Accessible Learning Improving Conversation and Career Skills: Meet Sagar

Sagar is a university student from India, who found edX through a friend. He has a vision impairment, and found the courses on edX to be accessible for him to complete without assistance. He has been able to apply his learning to his conversational English skills and towards an internship. Read on to hear more of his story:

What edX course or program did you take and what were your goals in taking it?

Conversation is one of the most important skills in today’s digital era, it not only helps us build stronger ties with the people we know but also helps us break the ice with strangers. I learned the significance of this even more because I have had very low vision since I was born, so it is difficult for me to travel out of my hometown, a place in Gujarat, India where people barely speak English. Owing to my environment, though I learned to comprehend English conversations, I found it really hard to converse in English, thus limiting my opportunities to connect with people beyond my immediate surroundings.

Fast forward to 2017, a friend helped me join a Facebook group of MOOC learners. I checked out the edX platform using my screen reader software (an assistive technology used by the blind to access computers) and found courses belonging to several categories. I was excited to find a category on communication and signed up for the course Conversational English Skills by TsinghuaX.

How was your experience learning online?

During the span of the course, I learned various tips and tricks for everyday conversations. I had never found such content anywhere else on the web; most online resources talked about grammar which was hard for me to follow without guidance. Taking this unique course has transformed my life. Everyone associated with me has remarked on the drastic improvement in my soft skills. Moreover, the cherry on the cake is the accessibility of not just the course but of edX as a platform. I could submit my assignments and even take the exam without any sighted assistance. I never had this independent joy of learning while studying at my College here.

How has your learning impacted your career, life, or community?

After taking this course, I also completed Introduction to Computer Science and Programming using Python from MITx and earned a verified certificate. This course helped me develop aptitude for solving problems and I managed to successfully apply the skills I gained to land a remote internship. Learning on edX has thus not just helped me be productive from the comforts of my home but has also made me more confident to interact with my teammates, friends and more!

How do you plan to use your learning in the future? What’s next for you?

Learning to communicate effectively is always going to be an ongoing process and I am glad I found edX to help me embark on this journey. Thank You edX for kindling the light of self-learning in my life and “Conversational English Skills” shall always be the most special milestone in my life!

What advice would you give new edX students?

Find the course of your interest and devote time to it. You will see the growth and improvement in skills automatically.

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