Archive for July, 2011

Seminar on possibilities of ICT for the differently abled

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Sri. P K Kunhalikutty launching Swaram The minister, Sri Muralidharan MLA and other dignitaries on the dais

The minister presenting certificate to a student The audience

Sri. P K Kunhalikutty, Minister for Industries and IT, inaugurated a one-day seminar on ‘Possibilities of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) for the Differently Abled’ at the Kerala Federation of the Blind (KFB) headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram on 28 July. The seminar was jointly organized by KFB and Insight.

 

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that the government will take necessary measures to implement the policy of 3% job reservations for the differently abled in public sector in the state. He assured that the government will support the activities of Insight. Sri. Kunhalikkutty launched ‘Swaram’, a Malayalam Text To Speech software for the visually challenged, developed by Insight. Sri. K Muraleedharan MLA who delivered the presidential address said that a nation flourishes only when its marginalized citizens are brought to the mainstream of the society. He promised that the district administration will soon make provisions to construct a hostel for the visually challenged in the city.

 

The main feature of the event was a lecture on ‘Role of Assistive Technology in Integrating Individuals with Disabilities in Society’ by Dr. Samuel N Mathew, Director, National Institute of Speech and Hearing. He cited the examples of many persons who have exploited technology and customised it to lead an independent and productive life. This was followed by a presentation on Swaram, an assistive free software that will convert Malayalam digital text to speech. Sri. Rijoy V, developer of the software, detailed the benefits and working of Swaram, that is expected to benefit the visually challenged in the state to access Malayalam documents and web contents.

 

Sri. Jagan C of ThirdEye delivered a talk on ‘Mobile Technologies for the Visually Challenged’. Three visually challenged persons, Smt. Lissy Verghese, Sri. Krishnan S and Sri. Habeeb C communicated with the audience on ‘Using ICT to bridge the gaps: Success Stories’. They shared their tales of attempts and success in using technology to beat the odds. The day ended with a talk on ‘DAISY’, a digital talking book, by Smt. Sarala Ramkamal from DAISY Forum India.

 

More than 100 visually challenged persons from across Kerala took part in the seminar. Certficates were distributed to the students who successfully completed their training at Insight. Mary Pushpam, ward councillor, Kunnukuzhi, C K Aboobecker, president, KFB, Sasidharan Pillai, general secretary, KFB and Sajeevan C, secretary, KFB Thiruvananthapuram were also present.

 

Javascript session for trainers

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Trainers attending the theory class Practical session

Insight is conducting a week-long session on ‘Introduction to Javascript’ for the visually challenged master trainers at the centre. The master trainers of Insight are selected former students who have acquired the expertise for training the visually challenged. The class on Javascript, a scripting language which implements dynamic functionality on a web page, will determine the proposal for an advanced training in the subject. About 15 visually challenged trainers are attending the session that started on 18 July.

 

Classes for 10th batch conclude

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The training programme for the tenth batch of students concluded on 16 July. The IGNOU exams for the batch will be held by the end of August. The classes for the batch that comprised 20 students, had started on 8 June.

 

Workshop for women

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

During the training session Participants of the workshop

The residents of Bethania Rehabilitation Centre at Kumarapuram in the district partook in a five-day training programme on accessible technology organized by Insight. There were 23 trainees, all of them women between 15 and 30 years of age, for the workshop that started on 12 July. Bethania is a centre for the rehabilitation of differently abled women managed by the Bethany Sisters and aided by the Government of India. The centre imparts vocational training and corrective physiotherapy and also provides residential facilities during training.

 

Workshop for children with special needs

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

A boy is helped with the computers as another looks on Vishnu, a resident, during the training session Particpants of the workshop

As part of Insight’s initiatives to give impetus to accessible technology and advance its use among persons with physical challenges, a workshop was organized at Home of Peace for children with special needs, Kanjirappally, Kottayam. The training that centred on educational software for children started on 5 July and concluded on 9 July. Around 20 residents of the institution undertook the training. The children gladly received their first steps in computers. Home of Peace is a rehabilitation centre for children with physical challenges, run by Sisters of the destitute, a missionary congregation. The institution takes care of special children providing them with necessities like food, clothing, shelter and education.

 

IGNOU dignitaries visit Insight

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Smt. Latha Pillai and Dr. Arun Banik being welcomed to the centre The guests observing the classes at Insight

Reviewing the facilities in the audio studio The guests in conversation with James Mathew, Project Co-ordinator, Insight

Insight, on 25 June 2011, entertained dignitaries from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. Smt. Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU and Dr. Arun Banik, Director, National Centre for Disability Studies (a wing under IGNOU) visited the Insight centres to survey the operations of the centre for the visually challenged. Dr. Banik also paid a visit to the Insight centre for children with special needs. Dr. K S Divakaran Nair, Regional Director, IGNOU, Kochi, and Dr. B Sukumar, Regional Director, IGNOU, Trivandrum, also accompanied them.