In a world that often values sight as one of the most precious senses, this story of one of our amazing Vision-Aid students, who defied the odds to pursue his dreams is truly inspirational. Meet Nibin Mathews, a remarkable individual who was born with visual impairment but never allowed this challenge to hinder his pursuit of a normal life.
Overcoming early challenges
Nibin’s journey began with adversity. Born with 60 percent visual impairment, he overcame early obstacles to attend a regular school, displaying an unwavering determination to receive the same education as his sighted peers. However, the real test of his resilience came when, in the 6th grade, a cricket ball struck him in one eye, disabling him of his sight on that side. Despite this setback, he persisted, relying on his remaining sight and the support of his family to continue his education.
But life had more challenges in store. A few years later, glaucoma claimed the vision of his other eye. For most people, this would have marked the end of their educational journey, but not for Nibin Mathew.
A Zest for Learning
Determined to live a life defined by achievement rather than limitations, he found his passion in education. He went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts in English, a remarkable achievement for someone with total vision loss. After completing his graduation, he achieved a significant milestone by successfully clearing the RRB (Railway Recruitment Board) exams in 2016, which opened the doors to a stable, secure and rewarding career with the India Railways in Mumbai. For many, this in itself, would be a dream come true. However, his story doesn’t stop there. His love for computer programming and a desire to contribute to the digital world led him to make a life-changing decision. He decided to leave a secure job in the railway sector and follow his passion for computer programming.
Climbing the Technology ladder at Vision-Aid India
Nibin discovered Vision-Aid, which offered high quality training programs in programming and technology especially customized to the requirements of the visually impaired. For Nibin, this was one of the turning points in his life. Nibin Mathews enrolled in Vision-Aid’s Python course, which aims to equip visually challenged people with coding and creative technical abilities, as a means of improving himself. Additionally, he finished a Vision-Aid course on Digital Accessibility Testing (DAT), which helped him refine his knowledge and abilities in developing technology that is accessible by everyone, regardless of their physical capabilities.
The Pursuit of Mastery
With certifications from Vision-Aid in hand, he was not content to settle. His ambition led him to pursue a Master’s degree in Digital Society from the prestigious International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bangalore. However, the cost of this program was too high for Nibin and his family. It was here that Vision-Aid once again came to his aid, providing invaluable financial support to pay for his second semester fee in 2019 through the kind and generous support of one of the US-based volunteer mentors from the Vision-Aid python program, who agreed to underwrite the cost of these fees so that Nibin could continue his higher studies.
He was able to finish his Master’s degree with the help of Vision Aid, which is a credit to both his hard work and the amazing support he had from the organization.
Shining in the Professional World
Equipped with his recently acquired knowledge and credentials, Nibin started his hi-tech career journey. He worked with a number of organizations, consistently pushing boundaries in the field of digital accessibility. Due to his ability, determination, and unwavering spirit, he currently holds the position of Accessibility Lead at Bosch Global Software Technologies (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu).
Beyond Technical Professional Success: An International Tennis Champion
His journey doesn’t end with professional success. He is also an international long tennis champion, receiving a bronze medal at the IBSA World Games held in the UK in 2023. His story in learning and mastering tennis despite being fully visually impaired, is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the boundless potential of the human mind, regardless of physical limitations. Nibin, like many other blind tennis players, use audio cues generated by specially designed tennis balls which make a sound as they move over the court, to figure out where the tennis ball is and to go after it with amazing speed and dexterity.
An avid violinist
Nibin’s extra-curricular interests do not stop on the tennis court. He has learned how to play the violin and thoroughly enjoys it too.
What Nibin has to say about Vision-Aid
Nibin Mathew Says, “I can never forget the crucial role that Vision-Aid played in my journey,”. Nibin is incredibly appreciative of the unwavering support and help provided by many volunteers and team members in Vision-Aid over the past few years, and the many doors they opened for him. He concludes, “Thanks to Vision-Aid for helping me achieve my ambitions.”
Nibin’s story is not just one of personal success, but it also serves as a brilliant beacon of the positive effects that organizations and support systems can have on people who are driven to overcome challenges, shatter stereotypes and in doing so, becoming a role model for many others. Nibin’s journey so far is a testament to the human spirit’s boundless capacity to shine, even in the face of the biggest challenges. His story is truly inspiring to all of us at Vision-Aid, and we are immensely proud of Nibin and grateful to our many supporters and volunteers who make such stories possible!
Keep shining Nibin! 🙂