A complete audio substitute for print material- Daisy Player

A device which allows a print disabled person to read digital talking books and audio material, access e-text / computer-generated material, as well as to record information.

Saksham has introduced two high-end daisy players which are apt for Indian users. Saksham Evo E5 and Evo E-10 have created a boom in the market. The devices have become every visually impaired student’s must-have. Let us know more about the devices and their features.

SAKHSAM EVO- E5 evo- e5 png fle

  • Evo- E5 is full-featured audio recorder and the player with inbuilt support to reading e-books in various formats like text, doc, DAISY, and EPUB.
  • The user can read the books in 7 Indian languages including Indian English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada in high-quality human-like voices.
  • The device offers full navigation support to the users.
  • Playback speed can be increased or reduced as per the preference of the user.
  • Has the inbuilt memory of 8GB which can be extended to 32 GB with the external memory card.
  • EVO E5 can be used for easily recording lectures in the classroom or taking meeting notes, in addition to reading books in Indian languages.
  • It can also be used as a Music player and digital audio clock. The device also has an FM receiver and built-in rechargeable battery.

SAKSHAM EVO- E10 

Evo E10 Daisy talking book player recorder

Evo E-10 is a daisy player specially designed to be a complete audio substitute for print material and is specifically designed for people with “print disability”, including blindness, vision impairment.

The device feature audio recorder and the player with inbuilt support to reading digital books in various formats like text, Docx, Doc, PDF, DAISY, EPUB, Daisy Audio and MP3 audio. The user can read the books in 16 Indian languages including Indian English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada in high- quality human-like voices.

The device offers full navigation support to the users. Playback speed can be increased or reduced as per the preference of the user.

EVO- E10 can be used for easily recording lectures in the classroom or taking meeting notes, in addition to reading books in Indian languages. The device has an in-built wifi receiver it enables listening to internet radio and podcast as well as direct download and reading books from online digital libraries like Sugamya Pystakalaya and Bookshare. It also has utilities such as talking alarm clock, Talking Calculator, Talking Compass, FM Radio and music player.

Should I say ‘disabled person’ or ‘person with a disability’?

Recently, an Alberta woman with an obvious physical disability was asked to leave a grocery store and not come back because she could not pack her own groceries quickly enough. According to the report on CBC’s Go Public, the checkout clerk said she was slowing down the line as she struggled to bag her groceries, and the store said no staff were available to help her. Presumably, neither were other patrons.

To Read more click on the link below:

https://theconversation.com/should-i-say-disabled-person-or-person-with-a-disability-113618

DotBook- India’s First Braille Laptop

 “Dotbook“, the refreshable Braille display that has been developed over several years of effort is finally ready for release. After multiple iterations and incorporation of feedback from hundreds of users, the device has been launched on February 27, 2019.

An inter-disciplinary multi-organization young team from AssisTech (IIT Delhi), KritiKal Solutions, Phoenix Medical Systems, and Saksham has made the development possible.

At present, high-end Braille displays are very expensive and seldom used. Based on IIT Delhi’s patented Shape Memory Alloy technology, DotBook brings this cost down to 25% of the existing displays, thus making this solution accessible to the millions who were previously not catered to.

The device comes packed with custom developed applications & features that one would need to independently carry out his / her day to day tasks, be it the educational assignments or office work, with ease, such as:

  • Full-fledged document processor with Microsoft word abilities to read, edit, navigate, and format documents seamlessly.
  • Advanced email client to manage multiple email accounts.
  • Built-in Web browser for browsing Web pages at your fingertips.
  • Access to online digital libraries like Sugamya Pustakalaya, Bookshare etc
  • Has built-in braille translation that supports open and contracted formats.
  • Support for commonly used file formats like brf, brl, txt, docx and epub.
  • Support for Indian languages, pdf, daisy and text to speech available in the near future through software upgrades

The device comes out in two variants: DotBook 40Q, a 40-Cell Display with QWERTY keyboard; and DotBook 20P, a 20-Cell Display with Braille keyboard

For more information about this revolutionary product, kindly drop a mail at dotbook@saksham.org or call at 9013232311.

 

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SUGAMYA PUSTAKALYA- A step towards an Accessible Digital India

Saksham’s new venture in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India (DFI) and powered by TCS Access Infinity is the SUGAMYA PUSTAKALAYA.

Sugamya Pustakalaya an online library, is India ‘s first and largest collection of accessible books. The Pustakalaya is the aggregator of accessible versions of books available in India. This library has been created by DAISY Forum of India to provide access to books to persons with print disabilities. It is poised to become the largest collection of books in accessible formats in India and a one-stop resource for the reading requirements of all those persons who due to blindness, weak eyesight or any other disability cannot read the standard print.

