KARNATAKA

Using technology to address issues

Can technology help the visually-disabled, who have no access to books and reading resources in their schools?

Currently, they are provided Braille books, most of which do not cover the schooling syllabus or are provided late in an academic year. This forces them to depend on scribes or someone to read out textbooks — something most cannot afford.

It is here that technology can provide some semblance of independence, believes Nirmita Narasimhan, policy director at The Centre for Internet and Society. “Open source screen readers are available in over 10 languages. During the time of publishing of textbooks, all that needs to be done is to prepare a digital copy. Within no time, audio for the blind will be available,” she said, adding that this was one of the demands put for inclusion in the National Education Policy.

Teachers can be trained to use these readers. They can guide students, she said.

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