HEAD Vision Home
The HEAD Vision Home for Children with Visual Impairment
On May 14, 2012, Head Nepal has set up a hostel, (Head Vision Home) in Simikot for blind and partially sighted children. The HEAD Vision Home is a residential program to equip blind and partially sighted children with the necessary tools for successful integration in a mainstream school.
For young children, the program is a preparation for mainstream education. For children who are already in school, it is a supplementary course to provide them with effective methods for their successful studies.
The Target Group
The beneficiaries of the HEAD Vision Home are blind and partially sighted children age between 5 and 15 in the Humla district. Their parents and family members and the community at large are the indirect target group of the project.
Currently four blind and 21 partially sighted children, altogether 25 children from different RMs are being trained in the center. In the first year of the program, a total of 12 children were enrolled, in 2013 8 other more children have been registered and from 2014 altogether 25 children have been benefiting every year.
The curriculum is focused on the following areas:
- Braille literacy in different languages
- Mobility training: independent movement with the use of the white cane
- Daily living skills such as personal hygiene and some housework
- Computer literacy with the use of screen reading software
- Self-confidence and communication training to accept the disability and respond to challenges and discrimination
- Training on tactile graphics, drawing of maps, and diagrams.
Along with the above-mentioned activities, every day in the morning and evening and on holidays as well, the children in Head Vision Home study and practice regular study and other so many extra-curricular activities such as music, computer training with screen reader software, games/sports, dancing gardening, etc. in the hostel. Listen to local songs composed and sung by the children at Head Vision Home.
After one to two years of intensive training, students will be successfully integrated into the regular mainstream schools using knowledge and methods they acquired during the program at HEAD Nepal Blind School. However, they will be staying at the center until their grade 10.
Compared to the first experience of a mobile blind school in 2011, a residential program is more effective for the following reasons:
- the teacher can concentrate on the preparation and implementation of classes, as he doesn’t have to travel several hours per day anymore to visit the villages
- classes will take place daily the residential setting ensures continued practice, e.g. of daily living skills, even outside the classroom
- the regular contact with other visually impaired children shows the students that they are not alone with their problems and they can build their confidence together
- integration of older children in nearby schools can be easily supported.