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Prepping for the Future

Bosma Enterprises - 8/26/2020 9:07:44 AM

At the age of four, Leekshika and her family moved from India to the United States due to the passage of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). In our latest blog, Leekshika discusses coming to the U.S. and how Bosma Enterprises' Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind helped prepare her for college.

Leekshika Pinnamneni was born premature at only 28 weeks, and her eyes were not fully developed. She was diagnosed with the condition Retinopathy of Prematurity, which is one of the most common causes of vision loss in children. In Leekshika’s case, the condition resulted in total blindness.

At the age of four, Leekshika and her family moved from India to the United States due to the lack of accommodation requirements for people with disabilities. “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a big deal when it was passed in this country and that’s one of the big reasons we came here,” she said.

Once in the U.S., Leekshika was enrolled at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI). At ISBVI, Leekshika learned basic orientation and mobility skills as well as Braille. “I had excellent teachers who pushed me to have high expectations for myself,” she recalls.

In the seventh grade, Leekshika transferred to Fisher’s Junior High School. The transition to public school proved to be challenging at first, but despite the struggles she faced when making friends, Leekshika was appreciative of the accommodations made by her teachers.

After graduating high school, Leekshika was accepted to the University of Indianapolis where she majored in International Business and Spanish. To prepare her for campus life, she took advantage of Bosma Enterprise’s college prep training to help her navigate the campus. She also learned tips for taking notes, study skills and advice on living in a dorm.

The training she received from Bosma’s Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind proved to be beneficial. Leekshika earned her BS in 2018, and found a job, but was only contracted for six months.

Recently, Leekshika returned to Bosma Enterprises’ Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind to receive additional training to help her become more independent. She was learning basic living skills, like cooking safely within her home, orientation and mobility to navigate her neighborhood and job skills. However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus halted Leekshika’s training.

Although Leekshika was not able to continue her training at our Center, she was able to take advantage of our virtual training courses, like the assistive tech line, where she learned about new apps, how to use an iPhone and navigating in a virtual environment. “Assistive tech was great,” said Leekshika.

Leekshika also took a few lessons in personal management, where she learned about adaptive aids for the kitchen. She also took advantage of our weekly group sessions, where people from the blind community shared how they have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Leekshika successfully completed our rehabilitation program and has already started working on her master’s degree online at North Eastern University in Boston.

Leekshika is thankful to the staff at our Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind for helping her be more independent, productive and self-sufficient. Leekshika is appreciative of the visually impaired for their dedication, and believes teachers of the blind deserve more credit for instilling confidence in a person who may be lacking it.

If you want to learn more about Bosma Enterprises or know someone living with vision loss, please contact us on the web at www.bosma.org or give us a call at 888.567.3422. Our programs team is still hard at work providing resources and assistance to Hoosiers living with vision loss.