Not Just Seeing Is Believing, Accessible Audio Books & a Library for Visually Impaired Are Here

(Note: This article has been taken from the Better India Blog, it is written by our employee Ms. Sonali.)

Books are considered a person’s best companion. It is said that “When you open a book, you open a new world”. Books provide us with an endless pool of knowledge and information and allow a person to improve his / her understanding by exposing one to new things, besides being an invaluable source of entertainment.

Books have been in existence forever, but recent advancements in technology have provided us with various other alternatives to choose from besides the physical form.

These include electronic books and talking or audio books.

The concept of talking book goes all the way back to 1870s when Thomas Edison for the very first time recorded the recitation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. T

he early initiatives of producing audio books were undertaken by Library of Congress in the United States and Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain. In 1931, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Library of Congress Books for the Adult Blind Project established the “Talking Books Program” (Books for the Blind), which was intended to provide reading material for veterans injured during World War I and other visually impaired adults. Not until 1952 when an upstart recording company called Caedmon Audio released Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” did people begin listening to what were then called “spoken word” recordings, which marked the beginning of commercially available audio books in the United States. There was still the issue of limited space, which meant there were considerable abridgments that led to adoptions, and even dramatizations, with full casts, music, and sound effects.

Audio books have since then undergone tremendous amount of transition, from Books on Tape all the way through books on CD and now downloadable books.

Mobile technologies such as smartphones, tablets etc have further boosted their popularity. In India in particular, audio books on topics such as business and self help have become extremely popular.

Even though audio books are now being more widely read and enjoyed as an alternative by people in general, they have proven to be one of the most essential medium for accessing information for persons with print disabilities who include people with blindness, low vision and certain physical and learning disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, multiple sclerosis, dyslexia and quadriplegia.

Audio books are considered a highly preferable means to provide books to persons with blindness as unlike Braille books that can go up to several volumes per book, audio books are not bulky.

The audio books are also preferred by people who lose their sight later in life and are unable to read Braille as quickly. Their popularity has further increased with advancement in technology, and one can read and carry a whole lot of books with portable digital players or even on one’s mobile phone.

As a result, audio books have also proven to be extremely important for the education of visually challenged students.

With innovations such as text to speech softwares, more books than ever before can be converted into accessible audio format without even the need of relying on human effort for this purpose. Digital Accessible Information system (DAISY) are the standards for creating accessible talking books. DAISY is based on web standards, and allows for creation of one master content, which can be converted easily into innumerable formats preserving the complete structure of the publication. An extremely important feature of DAISY talking books for the user is that unlike a normal audio recorded book, a DAISY talking book allows the users to navigate sentence, heading, paragraph or page-wise, thereby allowing them to access a book easily and more efficiently.

Yet surveys carried out worldwide show that less than 1% of the published information is available in alternate and accessible formats for use by persons with print disabilities.

One of the major challenges in this regard in a country like India is the diversity in language. More than 5 million blind and low vision persons speaking 22 different languages pose a tough challenge to provide books and information in accessible formats. Moreover, instead of books being produced in accessible formats at the time of publication itself, the task of making them accessible have to be undertaken by different local organizations working for persons with blindness to address the needs of their users. This not only causes considerable delay in their availability for students and other visually challenged and print disabled users, but needs of many remain unmet. Lack of resources and infrastructure for production of high-quality audio books are some of the other key challenges.

A recent initiative to address some of these challenges is the launch of an online national library of accessible books known as Sugamya Pustakalaya. This online library is a joint effort of Government of India, the DAISY Forum of India and corporate support. Accessible books from various libraries across the country, along with those from some of the notable international agencies such as Bookshare and Accessible Books Consortium are available here so that users can obtain maximum content on a single platform.

Thousands of digitally accessible books across diverse subjects and languages and multiple formats are available in this library which a person with the print disability can access on click of a button after registering with this library for free. These publications can be read by a user on any device of his / her choice, like, mobile phones, tablets, computer, DAISY players or even in Braille. Initiatives like these and awareness among publishers to produce more and more accessible audio books have a potential to eradicate the book famine being faced by persons with blindness and other print disabilities.

