Tiffany Maria Brar
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
|Parents||Tej Pratap Singh Brar,|
|Alma mater||Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Coimbatore|
|Occupation||Founder of Jyothirgamaya Foundation, Disability Rights Activist|
|Profession||Social worker, Special educator|
|Known for||Social activist, Motivational Speaker, Inclusion, Disability rights and Advocacy|
|Awards||National Award from the President of India, Holman Prize|
Tiffany Brar is an Indian community service worker who became blind as an infant due to oxygen toxicity. Brar is the founder of the Jyothirgamaya Foundation, a non-profit organizationthat teaches life skills to blind people of all ages. She is a trainer, a campaigner for disability awareness and a advocates for an inclusive society.
Tiffary Brar is the only daughter of General T. P. S. Brar and Leslie Brar.Tiffany was born in Chennai, India, where her father was posted, and grew up in Punjab.
Tiffany Brar suffered Terry Syndrome and became blind six months after her birth.Due to her father's occupation, Brar travelled widely. Because she was blind, verbal communication was important and she became multilingual.
During her childhood, Brar learnt to fluently speak five Indian languages.She started her education in Great Britain while her father was posted there. When her family returned to India, Brar studied in schools for the blind, in integrated schools and in military schools. After completing her primary education in Kerala, her father was transferred to Darjeeling, where Tiffany studied at the Mary Scott Home for the Blind.
As a blind person, Brar found school difficult.She was made to sit at the back of the class and was sometimes not allowed to answer questions. Her Braille notes either arrived late or did not arrive at all. She was sheltered and protected by her parents.
At her schools, Brar experienced segregation and isolation by other pupils, and was excluded from events. She reached first position in the CBSE board exam in 12th gradein a school alongside sighted counterparts.
After completing school, Brar complete a degree in English literature at a government women's college in Trivandrum in 2006.After graduating in 2009, Brar started working for Braille Without Borders as a telephone operator. She travelled to various organizations where she came across many underprivileged blind people who were confined to their homes and lacked proper training. During one trip, she found roads are slippery or covered with stones, making them unsuitable for blind people, and that in some parts of India, blind people are confined to their homes by unsupportive societies. This encouraged her to found the Jyothirgamaya Foundation to support the education of blind and partially sighted children. In Kerela, visually impaired children are trained in Malayalam, the regional language, through text-recognition software but do not attend special schools and are taught neither Braille nor English. Brar campaigns though Jyothirgamaya to change the system.
After working for two years, Brar pursued her B.Ed in special education (visual impairment) from Sree Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University in Coimbatore.In July 2012, she began running the Jyothirgamaya (meaning "leading to light") mobile school for the blind. The idea for the organization came from a retired police officer from Tamil Nadu, N. Krishnaswamy, to help children constrained by poverty, disability or distance.
In 2018, the Government of India parised Brar for her efforts during flooding in Wayanad, where she collected materials for relief camps.
Brar now travels alone throughout India and abroad.
Tiffany Brar's first job was as a receptionist, after which, she studied for a B.Ed in special education at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University then went on to found the Jyothirgamaya Foundation in July 2012to improve the lot of blind and partially sighted people in Kerala.
Brar set up a mobile school for blind children, saying; "If the blind cannot go to school then the school shall go to them."She was inspired with this idea after her leadership training at Kanthari run by a German lady, Sabriye Tenberken and her Dutch partner, Paul Kronenberg at Vellayani.
Through the Jyothirgamaya Foundation, Brar trains blind people in Braille, mobility, basic computer use, and life skills. ₹18.28 lakh) prize money to further her work with blind and partially sighted people.She has also recently initiated a project, Road to Independence, which holds training camps in Kerala. She is an artist, teacher and motivational speaker, and has served as an ambassador for the WWF's 2016 Earth Hour campaign in India. In 2020 she, became the first Indian to receive Holman Prize from the US-based organisation LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Brar was presented with $25, 000 (
In the year 2019, Brar opened a preparatory school and kindergarten for visually-challenged children in Thiruvanthapuram, which was inaugurated by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.
Brar designed the Tiffy template, which was built by inventor Paul D'Souza; it is a small template that identifies Indian currency notes to prevent blind people from being cheated by traders.
Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts, was founded in 1829 and is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. It has also been known as the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
The subject of blindness and education has included evolving approaches and public perceptions of how best to address the special needs of blind students. The practice of institutionalizing the blind in asylums has a history extending back over a thousand years, but it was not until the 18th century that authorities created schools for them where blind children, particularly those more privileged, were usually educated in such specialized settings. These institutions provided simple vocational and adaptive training, as well as grounding in academic subjects offered through alternative formats. Literature, for example, was being made available to blind students by way of embossed Roman letters.
