NISH throws open its library to visually impaired
The National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) at Akkulam has provided the visually impaired access to its library facilities on the occasion of World Sight Day on Thursday. A range of assistive technology devices, services, and solutions are available.
Since its inception in 1997, NISH, an autonomous institution under the Social Justice Department, has made significant contributions to improvement of living standards of persons with speech and hearing disabilities.
Now, the NISH library has set up a technology facility for the differently abled with the help of assistive technology. A number of technical facilities and services have been set up to enable the visually impaired to access the library’s database.
This has been made possible by the implementation of the Scheme for the Implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the NISH’s New Initiatives Department and the Centre for Assistive Technology and Innovations (CATI) section that provided principal and technical support.
JAWS (Job Access with Speech) converts the computer into a talking computer. It reads out all the matter that is on the computer’s screen through speakers/headphones, thus enabling a visually challenged person to use the computer independently and work on all Microsoft Windows applications. PEARL Open Book is a scanning and reading solution that converts printed documents or graphic-based text into electronic text format on the personal computer, using high-quality speech and the latest optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Open Book is designed for people who are blind or have low vision and need access to printed and electronic materials.
Orbit Braille reader
The Orbit Braille reader is portable and features 20 refreshable eight-dot Braille cells. It offers reading books via SD card, simple note-taking, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity.
The Niki pocket-size video magnifier is one of the world’s smallest pocket-size low-cost video to help persons with low vision to read or view independently through a magnification range of 3x to 15x.