Volume 4 Issue 7 - April 01, 2006

Blind boy creates software for writing Braille in Devanagari

D.N.I.S. News Network- Imagine placing your future in the hands of a total stranger on the day of the most important exam of your life, only because you cannot read and write the conventional way and need someone else to do it for you.

This may sound nerve-wracking to most of us but for millions of blind students across India this is a reality that they have to live with. One often reads about the new assistive software that is changing the way visually impaired people are communicating with the rest of the world for their education and work.  But this is just the news part of these breakthroughs, as in real life hardly any blind students gets to use Braille software during exams or otherwise.

The situation is worse for Hindi speaking students with vision impairment as the Braille enabled assistive software that have been developed so far are largely in English language. A Delhi-based blind teenage boy, Satvir, has developed Braille software that will allow visually impaired students to take exams using Hindi by allowing Braille commands on the computer to be converted into Devanagari text. He also became the first student to take Central Board of Secondary Education exam for Hindi subject using this software.

In a poor reflection on the lack of initiative on the part of country’s nodal agency for school level examinations, Satvir is only the second blind student to take the examination using a computer running special Braille software.

The new software is the result of an individual initiative with support from Blind Relief Association, where the student is based. But such important breakthrough will fail to benefit those who need them most, unless government agencies take the onus of providing levelled playing field for all its students.

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