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Rising for Innovation at the Collaborative: How ARISE Impact is Shaping the World of the Visually Challenged Through Special Education Modules

15/06/2016 2:19 AM IST | Updated 15/06/2017 2:42 PM IST

Founded in 2010 by the vision and mission of Abhishek Syal, ARISE Impact is changing the world as we know it. Act to Rise for Innovation in Special Education (ARISE) is a non-profit organization that is transforming the education of differently-abled children, empowering them to envision a future beyond their homes and classrooms. Through innovative technology and resources, ARISE Impact has developed self-learning solutions for the visually challenged, thereby increasing employability and instilling confidence. Abhishek's visions of innovative technology has now transformed into a mission to make a difference in the lives of differently-abled children.

To date, ARISE has impacted over 1000 visually challenged children with their SPECIAL Education Modules (SEMs), based on their SPECIAL (Specialized, Perceptive, Experiential, Concept, Instruction, Augmented, Learning) methodology. Through extensive field surveys and in class research from 2010-2011, the SPECIAL methodology led to the development of the capstone project that tested the content methodologies for engaging the visually challenged children. As a part of the SPECIAL methodology, they have developed proprietary content development techniques for representing map and diagrammatic information in textbooks in audio format. Focusing on a human-centric design, they actively involve the end users, the visually challenged children, in the content development process thus making the Special Education Modules (SEMs) more applicable and easy to understand.

The SEMs are also bilingual, helping the visually challenged children develop English fluency as well as their self-confidence while conversing in English. Impact studies have demonstrated an increase in the engagement levels for audio-based SEMs to 95-98% against traditional audio resources which are around 30-40%.

ARISE Impact has garnered recognition across the globe for its imaginative approach to create highly engaging self-learning resources for the visually challenged children. This year, ARISE Impact will be showcasing their innovations in the global arena at the 6th Annual Classy Awards and The Collaborative conference, rubbing shoulders with other major social innovators such as charity:water. Presented by Classy, The Collaborative is a conference that brings together the leaders who are fighting on the front lines of social change. The prestigious 3 day event that is held in Boston, MA from June 14th to 16th brings together prominent players in the field of social impact, making it an incredible platform that gives rise to discovering, learning and collaborating.

Under the leadership of Abhishek Syal, a talented team of individuals including: Himani Singh (CMO), Arnav Pandey (Product Manager), Erandi Palihakkara (Content Manager), Lavina Bijani (HR Manager), Aakriti Sharma (Content Writer), Maya Levy Meruk (Salesforce Specialist), Shruthi Shashidhar (Business Development Officer), Moustafa Ishak (Salesforce Specialist) and Sean Meininger (IT Manager) strive to bring ARISE Impact's vision to reality. ARISE Impact's board of advisors comprise of Rohit Lall (Strategy), Gary Drescher (Cognitive Learning and Artificial Intelligence Scientist), Professor Surekha Bhanot (Computer Vision) and Dr J.S. Jayara (Headmaster at the Institute for the Blind in Chandigarh).

Following the remarkable success of the Special Education Modules, ARISE Impact has set its sights on collaborating with partners around the world, virtually, to develop and implement new online and offline learning programs to scale up the impact on the education of visually challenged children. With these programs, coupled with on the job training for companies who employ visually challenged individuals, they intent to propagate self-learning for higher employability outcomes in the differently-abled.

ARISE Impact's well researched, innovative technologies contain the best content and design for cognitive self-learning. In their journey to transform the education and careers of the visually challenged children, they are in the search for more global partner institutions to develop an online, audio-based SEM learning service. Find out more about ARISE and how you can partner with them at: http://ariseimpact.org/

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