by June 1, 2010 0 comments

Kerala State IT Mission wants IT to be made available and accessible to all,
including the differently abled. However, most technologies don’t recognize
vernacular languages. Also, the blind people need a software that can convert
text to the local language, Malayalam in this case. They chose SPACE and INSIGHT
as implementation partners to develop a software that converts text to voice in
Malayalam. Keeping in mind the Insight’s policies of using free software, the OS
used was Ubuntu.A free, open source, flexible & extensible assistive technology
was used known as ‘Orca’ that facilitates comprehension of textual matter by
converting text to voice. It uses a screen reader technology that helps in
converting text matter into voice. Previously, the limitation was that it could
not recognize their native language Malayalam. So, the visually challenged
persons who cannot understand English can face difficulty in getting information
from various sources. Differently abled people between 13-55 are provided with
free training and dissemination of content through the audio magazine ‘Swaram’.
Initially many trainees enrolled themselves to gain stipend as a means of
part-time job, but now the scenario has changed. To explore the capabilities of
the system more, INSIGHT recruits visually challenged persons as training
faculty who speak about the sensitivity and the approach of this system.

  • Deployment Location: Trivandrum
  • Team Size: 14
  • Tech Used: Ubuntu with GNOME Desktop Interface as Operating
    System.Orca Screen Reader and Magnifier, OpenOffice.
  • Expected life: Ongoing


Dr. Rathan U Kelkar,
IAS, Director




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