digital platforms accessible means making it accessible to all, and not only for persons with disabilities. He pointed out that accessibility can be achieved if Universal design (one design that fits everyone) is followed. Later, the participants were engaged in group discussion on accessibility issues in digital space among blind and visually impaired users. After group presentation and sharing, Ms. Sarita took over session on ways internet works. She used both practical and theoretical method to clear the concept. After her session, Ms. Ritu briefly engaged the participants in practical demonstration to navigate some accessibility functions in their smart phones. After this, Mr. Khom helped the participants to revise and gave them time to ask if they have any questions so far. After some discussion and sharing, Ms. Sarita asked the participants to give anonymous feedback about the four days training. For this, the logistic staffs distributed braille paper to the participants where they jotted down their thoughts/reviews. At the end of the program, Ms. Sarita thanked Mr. Khom for facilitating the four days training and also requested all the participants to share what they learnt or liked about the training. There was a unanimous opinion that this session helped them understand basic yet important aspects of assistive technology that will help them become more digitally independent. Not only that, Ms. Sarita asked the participants to share their individual contact details (phone number and emails) and announced that Prayatna Nepal will distribute three mobile applications/software namely: Cash Reader, Insta Reader and Auto TTS.