By Sonali Jain

 

Screen reading software… Where have I been throughout my life?¿

Recently I googled the statistics of the blind in India not out of curiosity actually, just because I’ve got an assignment to write an article on assistive technology and visual impairment. The time I clicked on the search button to find the stats the first thing which I came across was India is now home to the world’s largest number of blind people. Shocking Right!!!! Wait… I haven’t given the figures yet, Of the 37 million people across the globe who are blind, over 15 million are from India. Now that’s shocking!!! While studying all these articles and pdf’s I was just wondering why I have stumbled upon only 3 blind people all through my 23 years of life. But now I’m in Saksham and enjoy the fun time with my blind friends. Before joining Saksham I remember I used to think that how they use laptops and mobile phones and various other technologies but still never thought of googling it… actually various screen reading software makes the mobile and laptops accessible for the person with visual impairment. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer’s operating system, its applications, and the user. The user sends commands by pressing different combinations of keys on the computer keyboard or braille display to instruct the speech synthesizer what to say and to speak automatically when changes occur on the computer screen. Jaws, NVDA, Super Nova (especially for low vision), narrator are the popular screen reading software android talkback, voice over on i phone are the mobile screen readers.

Let’s talk about the most affordable screen reading software in India.

The Non-visual desktop application also known as NVDA is an open source software. Especially for making the computers accessible. INDO NVDA is a Screen Reading Software which is a customized VERSION of NVDA for Indian languages. Indo NVDA includes 14 Nuance vocalizer and Eloquence voices in 10 different Languages (Indian English, British English, American English, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil,   Telugu, and Marathi). The software is designed to make computers accessible for visually impaired people in all parts of the country. The DVD of the software includes Itools, the self-learning tutorial package from Enable India. It is yet another step of SAKSHAM in empowering persons with blindness in collaboration with Enable India as SAKSHAM believe in limiting limitations.

It’s always good to learn…or goggle it… Isn’t it 😉

Note: from the authentic sources. 😉

By

Saksham’s new Recruit

The Best Things in Life are priceless- An Intern’s Journey in SAKSHAM

The first look by a juvenile

My first step into the office was filled with loads of nervousness as this was my first ever professional fellowship. Each of them was busy working and after a while, I was introduced to my mentor. She explained me the brief work which I was supposed to do. Further, I got introduced to the team, I could see 6 people who were visually impaired. I didn’t think much about the kind of work they did, but now I can say, it’s nearly impossible to run this NGO without their help!

Think of a day where you lost your sight! Scary? Probably No!

Sometimes in past, there was a thought in my mind that if I go blind, how will I watch YouTube videos, facebook, how will I walk, read, learn, apply. How will I plan and follow my daily routine? Each hour will be a night for me! Aren’t you feeling amazed? Think it over once that how difficult you think the life of a visually impaired person can become? I used to believe that life will almost end and I will have to be dependent on others for everything. You probably must be thinking the same, but, I am glad to say now that, even if I at some time go blind, I will survive! It was a difficult thought earlier but it would be easy for me now.

If you want to eradicate poverty, make people work for them instead of helping them throughout.

The main motto of Saksham is to provide and help visually impaired people with new and innovative technologies which empower them and make them self-dependent. This is something which I personally always strive for. Helping and taking care of underprivileged is not the way we can eradicate poverty, rather, make them work for themselves, you just need to show them a way, not walk with them at each stage.

I never could have imagined that people with blindness can even operate mobile or laptops if I weren’t here and didn’t spend time with them. Each one of them here is so efficient, so confident, filled with enthusiasm, that every day I walk into the office, I walk in with pride and it gives me a special feeling to be a part of this change!

The reason for my being here: The work!

I was assigned the work to handle social media where I was needed to promote what Saksham is, what Saksham does. The main idea for this was to reach out to a maximum number of people throughout India, telling them about the different products for visually impaired that Saksham offers and helping each and every people through the channel of online social media.  I used to assist the team with various platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, YouTube and Whatsapp.

I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such a wonderful understanding mentor. I feel privileged working under her guidance, the constant support was even boosted with the help of super extra cooperative team members.

