Initiation with Braille, talking computer - The New Indian Express

Initiation with Braille, talking computer

Published: 15th October 2013 01:09 PM

Last Updated: 15th October 2013 01:09 PM

Making big headlines for cracking the much-coveted Indian Civil Service examination overcoming visual impairment, Lipin Raj M P had the first tryst with Braille script this ‘Vidyarambham’ day.

 Even though he succeeded in making a few embossed dots on a sheet of paper on the slate with stylus, he did not hide the inconvenience. “It does not seem so friendly for me,” he told his guide Sabriye Tenberken when he finished writing.

 Then he moved on to the talking computer and aided by a volunteer of Chakshumathi, Lipin pressed some keys on the laptop, and the projector displayed on the wall ‘Hari sree ganapathaye namaha...’ in Malayalam and the multilingual speech synthesiser read it aloud.

 An avid reader and writer he is, Lipin had to his aid a DAISY reader during the civil service examination preparation. So used to the usual reading and writing method, the talking computer appeared more user friendly to him.

“These kind of initiatives should be lauded and receive attention so that more and more visually challenged persons get the benefits of these techniques,” said Lipin. Now working as an assistant manager with IDBI Bank in Kochi, he is waiting to see his IAS dreams take wing this December.

 It was next the turn of Prof L Unnikrishnan, head of the Department of Economics at SB College, Changanassery, who had undergone surgery for cataract in both eyes some years back and intraocular lens fitted. Now he is having difficulty over reading text closer.

“I am starting to learn Braille script anticipating its need in future. I have visually challenged students and by learning Braille, I can become more closer to them,” said Unnikrishnan. He feels the slate and stylus method is better as the talking computer creates an over-dependence on hearing.

 At the ceremony jointly organised by Chakshumathi Charitable Trust and Regional Institute of Ophthalmology at the Government Eye Hospital here on Monday, 11 persons, including children, were initiated into the world of letters.

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