The aim of Digital Book Library is to reach out to more and more at their doorstep, considering the physical limitations of the persons with disabilities. Also to catalyze education for the print-disabled persons (visually impaired, slow-learners and dyslexic children). The program aims to build the required competency and enable them to lead a confident and independent life. Samarthanam is an active member of DFI (Daisy Forum India) being the state coordinator of DAISY production, it is actively involved in the production and promotion of DAISY in the region. The prime focus is on school and college students, making the course materials available for study is always a priority. Apart from this, the library also aims to stock academic books, competitive exam books, and self-improvement books, motivational, biographies, classics, history and historical books, current affairs, along with various genres of fiction and non-fiction literature. This project will initially address the educational requirements of children with disabilities across the state of Karnataka who is studying from 1st to 10th, PUC & Graduation, Post Graduation students, persons writing KAS, IAS in both English and Kannada medium in Karnataka.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the related assistive aides have a tremendous potential to broaden the lives and increase the independence of persons with disabilities especially the persons with visually impaired Computers and IT has been an integral part of the strategy of empowering people with disabilities. We procured accessible software programs as early as 1999 to enable the visually challenged youth to gain technical knowledge. We provide assistive, adaptive, and few rehabilitative devices for the visually challenged, which includes JAWS (Job Access With Speech, screen reader), NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access), and tactile diagram based computer courses. We also train our beneficiaries in Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY). Samarthanam with the support of corporate, run digital libraries across Karnataka. However, we would like to scale up our initiative to touch more lives.
Significance and impact
Our digital libraries produce e-books using open source software. Our library is the storehouse of academics and general books for the visually impaired community. Our various centers are the hub of educational activities and buzzing with enthused students with all types of disabilities, exclusively visually impaired and volunteers. These centers have gained much more significance and attention by adding the digital facilities. HSR being our Head office and centrally located, we get immense support for volunteering at this project from various corporate thereby reaching out to many more numbers of the needy persons has been widened.
This project is very enticing for youngsters and students as they deem this highly impactful volunteering service. Many students from various colleges do an internship, learning this skill. Students who go abroad deem volunteering for causes add more value to their resumes. Homemakers, retired persons feel this is an extremely noble way of spending their time with purpose. It has become mandatory for corporate volunteers to serve and understand the structure and functionalities through their various CSR programs; thus recording e-books to the digital library
Education is the major element of socialization of younger generation. It not only provides information but helps in interaction with myriad external systems in our society. In the process of learning the importance of books is immense, whether it is science, arts or mathematics. With the advancement of time and technology, people are more relied on information technology to interact with their outer world and disseminate knowledge. Knowledge rules the world and redefines the lives of people. In this context, public and private establishments who are working in education sector started to initiate new endeavors to facilitate the education of children with disabilities. Children with various learning disabilities need special attention and special technological support to access knowledge and to work together on education to needy people. Hence, we could scale up the Digital services to wider population by establishing such centers across south India, as on today.
- Scanning of books
- Recording of books
- Editing of books
- Documentation and Networking
The author is the Volunteer Lead at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.