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Posted at: Jun 9, 2018, 11:46 AM; last updated: Jun 9, 2018, 11:46 AM (IST)

Digital Braille for visually impaired in Sirsa school

Digital Braille for visually  impaired in Sirsa school
Visually impaired children study online books on computers at Hellen Keller School in Sirsa.

Sushil Manav

For nearly 40 visually impaired children of Hellen Keller School in Sirsa, bulky Braille books are a thing of the past. The district authorities have provided them Braille Me, a digital device that gives them access to educational contents on the internet.

Also, they as well as many other visually impaired persons of the district will have access to over five lakh online books in 11 languages on Sugamya Pustakalaya, an online resource.

The Sirsa district authorities in a series of steps taken for visually impaired people and children with special needs have also set up Tablabs—classrooms equipped with tablets loaded with predefined educational contents.

“We have given the project a collective name ‘Umang’, making education accessible to all. The project is aimed at providing need-based learning environment to visually impaired children and to those with special needs (special children and hearing and speech impaired children). Hisar division Commissioner Rajiv Ranjan launched the project in May,” says Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh.

“Braille Me is a machine that plugs into mobile phones and computers to help visually impaired people have access to the internet and other digital content. It is equipped with a tool to let people write in Braille and have it appear in digital text as well as in other format that converts digital text into raised bumps for readable Braille,” he adds.

Priyanka Sinha, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s Good Governance Associate at Sirsa, who is handling the project, says that Sugamya Pustkalaya has been started in the District Public Library. The authorities have subscribed to this online library owned by the Daisy Forum of India, a not-for-profit organisation involved in the production of books and other reading materials for persons with disabilities, including blindness.

Tablabs have been launched in three schools for special children—Disha and Prayas, which are working for children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, and RKJ Shravan Vaani Kalyan Centre, a school for children with speech and hearing impairment.

“The content in tablets in Tablabs is based on the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) syllabus. It is created considering the level and needs of children. Weekly progress can be tracked through this system,” adds Priyanka. Rani, a student of Helen Keller School, says, “I love the way this Brallie Me interface works. Now, I can store my work and access it anytime”.


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