Archive for December, 2010

Health Ministry dignitary visits Insight

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

A student welcomes Dr. Srivastava Dr. Srivastava studying the facilities in the activity lab

Insight had the honour to host Dr. R. K. Srivastava, Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India, on 4 December 2010. He visited the new Insight centre and reviewed the facilities here. Dr. Srivastava took keen interest in learning about the activities and functioning of Insight. He commended Insight for its efforts and gave recommendations on means to widen the scope of the project. The luminary said that Insight should try for association with similar institutions.

 

Insight opens new centre

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

CM delivering the inaugural address Inauguration of audio library IT Principal Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar opening the vocational centre

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.

 

IGNOU exams

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Warming up for the test Student attending viva

Seventeen participants of the Insight training programme attended the exam conducted by IGNOU on 30 November 2010. The exam was supervised by Prof. T. U. K. Menon, programme-in-charge officer, IGNOU. The university will issue a certificate for those who clear the test.

 

Workshop on accessible technology

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Participants during the workshop Insight team interacting with IISE students

 

A workshop on accessible technology for the visually challenged, developed by Insight, was conducted at International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE), Vellayani, on 23 November 2010. IISE is the brainchild of Braille Without Borders, an international organization working for the empowerment of the blind. The one-day workshop was attended by 15 participants of different nationalities of the IISE training programme. The Insight team delivered talks on Swaram, a Malayalam Text-To-Speech software, and OCR Insight, an application used to read text in English. This was followed by demonstrations on the working of these applications. The participants of the workshop were highly receptive to the concepts presented. During the interaction they enquired about the feasibility to develop similar software in their native languages. The workshop ended on a fruitful note with the attendees appreciating the efforts of Insight at making technology accessible to the visually challenged.