All my ideas, initiatives, plans were listened properly, was thought upon by the team and most of them got approved also. I am grateful to the team for hearing me out at each stage (sometimes, even through my most lame ideas) but trust me, it gives you loads and loads of confidence and helps you become proactive in your work. Each day was a thrilling experience and this gave me a confidence to work more (sometimes till 7:30 pm) and to never get tired. I tried my best to never put them down (hope, I was a bit successful), and every applauds from the team, trust me was overwhelming and was many a time emotional. What a great team work going on here, each one eats lunch together, which grew my bonding to the entire Saksham’s team. The atmosphere, the spirit, the energy, the sense of respect for the work, all of this charged me up daily and helped to work, not because I had to because I wanted to. I hope to work with the same togetherness in my future endeavors, but, the cap is set very high!

An eye opener!

I was planning for posts on Facebook with the team members and suddenly an idea struck me to use radio more often than Facebook because of obvious reasons that how a visually impaired will see, the best will be if they can hear it. Seemed reasonably correct to me then, but suddenly someone got a bit angry and said don’t you know that almost 80% of visually impaired people use Facebook and enjoy browsing it (he was one of them using it every day in spite of being completely blind). I was again amazed by this, then they showed how they disrupted each activity on social media and use it to connect to the world. He said to use Whatsapp, Facebook to connect with him when not reachable through the call. I was speechless here, and that gave me a thought that poor of us to think of them like that. This incident really opened my eye and from then on, I got to see a whole new world with a new eye, the blind eye!!

The proud feeling 🙂

Each and every person who comes for training, or help regarding any product, or even any query on telephone, I can now bet that no one explain these better than who have been there.

How much time do you think it takes to plan, shoot and edit a 2 min 44-second video? Something in days? I did it in 2 hours, just because of the cast of the video, also blind by birth, understood each and every bit that I required and followed exactly the same. My first ever video was super successful, liked my many and was very much appreciated. Thanks again to him for building in me the confidence.

We got a chance to visit another employee’s house, also blind, and shoot a video. We saw him managing his family so smoothly, taking care of his child, his wife, and mother without even a glitch. We had a great time shooting his video and his thanks to his cooperation that even after so many retakes (because of his naughty child), he had a big broad smile on his face.

I still wonder that how a person blind by birth know how to smile if he hasn’t seen one. Still unanswered!

Next, we went to another home where both, husband and wife were blind. I got a great opportunity to live their life by spending a very good time with them, and in the afternoon having lunch prepared by the wife (still brings water to my mouth). I was observing and was amazed to see how perfectly she washed rice, cut vegetables, boiled rice, prepared dal and then served it. It still gives me goosebumps, and I really am super proud of them.

Keep yourself updated, as I definitely will

Stay connected to Saksham on various platforms and have a great time

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wearesaksham/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/sakshamtrust/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFTNnpF0GRb0p1H7gSvESXQ

Whatsapp: +91-92666 26368

Blog: http://www.saksham.blog

A vote of thanks!

Thanks! Thankyou so much to each and every person in the office, my journey wouldn’t have been this amazing without them. I always heard that “Team is the greatest strength for an organization to grow, thankfully, I got to see one (I am definitely gonna implement it in my organization). Special thanks to YES Foundation which gave me this opportunity to connect with them. I wish each and every member connected in any manner that they achieve tons and tons of success (Wish same for me, haha) and have a healthy life ahead. I am definitely gonna miss this journey, and these 7 weeks will definitely be included in my autobiography (:P) in golden words!!

BY
Samyak Jain 

UPBRINGING A VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILD

The visually impaired (VI) have passed through various stages – of being treated as rejected section of the society to being recognized as talented persons who were no inferior to their counterparts. The blind person is usually self – taught, often being given appropriate assistance from institutions or schools. They are taught not to pity for their blindness but be self- reliant. Education of Visually Impaired child was not easy but received a further boost in 1834 with the successful adaptation & development of the embossed dot code by Louis Braille, a French man who himself was blind. Braille was developed for an easier communication among the blind, opening the doors for the acquisition of information & knowledge through the sense of touch.