The Perkins Brailler is a "braille typewriter" with a key corresponding to each of the six dots of the braille code, a space key, a backspace key, and a line space key. Like a manual typewriter, it has two side knobs to advance paper through the machine and a carriage return lever above the keys. The rollers that hold and advance the paper have grooves designed to avoid crushing the raised dots the brailler creates.
Sabriye Tenberken is a German tibetologist and co-founder of the organisation Braille Without Borders.
Braille Without Borders (BWB) is an international organisation for the blind in developing countries. It was founded in Lhasa, Tibet, by Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg in 1998.
Alampur Saibaba Goud is an Indian ophthalmologist and founder-chairman of the Devnar Foundation for the Blind. He is also a social entrepreneur, and active in the voluntary organization at Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh, a state of India. He works in the field of providing aid to visually challenged and visually disabled children in India.
The All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) is the governing body for the game of Chess among visually impaired in India. It was formed in 1997 with a view to promoting the game of chess among the visually impaired all over the country. It is registered under Society Registration Act, 1860; Public Trust Act, 1951 and Income Tax Act, 1961 – Section 12A.
Mitra Jyothi established in 1990, is a charitable trust registered under Indian Trust Act based in Bangalore. Its aims to support the visually impaired through various programs it offers. These programs include Talking Book Library, Computer Training Center, Independent Living Skills, Braille Transcription Center and Job Placement. It received State Award in 2010 from the Directorate of Disabled Welfare and Senior Citizens, Government of Karnataka for its exemplary service for persons with disabilities. Mitra Jyothi is also a member of the DAISY Forum of India (DFI). DFI is a forum of Not for profit organizations from India who are involved in production of books and reading materials in accessible formats for persons who cannot read normal print.
Sight Scotland is a Scottish Charity based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The charity provides care, education and employment for people of all ages who are blind or partially sighted. Sight Scotland provides the following services: Royal Blind School, Forward Vision, Braeside House, Jenny's Well, Scottish Braille Press and Kidscene. Sight Scotland’s sister charity is Sight Scotland Veterans.
Chakshumathi is a nongovernmental, not for profit organization based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, working for developing resources for the use of visually impaired people. It is an "Empowerment and Assistive Technology Centre for Blind". The organization, which was inaugurated in June 2011, is a member of DAISY Forum of India. The organization is currently headed by V.K. Damodaran, a former President of Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad.
Jawahar Lal Kaul is an Indian social worker and the founder of the All India Conference of the Blind, an NGO working towards the rehabilitation of the blind. He was honoured by the Government of India, in 2014, which bestowed on him the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his services to the field of arts.
Bertha Gyndykes Dkhar is a visually impaired Indian educationist, best known as the inventor of the braille code in Khasi. In 2010, the Government of India awarded her with the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award.
Richa Maheshwari is a Delhi-based fashion photographer. She started practicing fashion photography and short film making commercially after college and is now the CEO of Richa Maheshwari Film & Photography.
Khda Reh Ke Dalvaunga, popularly known as Jagdishbhai, is an Indian visually impaired social worker and one of the 3 founders of the Blind People's Association of India, along with his wife and Kanubhai Ambalal Thaker an Ahmedabad based non governmental organization promoting the interests of the people with physical disabilities. He is a recipient of the Indian civilian honour of the Padma Shri.
Madhu Singhal is a social activist who works on projects for people with disabilities. The social activities taken upon by her focuses on promoting education and generating job opportunities for people with disabilities. She has won National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in 2008. She is the founder of Mitra Jyothi which serves people with disabilities.
Jyothirgamaya Foundation is a nonprofit organization, based in Thiruvananthapuram Kerala which is actively involved in the empowerment of persons with visual impairment founded in 2015 by Tiffany Brar. The project started as a mobile blind school in 2012. Tiffany Brar herself, traveled through rural areas in public transport in search of blind people of all ages in rural areas in India, with the aim of bringing out of the four walls of their house, to which they are confined, and brings a new light to their eyes, which has nothing to do with their eyesight. Jyothirgamaya Foundation holds Special consultative status with United Nations.
Geraldine Jerrie Lawhorn was a figure of the American deafblind community, a performer, actress, pianist, then instructor at the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. At 67 years old, she became the first deafblind African American to earn a college degree in the United States of America.
Gargi Gupta is the founder and secretary of Voice Of World (NGO), a multi-unit non-profit organization for visually impaired and differently-abled and orphaned children in Eastern India, headquartered in Kolkata, India.
Pushpa Preeya née Nagaraj also known as either Pushpa Nagaraj or Pushpa N. M. is an Indian scribe, IT professional, social activist and volunteer. She is well known for her voluntary service of writing exams for visually impaired people.
Nikisha B. Jariwala is an Indian computer scientist. She is a professor in Smt. Tanuben & Dr. Manubhai Trivedi College of Information Science. She is recognized for her work in devising a computer model for converting Indian text into Braille.
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