Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Computers for the visually impaired

April 14: The visually impaired students of the National Institute of Disabled (NID) in Khaling can use computers. This was made possible with the setting up of an Information Communication Technology (ICT) center at the Institute.

The newly set up ICT centre at the NID has 12 computers. The computers are equipped with a screen reading software known as JAWS.

JAWS which stands for Job Access With Speech is a screen reading software program that helps visually impaired users to complete computer-based tasks such as browsing the web, sending and reading e-mail, utilizing spreadsheets, and accessing databases.

The ICT coordinator Kuenga Chhogyal said the visually impaired employees working in the offices across the country will be provided with the facility.

He said one of the major problems faced by the visually impaired students while pursuing higher education is not being able to read the printed materials. Teachers on the other hand are not able to read Braille resulting in communication gap. This hampers the teaching and learning process. He said the introduction of computer classes at the Institute will help address the problem.

Five teachers, four from the Institute and one from Drugyel Higher secondary school underwent a six month course on how to conduct computer classes for the visually impaired and low vision in Norway.

Currently there are 50 students studying at the Institute.


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