In India, Miss Annie Sharp, a Christian missionary from England founded the 1st school for the blind at Amritsar in 1887. There were just 4 schools for the blind at the turn of the century but by 1944, when the report on blindness in India was submitted, there were 32 schools in undivided India.The significant landmark in the history of education of the visually challenged in India has been through state level decision to establish a Braille press to produce books in Braille. In 1923, submission of the reports on blindness leads to most of the services for the blinds today. Ministry of Education set up a cell in 1946 to promote education, training & rehabilitation for the blind, development and acceptance of “Bharati Braille”, a common Braille code for Indian language which was finalized in November 1950, replacing the earlier codes in the light of certain recommendations made by UNESCO. Establishment of National Association for the blind in 1952 marked the beginning of concerted voluntary action in this field. Further, the first vocational training center was established for the adult blind women in 1957 at Dehradun.

For the upbringing of a Visually Impaired Child, there are social and community development programs that promote health care through changes in behavior and the environment. For the upbringing of the Visually Impaired child, strengthening community, family, recognition and appropriate care of individuals and immunization is very important. Communities also play an important role in the implementation of appropriate intervention such as early childhood intervention programs, education, awareness, medical/surgical and therapeutic intervention, services for parents/caretakers, proper guidance and counseling. Further, good psychosocial assessment is needed which will lead to a good psychosocial intervention to reduce complaints and improve functioning related to mental disorders and/or social problems.

Here, education for parents and family is very much needed. Also, for the upbringing of the Visually Impaired child, appropriate training to parents on blindness and its management is of utmost urgency. National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a non-profit organization working as an interface between the Government, Industry, International Agencies, and the Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities.

There are various technologies in support of persons with blindness like screen reading software, text- to- speech converter (TTS), refreshable Braille display, note- takers, talking calculator, talking watch, talking thermometer, Daisy Player and much more. The Saksham school for the visually impaired and the disabled people aims to provide education, rehabilitation, training, empowering individuals with the assistive technologies making them self-sustainable, self-independent and enhance their dignity. Saksham strongly believes in inclusive education, a dream turning into reality. There are many events that take place in Saksham Resource Center (School) such as Intra-school art competition, clay modeling, and painting, which is organized within the school itself. This initiative is certainly worthy of appreciation.   

 

By
Nharika Sehgal

Legal Rights for Visually Impaired

The people of India with disabilities like blindness or visual impairment have been provided with “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016”. Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with blindness or visual impairment disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others. Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in the allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with disabilities and those with high support needs. The bill provides the penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also the violation of the provision of the new law. Special courts will be designated in each district to handle such cases.

Further, the new law will not only enhance the rights and entitlements of Divyangjan (the disabled persons) but also provide an effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the society in a satisfactory manner. For empowerment of persons with disabilities, respect and individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choice independently, discrimination should not be there for persons with disabilities. Full and effective participation in society, equality of opportunities, respect for the evolving capacities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities needs to be supported in an inclusive environment. 

Support and assistance to a person with disability is provided with alternative modes like Braille, tactile communication signs, large print, accessible multimedia, written and communication technology. The right to free legal aid, the right to file a complaint is entitled under the provision of this “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016”.

The persons with disabilities shall have equal protection & safety in a situation of risk, armed conflict, humanitarian & natural disasters. The government shall take appropriate steps to ensure that all their public documents are in an accessible format, ensure that the filing departments registry or any other office records are supplied with necessary equipment, to enable filing, storing and referring to the documents and evidence in accessible formats. The government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life and have the right to equal recognition everywhere as any other person. The government shall designate one or more authorities to mobilize the community and create social awareness to support persons with disabilities in an exercise of their legal capacity.

Making buildings, campuses and various facilities accessible, to provide reasonable accommodation according to the individual requirements. Making art accessible to persons with blindness and visual impairment and ensuring that the education to them is provided. Children with blindness or other disabilities should be provided with the transportation facility, free health care in the vicinity. Every employment exchange shall maintain records of persons with disabilities seeking employment, especially in the rural area subject to such family income as many, be notified. Promotion through various channels for preventing disabilities is needed for greater help and out reach.

