Staff Reporter

Screen reading software offers immense possibilities to the visually impaired

’Jaws’ will enable them to work in fields such as medical transcription

Federation plans short-term courses for visually impaired teachers

KOZHIKODE: The development of newer and novel software has opened the floodgates of knowledge and information to the visually impaired, placing them on a par with normal persons, says C.K. Aboobacker, State president, Kerala Federation of the Blind.

Explaining the benefits of multimedia computers with English software, installed at the Vocational Training Centre of the Federation at Kundayithode in Kozhikode, he says the special screen reading audible software will help to overcome the limitation encountered by the visually impaired with regard to accessing knowledge and information. “Communication limitation is a major hazard with adverse impact on this section of society. The new software, through adaptation and modification, has addressed this problem, allowing them to access knowledge like normal persons,” he says.

Above all, the software will open the much-needed employment avenues to the visually impaired through medical transcription and the like. The software can also be used in correspondence, lessening dependence on others.

Digital library

The digital library — Curzewheel speciality reading software — benefits the visually impaired considerably, enabling them to read the latest publications, books and materials that are scanned and made audible.

The federation proposes to conduct short-term courses for visually impaired teachers besides providing e-literacy. Those with basic English skills can make use of it. Malayalam software is to be installed shortly.

Mr. Aboobacker wanted the State government to provide adequate assistance to the federation.

Plea for grant

Revision of norms by the Central government has resulted in grants being cut for the welfare of the visually impaired. This would have a negative impact on the services provided to them. Now, as much as 70 per cent of the services for the visually impaired are provided by non-governmental organisations.

District Collector A. Jayathilak inaugurated the computer lab on July 23.