Children with visual impairments face disproportionate challenges in learning and by the time they reach college, they are significantly under-represented in science, mathematics and other disciplines. In all the 19 schools for the visually challenged in Odisha, students continue their struggle to learn not only without sight but also without text books. Newspapers have time and again carried reports of students voicing their demands for Braille text books especially for the senior classes (8th, 9th and 10th). Unfortunately the only Braille press (privately-run ) in the state remains dedicated to printing of text books from class 1 to 7 since the cost is borne by the central government under a scheme titled Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. With no similar provision of funds for senior classes, the high school students are mostly left to the mercy of teachers and a few notes handed over by their seniors. The problem is not limited to schools alone as the handful few that make it to higher institutions of earning continue to face the dearth of text books. Please refer to this news report on the shortage of Braille books in blind schools of from Odisha published in a major English daily in 2016:
Under this backdrop, weat VIEWS converting high school books in audio format by engaging professionals. Our priority will be to prepare audio version of all text books from class 8 to class 10 under the state curriculum apart from popular fictionand nonfiction book
VIEWS has already conducted an initial study on the requirements of books for visually disabled children at the Bhim Bhoi Blind School in Bhubaneswar. Basedon the need assessment study and discussion with the teachers and students, theproject was designed. VIEWS intend to work closely with the community, theschool management committees, as well as the parents of visually impairedpersons for a wider outreach with the help of campaigns, and social media. VIEWSwill also try to engage the volunteers and experts for conversion of books intoaudio books for the success and sustainability of the project. The project willbe implemented in an inclusive approach with active support from Odisha BlindPersons Association.
The project goal is to empower poor visually impaired students through audio books education in the state of Odisha (India).
The project objectives are
- To record the entire curriculum of high school and other useful books with the active wilebooinvolvement of committed volunteers – so that students can listen to all that they want to learn, improve their academic knowledge and perform better in exams.
- To help students listen to all that they want to learn, improve their academic knowledge and perform better in exams.
The project strategy would be
- Selection of books of subjects that require to be urgently recorded with the guidance of blind college teachers
- Mobilization of professionals to convert the books into audio books
- Setting up of an audio recording facility in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha
- Production of audio books
- Coordinating with Schools, colleges and organizations for working for blind students for setting up of mini audio books library and smooth distribution of audio books
- Creation of a website from where the students can directly download the audio files
- Establish strong data base for students for monitoring and documenting the stories of change