 

By 

Niharika Sehgal 

EDUCATING CHILDREN WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AT SAKSHAM SCHOOL

Children with multiple disabilities need special training, support in education needs special care. Special educators have required speech therapist, teachers for special education, occupational therapist, transportation facility, assistance, functional assessment, speech therapy, physiotherapy, parent counselling, computer literacy, etc. Saksham school in Noida provides all these special assistance to blind, visually impaired child or any disabled child. Each child is unique and requires special curriculum and intervention. Professional help with specialization has to be provided close to their residence SAKSHAM DAKSH SCHOOL has taken up this challenge for NOIDA region. Since 90% of children are from extremely poor families all these services are provided free of cost.

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The SAKSHAM SCHOOL  is for the children with multiple disability or blindness to give them the provision of education and support at its centres. Due to blindness or disability, they would not be getting admission into main schools or educational institutions. Those blind or disabled children who got the admission got less support and services due to which they were facing many problems and not being able to get a quality education. Realising that a blind child too- like any other child deserves an education. Saksham School for blind and multiple disabled is for small children. It is a hope of every blind child or Visually Impaired Person to get an education or to gain knowledge, just like any other normal child. The child hopes not be constraint only to the limitation’s he/she has due to the disabilities. But to explore the world of education although being bound by the shortcomings the child has Saksham School is an effort to support the beginning of development and an initiative to understand better way by which special educators can help the children. The use of hand- under-hand in our interaction with these children and becoming more mindful of what message our touch – conveys. Our objective is to provide them with a greater variety of textures and materials and giving them more time and opportunities. For an independent exploration of these objects. We are recognizing that hand use progresses systematically simply by the child completing constant repetition of specific hand movement schemes. We are thinking about touch as it relates to literacy and general learning. In short, we are better educated about the importance of developing touch in all our children with visual impairments and deaf-blindness. Developing the sense of touch and good hand use skills are important goals for any child with the visually impaired person.

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Learning through fun, although the sense of touch and tactile marking for the blind or visually impaired person is important to learn. There is technology also as a help or Aid to make it more convenient to understand for the child who is learning skills and tools of education gaining. The children for their growth in learning skills are taught brail with the help of brail slate, paper, alphabet trainer, brail cube, etc. Mobilization of students in Saksham Daksh School and final preparation for integration in mainstream school.

Developing the sense of touch and good hand use skills are important goals for any child who is blind or deaf-blind. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- They must be felt with the heart.”-by: – Hellen Keller.

 By Niharika Sehgal 

Technologies for elderly blind

Vision loss among the elderly population is a major health problem. According to the Journal of American Family Physician (Vol. 60/No. 1), approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65 In U.S.A. The prevalence of visual impairment among the elderly is much higher in developing countries like India. The most common causes of vision loss among the elderly are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy.

The wide-ranging eye problems make simple daily tasks difficult or even impossible for the older people. The activities which were otherwise an inherent part of their daily life, such as reading a book or newspaper, shopping or visiting their friends, maintaining an appointment calendar, or something as basic as dialling a number become a challenge, and they are forced to depend on others for meeting their daily needs. However, with advancements in technology, elderly persons can continue to lead a productive and independent life.

The modern assistive technologies have the potential to transform the life of an elderly blind person from an isolated and dependent human being to a highly productive member who is able to read and write, effectively use different types of modern gadgets like a computer and mobile phones and remain a fully functional member of his / her community. Some assistive technologies which enable an ageing person with blindness to read, write, gain access to information and communication and effectively perform some of the fundamental day to day activities are discussed below:

Screen Readers

keynote comp.001A screen reader is a software/program which produces an auditory output of the text/messages displayed on the screen with the help of a Text-To-Speech Engine. It can be considered the most important revolution for the visually impaired persons.  Due to this technology, it has become possible to use computer as writing and reading tool. All android based touch screen phones and the iPhone produced by Apple also comes with pre-installed screen readers. Thanks to screen readers, people with blindness no longer have to depend on sighted persons for reading messages on their phone, looking for a person’s phone number, taking quick notes, using internet etc.

