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India: Global Campaign Launched to Flatten the Inaccessibility Curve

May 14, 2020

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Unlike cricket, there is no diplomatic issues when it comes to blindness. The 60-day online training programme in assistive technologies for education launched by a city-based NGO, Chakshumathi, has students from Pakistan, Europe, Africa, Caribbean islands along with those from India.

Initiating a global campaign to flatten the inaccessibility curve in the education of students with blindness, low vision and print disability, Chakshumathi has associated with engineers and developers of global pioneers like Google, BookShare, Benetech, University of Birmingham, Progressive Access, IIT-Delhi and Daisy Forum of India. The campaign aims at popularizing assistive technologies in the studies and life of the visually impaired and print disabled. Chakshumathi is globally known for their researches and developments in accessible science and mathematics known as ‘Eyes Free Science’.

The free Lets FICE campaign’s online training programme will start on Friday and already 50 participants, including five Pakistani students, have joined it. There will be repeat classes in two different time zones to accommodate the global participants. All sessions are in English and the minimum requirement to join the course is basic knowledge of computer and mobile phones.

“The primary focus of the course is the tool for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and those who master the techniques of writing and reading Mathematics and Science can excel in any studies and competitive examinations,” said V K Damodaran, chairman of Chakshumathi. “Globally, only 1% of the blind students are using Braille for their day-today work but Braille is the last word when it comes to blindness,” said Haroon Kareem, one of the course instructors and the first student to write SSLC examinations in Kerala using a computer.

“Currently, those who are unable to read and physically attend classes have the mountain called ‘inaccessibility curve’ in front of them as a barrier to excel in studies, especially in STEM subjects, e-reading and English. Moreover, knowledge available in millions of books, journals and other print matter were hitherto not accessible to them unless they are trained in assistive technologies,” said Ram Kamal, director of Lets FICE global campaign.

For registration, contact: 7994485311, 6238475543

Source: Times of India