Bookshare, the largest International online library for persons with print disabilities is also integrated into Sugamya Pustakalaya. All the titles available in Bookshare library for India can be searched and downloaded through the Sugamya Pustakalaya through Bookshare credentials.

The Pustakalaya makes 5,25,176 Books in 8 languages available for download providing books primarily in DAISY, EPUB and BRF format. The files downloaded from the online library can be read on computers, mobile phones, tablets, and dedicated devices.

The key stakeholders and beneficiaries of Sugamya Pustakalaya are:

  1. Persons with print disabilities: They get access to this library through any of the DAISY Forum of India member organization. These individuals are able to log into the website, search for books of their choice uploaded by the registered organizations in the platform. These books are created for special distribution for the print disabled and permitted to be used only by persons with print disabilities.
  1. Organizations producing accessible content: These organizations are able to upload their books collection to the Sugamya Pustakalaya and thereby reach out to print disabled across the country. They also get a robust mechanism for storing their books and maintaining membership and book distribution data.
  2. Organizations serving the print impaired, Universities, schools and libraries: These organizations can take up DAISY Forum of India membership to be able to download books from the Sugamya Pustakalaya for their local members/students. They will be able to provide access to an enormous amount of accessible material like never before.
  3. Publishers: Mainstream publishers can register with DAISY Forum of India and can directly contribute accessible versions of their publications.

These stakeholders are given log in accounts on Sugamya Pustakalaya with different privileges. For example, the content producers can only upload books whereas the persons with print disabilities can only download books. The Sugamya Pustakalaya secretariat supervises the overall process and has the rights to register organizations and publishers.

Anyone can visit the Sugamya Pustakalaya website and check out the collection of books. The user account details are required only when content is to be downloaded.

By

Himanya Chadha

MASS INSTALLATION OF SCREEN READING SOFTWARE PROGRAM

Saksham is organizing a Mega 2- day event with the help of its technical experts, Mass installation of screen reading software program, to support the education and to empower the visually impaired persons. More than 300 visually impaired persons are invited to learn computer through screen reading software, Indo-NVDA with eye-tools and for capacity building. The program will involve installation of the software, training by our experts and hand on experience to the users to boost their confidence.

For further information call us at  011-42411015
Date- 27th and 28th of December.
Venue- Saksham Head Office, New Delhi 

Nitin’s Story- Exploring self.

Nitin is a child with visual impairment since birth. His father is a laborer and mother is a domestic helper. He has 3 brothers and sister. He came to Saksham 4 years ago after having withdrawn from a blind school because of a very bad experience there. As a result, he was emotionally traumatized. He had lost all trust and faith on people and was very afraid of school. He would not communicate with anyone.

It took Nitin quite some time to be able to trust anyone again, to express himself, to communicate with others, to be in a state to learn something new.

Gradually Nitin became comfortable, learned to trust and learned new skills. After an assessment, it was found that Nitin was weak in academics due to weak memory. He showed greater potential in vocational activities like in paper folding, threading, pasting. He could independently make paper envelopes and bags. His threading and beading were neat and perfect. He picked up money transaction skills and is very good at it. He is able to independently do all his daily living activities.

Nitin is very happy now. Since Nitin is 18 years old, an exit plan for him is being formulated.

Saksham will provide him with a mobile kiosk. With the help of his family, he will run a tea stall and sell paper bags and other products of the vocational unit. Initially, Nitin will be trained to run the mobile shop in the vicinity of the school or a controlled environment. Eventually, once he is able to transact the business capably the shop will be moved to the vicinity of his house. The shop will be equipped with utensils, stove, snacks, raw materials etc.

By empowering Nitin with the capacity to earn, Nitin will be valued in his family and society.

Many of such stories are changing our view to look at our life and live it at its best.

Audio Description- My first experience

Do you remember listening to the bedtime stories by your mom, dad or grandparents? I remember my dad narrating those stories to me, I used to close my eyes and visualize whatever he narrates to me.

Audio description is basically narrating the story to persons with visual impairment. The narration translates images or other visual information or non-dialogue portions of film into spoken words so that people who are blind or visually impaired can access, enjoy and learn from works of popular cultural and educational importance. The original track is paused and audio description is inserted between dialogues of the movie.

The narration helps a blind person to get connected with the story, he or she can easily catch the pace of the movie and understands even the silent or non-dialogue portions of it.