OCR

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technique which converts scanned images into text which can be later read out by the Screen Reader. This technology has brought changes in the patterns of reading of printed material like books and OCR keynote.001newspapers. A person can simply scan the material of their choice through scanners attached to their computer or through OCR software in their phones, and read any material of their choice at the time of their convenience, without being forced to dependent on their family members or others.

 

Electronic recorders and playback devices

Digital audio players/recorders allow persons withmobile keynote .001 blindness to read digital talking books and audio material, as well as to record information. These types of devices are very beneficial for elderly blind persons as they can record their appointments/calendars, contact numbers which reduce their dependence upon sighted family members. The devices can be used for leisure also as they have the capability of playing music and few of them even comes with FM Radio. These gadgets also allow the end users to access e-text/computer generated material as they come with USB connectivity which is the easiest method available to connect peripherals with computers.

Magnifiers

magnifiers.jpgA large majority of the aging population suffers from partial loss of vision, and magnifiers prove extremely useful for them. Magnifiers are available both as standalone devices, as well as add-on software for phones and computers which help in increasing the size of the text to facilitate easy reading for persons having low vision.

Daily living aids

Apart from reading and writing, older persons having blindness are forced to become more and more dependent for performing many other essential tasks which create many difficulties for them and also affects their self-esteem. However with the help of different commercially available products that provide auditory output, such as a tech support .001 copytalking thermometer, talking blood pressure measuring machine, talking weighing machine, talking calculator, etc, they can easily perform some of these tasks on their own. Audio labelers like or sonic labeler are other useful devices which come with rerecordable labels where information can be stored in an audio format and can be used for the purpose of sorting and identifying various objects like books, containers, clothes, etc.

It Can be seen that a wide range of technologies and solutions exist which have the potential to bring significant change and improvement in the lives of an ageing population with visual impairment. However their outreach is fairly limited, and therefore their benefits cannot be fully realised unless the end user gains the necessary awareness and know-how of using these technologies as well as the resources for obtaining them. Hence it is the collective responsibility of the family members of such individuals, their friends and neighbours, and various institutions such as the civil society organisations, hospitals, etc to make them aware of these solutions and assist them in acquiring and getting the necessary training to use these devices and technologies.

Audio described movies

A large number of people are usually found asking some questions to visually impaired, how do you eat? Will you be able to climb the stairs?

Some are found showing the hand gestures to blind persons and expect to receive replies.  It is so strange to sometimes understand the humaivoryn mind and intellectual levels in such scenarios.  Does human intelligence stops to the point when a physical part such as eyes is not functioning normally?  But in reality and practically, the human mind is not dependent on physical eyes but has cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory.

Saksham, a Delhi-based NGO, too believes in the innate qualities of persons with visual impairment and has started a project of audio described movies for the first time in India.     

Why should people with visual impairment not watch the same movies as watched by others?  Why cannot the movies that are an imperative part of spreading public awareness and source of links to history and entertainment be reached to persons with visual impairment? 

Usually, persons with visual impairment concentrate on sounds and understand the movies.  But under audio described movies, a narrator makes a movie more understandable by describing the crucial parts of the movie’s that have very less or no audio clues.  A lot of crucial information such as facial expressions, costumes, ambience, environment, body languages and actions without dialogues are described. These movies are available at very low costs and till date over 22 movies are available as audio described.

The practice of producing is very common in Europe and American countries already.  It takes time, money and effort to produce audio described movies.   

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Through such movies visually impaired get to know about the latest trends of fashion and style.  Visually impaired persons are exposed to the usual landmark clues that otherwise are never known to them.  the changing societal norms related to the finances, politics and education that open different channels for many, make the visually impaired more aware of their surroundings.

It was encouraging that under Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, the Accessible India campaign, in 47th  International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for children with disabilities,    there was an exclusive section for audio described movies.  Saksham along with UNESCO has got the success to get this message through to Bollywood to make the entertainment inclusive to include an audio description in filmmaking process itself so that most of the movies are available to persons with visual impairment from the start.  This will help to reduce the cost of making a movie audio described to zero and an Indian cinema can become a symbol of an inclusive society.