A journalism course for the visually-impaired students

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MYSORE – JSS Mahavidyapeetha, has introduced a mass communication and journalism course for visually-impaired students at JSS Polytechnic For The Differently Abled.

The course, perhaps the first of its kind in India, aims at moulding students into radio/video jockeys (RJs/VJs), anchors, technical writers and digital journalists. The focus is on voice-based journalism as the course is exclusively for visually challenged students.

Times Foundation has been promoting education, health, environment and woman empowerment. It has helped the institution in designing the curriculum, providing resource persons and offering internship for students. The syllabus has been approved by the state board for technical education in Karnataka.

Imtiaz Ahmed Shariff, former news editor with The Economic Times, a Times Group publication, has designed the curriculum for the first batch of six students. He takes classes twice a week.

In the first year, students learn basic English and computer applications. Over the next two years, they’ll be exposed to various aspects of journalism. All the six students are excited about a career in journalism and feel it’s a new domain for the visually challenged. They are also ready to take up the challenges and make a name for themselves in their chosen area of work.

Sowmya S, a Banglorean, aspires to become an anchor. Sowmya said she used to follow entertainment news before she lost her vision three years ago. “For me, the course is a godsend. It can make me live my dreams,” she said. Prajwal M S from Mandya nurtures similar aspirations.

Bhargav H S, Vinod V, N S Nanjundaswamy and Chumbitha A P feel the course has charted a new path for them. “We consider ourselves lucky to be a part of the first batch,” they said.

Institute principal N Shekar said they are offering a three-year course in computer applications for the visually impaired. In this, students are trained in call centre-related activities. From now on, students can choose from three subjects — mass communication and journalism, insurance or call centre training — to study in the last four semesters.

The mass communication programme is being offered in collaboration with Times Foundation, said Shekar.

About the course

* The institute offers three-year course for visually challenged

* Students have to learn basic English in the first two semesters

* In the last four semesters, they will have to choose from different subjects ? mass communication and journalism, call centre training or insurance.

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