Kerala Chief Minister Sri. V. S. Achuthanandan inaugurated the new Insight centre at Kumarpuram in the district on 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The new centre houses an activity lab for children with special needs and a vocational centre and audio library for visually challenged people.
In his inaugural address, the CM remarked that Kerala was one of first states to initiate IT projects for the benefit of children with special needs. He said that the government was working on various schemes to expand the scope of IT for the advantage of all sections of the society. IT Principal Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar I A S inaugurated the vocational centre. Dr. Ajay Kumar lauded the efforts of IT Mission at providing education and employment for the differently abled. Ms. Ishitha Roy, Director, Kerala State IT Mission, was also present.
Insight launched the activity lab for children with special needs in the year 2009. The setting up of a new centre is a part of Insight’s initiative to expand and extend its activities so that more children would be able to avail the facility. Insight makes use of various free educational software packages to enhance the communicative and creative abilities of the children. Insight trains children who are visually challenged, autistic, children with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and other mental health difficulties.
The vocational centre for the visually challenged aims to employ participants of the Insight training programme. Insight intends to procure IT based jobs outsourced by firms. IT Mission has agreed to provide the centre its first job contract. Insight vocational centre will work on the digitization of copyright-expired Malayalam books, a part of IT Mission’s Malayalam Computing project. The digital image capturing device required for the process will be provided by C-DIT. The audio library for the visually challenged is another remarkable feature of the new centre. The library comprises more than a 100 audio books in English and Malayalam languages. This library is the first of its kind in the country.