Speakers at a seminar said here today that with the advancement of technology, a common reading system like Android smartphone equipped with specific applications can aid visually impaired and blind people in enhancing their reading capacity.
United International University (UIU), Dhaka organized the seminar titled “Scope of Education for visually impaired people & Facilitating access to published works” at the auditorium of the UIU here.
Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Bangladesh Visual Impaired Peoples Society (BVIPS), Access Bangladesh Foundation (ABF), Disability Rights Fund (DRF), Federation of DPOs Sitakunda and UIU Electrical and Electronics Club (UIUEEC) cooperated with the UIU in arranging the event.
The main focus of the seminar was to create awareness about the current scenario regarding accessible books, publications and technology for the people with visual impairment.
According to a WHO disability report in 2011, around 15 percent people in the country have some form of disability, of which around four million people are visually impaired. A large part of this group is deprived of learning due to non-accessibility of basic learning tools at affordable price, the speakers mentioned.
Only a handful of the visually impaired groups are now studying at schools, colleges and universities with acute dearth of accessible reading material and technology, they said, adding that modification of existing copyright law and ratification of Marrakesh Treaty may pave the way for expanding the scope of education for visually impaired people in Bangladesh.
Vice Chancellor of UIU Prof Md Rezwan Khan presided over the seminar while Vashkar Bhattacharjee, programme officer of local NGO YPSA, delivered the keynote speech.
Prof of UIU Dr Hassan Sarwar has discussed on the opportunity and diversity of adaptive technology for visual impaired people.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee has given a demonstration on accessible DAISY multimedia books, ICT in education challenge and opportunity to ensure accessible publications and books for students of print and visual disability.
Arif Reza Anwary, inventor and assistant professor of UIU, has given a presentation on the project Refreshable Digital Braille Display funded by A2i and Easy Digital Braille Learning tutor, and Ashiqur Rahman Amit, a visually impaired person, has given presentation on Daisy Talking book on Android System.
Nazma Ara Poppy, general secretary of BVIPS has placed emphasis on creating awareness about Marrakesh Treaty ratification.
Afzal Hossain Sarwar, Policy Expert (A2i programme) of Prime Minister’s Office, asserted that the government will promote innovative projects from service innovation fund for reaching information at the doorsteps of all citizens.