Recently, when I attended the screening of an audio described movie, it did remind me of those moments I and my dad spend together, it reminded me of how much I used to depend on his narration and visualize his words. Yes, for me it was going back to my childhood but for someone, it can be a way to get an access to the cinema.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting advocates for making cinema inclusive

Saksham Trust and with very valuable support from SAPIENT, The Directorate of Film Festivals, is organizing the screening of popular Bollywood film ‘Sholay’ with audio-description, subtitles, and supported by sign-language interpretation.

The audio description feature, when combined with subtitles, enhances the abilities of a person with visual and/or hearing impairment to experience and connect with the film the same way as a sighted person. The audio description refers to the narrative track added to a film that enables a person with visual impairment to understand the sequences that have a natural pause/no sound.

This year also marks the completion of 43 years of the film, a milestone worth celebrating by making the cinema a watching experience for all. Saksham Trust has in the past voluntarily audio-described 28 Bollywood films that have been shown at various film festivals and private screenings.

Saksham works in the field of education, assistive technology solutions for reading and writing and mobility solutions, inclusive entertainment, covering Pan India, with a school for children with vision impairment in Noida, since 2003.

For their devotion to the cause, they were honored with a National Award in 2015.

Saksham’s Infant to Toddler and Extension Programs

Story 1: Saksham goes beyond to reach the unreached

The Community Based Rehabilitation program

With the support of the funding partners Metlife, FISERV and Concern India, Saksham has taken the initiative to provide rehabilitation services to children with visual Impairment and Multiple Disabilities from the remote villages of Noida and Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The identified children are belonging to the most deprived and marginalized sections of our society. We identify these children by making door to door home visits with the support of the local Anganwadi staff and make assessments of their strength and disabilities. These children are then called to a common point in their village (either a health care centre or the Anganwadi premises) where need-based services are provided by the Saksham team. Our services include:

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Visual Stimulation Training
  • Special Education Sessions
  • Parent Training and Counselling
  • Community Awareness and sensitization

Here are a few pictures from the CBR program in Challera and Sadarpur, Noida

Story 2: Short Field Trips for our delicate children

Children from the MDVI and Junior Section are now going out for short trips in the neighbor to learn independent skills and more so experience the outer environment without their parents beside. This was a major step for us as some of these children are hyperactive and show temper tantrums in addition to their unpredictable health conditions. With the enthusiasm on the part of the parents, the keen interest of the staff and the educational need of the children we started simple outdoor activities from this year on.

By 

Supriya Das 

 

 

First Time in India- Audio Description in movie halls.

Almost a decade ago Sakham took the first step to audio describing the movie Black and prepared a special DVD of the movie that many of us enjoyed. We started with the vision that one day we will reach a stage where most of the movies released in Indian theatres will provide persons with visual impairment and blindness the option to listen to audio description through the headphone while he or she is sitting with their family and friends in the movie hall.
In this journey, we did several special DVDs, held several special screenings with audio descriptions and then moved to the next step by introducing audio description on mainstream DVDs such as in Pipli Life or PK. We also had a television screening of Dangal that provided the choice to have the audio description in it.

Why Audio Description?

In a movie, there are several silent portions or the unexplained situations where a person with difficulty in seeing and blindness at the time could not able to figure out about the scene. hence, which makes the cinema inaccessible for persons with visual impairment. Audio Description is an additional narration track intended primarily for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media. It is a narration of what is happening on the screen during the silent portions in the video and sometimes during dialogues when necessary.

We are glad to announce that we got the opportunity to have the first movie in which visually impaired persons are able to walk into any movie hall that is showing the movie “Sanju” and have an audio description of the movie spoken into their ears through the headphone.

A visually impaired person needs to go to a movie hall and purchase a ticket everyone else and sit in the hall. In addition, we have to carry a smartphone with internet connection with them. The smartphone should have an app. In this app, the person will get an audio ticket free of cost and download the audio description track of the movie which would normally take a one or two minutes. When the movie starts, he needs to press the play button and the app will synchronize itself to the place of the movie and begin playing audio description in the silent gaps.

This development is very exciting as it eliminates the need to install special equipment in every hall to be able to provide audio description. 

The name of this app is “XL Cinema”. This app is available for both Android and IOS. Thus you can enjoy the audio description on any android phone or on the iPhone. The app was created originally for listening to the movie in language other than the one being played in the movie hall. Creators of this app have introduced a special feature and a mode in this app for enabling listening to audio descriptions too. They have also spent a lot of effort into making this app accessible with the talkback and voice over.

To know more about the app you may go to the youtube link given below and know how can we access to this app and can enjoy the audio description of the movie.

How to register yourself on XL cinema app to listen to the audio described movies.

How to access audio described movies for persons with blindness through an app. XL CINEMA.