BANGALORE: The government will provide talking laptops to visually challenged students. These laptops will have in-built audio keyboards that are incorporated with a special software to make them user-friendly.
Besides, it will be a boon for these disadvantaged students to access information. Director of the Department of Disabled Welfare P C Jayanna told Express: “We are planning to provide talking laptops to 1,000 students who are pursuing various courses after SSLC.”
The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DAC) and Enable India have offered to equip the laptops with their specially developed software for the visually challenged, Jayanna said.
A technical committee will choose a vendor with the best software to suit the needs of these students, he said.
The talking laptops will have the software to synthesise on-screen text and keyboard commands into human voice.
Jayanna said the state government has provided Rs 4 crore for the programme in the first year.
Tenders for the supply of laptops will be issued within the next few weeks.
Students can apply for the laptops through the college principals, he said.
To include more beneficiaries, the government has promised higher allocation in the coming years.
This year, if the number of applicants exceeds 1,000, the recipients will be chosen based on the degree of visual disability.
“We are confident of offering the laptops as a new year gift,” Jayanna said.