E-Inclusion & Accessibilty – Winner 2014
Project Title :Blind with Camera
Organisation: Beyond Sight Foundation
Country : INDIA
Website : www.blindwithcamera.org
Language: English, Hindi
Email: partho@blindwithcamera.org

Since 2006, the Beyond Sight Foundation under its Blind With Camera project has trained over 500 visually impaired persons in photography across India, 30% of whom continue to take pictures independently. Five visually impaired trainees have turned as trainers and they teach photography to other visually impaired and are paid for their services. The foundation started www.bindwithcameraschool.org e-school of photography to help the visually impaired get started with photography by using step-by-step tutorials. The website also offers guidance to sighted photographers to conduct photography workshops with local visually impaired. The e-school is aimed to create a global community where people with visual impairment can learn, enjoy the art of photography and inspire change in society through photography. Pictures coming out of the Blind With Camera project are showcased through inclusively designed exhibitions in India and abroad. Along with normal photographs, the exhibition offer touch & feel raised pictures, Braille, Large Print, and Audio Description (AD) for visually impaired visitors to access and enjoy the photographs. Since the first public show in February 2007, photographs have reached out to over 50,000 sighted and 2000 visually impaired audience. The foundation also conducts “Blindfold Sensory Photo” workshops for the sighted people, where trained visually impaired photographers are instructors/trainers and they are paid for their services. Blind With Camera is being referred to in several research papers, academic blogs and conferences across world. The project has helped researchers to develop mobile apps to help the visually impaired to take pictures.

Project Title :Gift of New Abilities
Organisation: MILE Laboratory Department of Electrical Engineering Indian Institute of Science,
Country : India
Website : mile.ee.iisc.ernet.in/mile
Language: Tamil and Kannada
Email: ramkiag@ee.iisc.ernet.in

In January 2011, the Medical Intelligence and Language Engineering (MILE) Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science developed a versatile software for rapid and efficient conversion of printed books to Braille books for the use of persons with visual disability under a project called “Gift of New Abilities”. This user friendly tool using compatible plug-in OCRs for any language has been developed in Java using Eclipse SWT and runs on Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems. At present, OCR plug-ins have been developed for Tamil and Kannada languages. The average time taken for digitizing a page is two seconds. So far, more than 500 Tamil books (school, college, story and general) have been converted by MILE’s OCR and delivered as Braille books to hundreds of blind students in Tamil Nadu. Our OCR has been installed free of charge in several computers of RCMCT Worth Trust Rehabilitation Centre, Chennai and they have been running it as a service for blind students for the past 4 years. Worth Trust uses the OCR to recognize and convert printed text to Unicode first and then to Braille code and prints them on a Braille printer and gives the Braille book to the requesting blind person. They have also digitized Tamil books for the same cause on behalf of https://www.bookshare.org/. MILE has also given the tool to many other similar organizations in Tamil Nadu. Similarly, the Kannada version has been given to some voluntary agencies and individual blind students in Karnataka.

Project Title :Swaraloka: Adaptive Music Score Trainer for Visually Impaired in Sri Lanka
Organisation: University of Colombo School of Computing
Country : Sri Lanka
Website : www.ucsc.cmb.ac.lk
Language:English, Sinhala
Email: klj@ucsc.cmb.ac.lk
The Maharashtra government has implemented since July 2012 an entirely ICT-enabled paperless health insurance scheme for economically weaker sections called the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana (RGJAY). The insurance policy/coverage under the RGJAY can be availed by eligible beneficiary families residing in all the 35 districts of Maharashtra. The scheme provides coverage for meeting all expenses relating to hospitalisation of beneficiary up to Rs 1.5 lakh per family per year in any of the empanelled hospitals subject to package rates on cashless basis. The scheme entails around 971 surgeries/therapies/procedures along with 121 follow up packages in 30 identified specialized categories. The beneficiary families are identified through the “Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Health Card” issued by the Government of Maharashtra or through the Yellow and Orange ration cards issued by Civil Supplies Department of the Maharashtra government. A total of 2.17 crore households in Maharashtra state are covered under the scheme. So far, more than 55 lakh health cards have been issued to beneficiary families, more than 3.5 lakh families and over 6 lakh individual beneficiaries have been enrolled in the scheme. In the three years since the implementation of the scheme, more than 4 lakh patients have been treated under the scheme while more than 3 lakh surgeries have been performed at an estimated optimised average cost of Rs 25000 funded by the government.
E-Inclusion & Accessibilty – Special Mention 2014
Project Title : SimplEye: Mobile App for visually impaired
Organisation:Kriyate Design Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Country : India
Website : www.kriyate.com
Language: English
Email: arjun@kriyate.com
Kriyate has developed SimplEye, a smart phone application for the visually impaired. It is an anywhere touch, gesture and audio based accessibility application. SimplEye makes it possible for the blind to use all other smart phone applications with ease. The user only has to make certain gestures on the mobile screen to navigate. The application features a first of its kind Braille typing feature that makes replying to messages and taking notes convenient. The uniqueness of the idea is that it not just an application performing specific tasks but it is also a launcher for other Android applications to give the end user a complete and tasteful access experience. Currently, the app is under Beta Testing with about 200 users.
Project Title : Talk – An Innovative AAC Device for People with Developmental Disabilities
Organisation:Talk – An Innovative AAC Device for People with Developmental Disabilities
Country : India
Website : N/A
Language: English
Email: dilbagi.arsh@gmail.com
Arsh Shah Dilbagi, a 16-year-old boy who hails from Panipat has developed a device named ‘Talk’ that allows people with developmental disabilities to communicate with the help of their breath, which is converted into speech by the device developed by him. This enabled him to make his way to being one of the top 15 Google Science Fair 2014 global finalists. Arsh is the only finalist from Asia this year. The device is a blessing for people who suffer from developmental disabilities such as Locked-In Syndrome and ALS as it enables them to communicate with the help of this device. The device functions by using signals from a person’s breath via Morse code and then converting it back into voice. According to Dilbagi, a student of DAV International School, this type of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices available in the market are very expensive, slow, bulky and not generic. So, he decided to find a better solution – an AAC device which is faster, portable and generic and costs only $80 (Rs 5000), making it affordable to a much larger population. Currently, about 1.4% people in the world, which amounts to a hundred million people, suffer from developmental disabilities and would be benefited from this device. The device is very user-friendly.
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