TROY – Anindya “Bapin” Bhattacharyya believes he has many “Anne Sullivans” in his life.
Bhattacharyya, who is blind and deaf, told students, faculty and guests at Troy University’s 19th annual Helen Keller Lecture that technology was his teacher. He served as keynote speaker and spoke by sign to a person who translated via microphone in the University’s Claudia Crosby Theater.
“The power of technology has led me to success, just as it has for most of you,” he said.
Born deaf, and becoming blind at age nine due to retina detachments, West Bengal, India born Bhattacharyya was educated at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., after having been forced out of school in India. He completed an undergraduate degree in political science at University of Arkansas Little Rock, and currently serves as a technology development and training specialist at the Helen Keller National Center.
During his presentation, he showed the technology used to enhance daily life and independence of blind and deaf people, including a Braille attachment for the iPhone 5S and a GPS system.
“This kind of technology is very expensive and deaf blind people need it to interact with their world,” he said.
In 2010, he lobbied Congress to pass the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act that designated $10 million for providing telecommunications equipment and services for the deaf-blind. The bill was signed into law that same year.