Vidhya Y

Vidhya is visually impaired since birth. She had to overcome immense challenges to navigate life as a blind person, as she was born in a village, which had no resources for a blind child. She had to overcome several obstacles throughout her education, especially to study subjects such as Math and Science due to their visual nature. She not only has paved the way for herself, but is working tirelessly to make life easier for millions like her. She is the founder of “Vision Empower” – a not for profit enterprise which focuses on bringing education in science and mathematics to students with visual impairment which were mostly out of reach for many blind children. She also co-founded “Vembi Technologies” which creates assistive technologies to make education accessible and inclusive for visually impaired students. Her work was featured on Forbes India and Deccan Herald change makers 20 in 20. Vidhya also was a research fellow at Microsoft Research India for 2 years. She has received best paper award for one of her papers submitted at the CSCW conference and honorable mention award for another paper submitted at the chi conference, both of which are published by ACM. As a student of the masters in digital society program at IIITB, Vidhya graduated as the gold medalist from her batch in 2017. She has received numerous awards and many scholarships for her work and academic excellence. She has given a tedX talk and regularly gives motivational talks in many institutes and corporates . Vidhya had been an RJ for a radio show and hosted 35 episodes on science and technology which benefited thousands of visually impaired listeners. She holds the distinction of being the first blind student to undertake Math at higher secondary school in Karnataka, following it up by being the first one to pursue Computer Science as a major in undergraduate studies at her university.

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