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Report on 15 days Training in Basic Computing with use of NVDA and eSpeak in Oriya

Posted by Nirmita Narasimhan at Apr 30, 2015 09:00 PM |
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This programme was the first of its kind in the state of Orissa. The participants were mostly completely new to using computers and were also completely from the vernacular background. This training demonstrates that many more such regional level trainings should be organized in order to reach the untouched population of persons with blindness, and expose them to the advantages of today’s technology.
Report on 15 days Training in Basic Computing with use of NVDA and eSpeak in Oriya

Participants at the NVDA eSpeak training in Odia language

Newspaper Report

Post News Network

Bhubaneswar, April 16: Several visually impaired citizens living in the state Thursday got a reason to celebrate. The Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped (VRCH), an outfit of the Central government, launched a training programme on the day for a bunch of men and women suffering from visual imparity. They would be imparted training on e-learning software, which can assist them in getting acquainted with the different aspects of computer operations.

The 15-day e-learning programme witnessed coming together of several physically challenged citizens of diverse age groups, from different parts of the state. The training is being provided by the government unit free of cost. The software, which will help the blind read texts on a computer, is known as Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA). It helps in bridging the chasm between die visually impaired people and the technology It facilitates communication between them through a» audio device. The software reads out text on the screen to the differently able, who are unable to read screen texts due to vision difficulties.
“Although the software came into existence in 2006 but it gained popularity slowly. The main advantage of this software is its diversity. It has now inculcated several other Indian languages, including Oriya into it. So now people from different ethnic groups can access texts in their mother tongue.

Moreover, the software is free for its users and can be downloaded easily from the Internet. Users of this software can now read computer files, use social networking sites and can even read all available resources on cyberspace,” said Mrutunjay Kumar, Member of All India Association for Blind who will impart teaching on the software to the blind students. Kumar himself suffers from visual imparity. Similar e-learning software, however, already existed to help the blind people use computers, but its high annual subscription amount and limited language options narrowed the usage of such software.

NVDA being subscription free and diverse is expected to cater to the larger interests of the visually impaired citizens of the state and the country Pokhariput-based VRCH on whose campus the training programme is being held was overwhelmed by the response it garnered from the public. Officials of the institution also assured all possible support for the participants. “The main aim of the training-programme is to give them a platform to strengthen their skills. The whole programme is totally free. No participation fees will be levied on the trainees. Moreover, special arrangements have been made for free accommodation and food for the trainees so that they can focus only on training,” said Ram Kishore Sharma, assistant director, VRCH.

Earlier in the day, many outgoing trainees, who completed some skill development training at the institution, were felicitated by the institution. Ashok Behera, deputy director, State Directorate of Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, was present during the occasion as chief guest and felicitated several students who had successfully completed their training at the institution.

Venue: Institute of Social Work and Research, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
Dates: 16th – 29th April 2015
No. of Participants: 30
Trainer: Mritunjay Kumar.

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