Multilingual Systems and Software for the Visually Handicapped

| | posted on:Visual impairment

During the past decade, the Systems Development Laboratory in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Madras has been involvedMultilingual Systems and Software for the Visually Handicapped with a software project of national relevance. The project relates to the development of software for using computers in Indian languages. The basic aim of the project is to develop tools for teaching the use of computers to those who do not speak English. In the context of IT in Indian languages, this project has assumed great significance, for the lab has not only succeeded in providing the required software but has extended the same for use by visually handicapped persons in the country.

The students of the lab have developed several applications which could be used meaningfully in areas relating to both literacy and education in the country. A unique feature of the software is its ability to synthesize speech in Indian languages and thus incorporate text to speech capabilities in many applications supporting an Indian language based user interface. This important aspect of the software allows visually handicapped persons develop skills in using computers both in Indian languages and English. The Systems Development Laboratory has made available this multilingual software free of cost to the people of the country. In using this software, one feels proud that a very meaningful solution to working with computers in one’s own mother tongue, has indeed come out of one of India’s premier educational institutions.

Details of the software, its purpose, the method of distribution and many related issues are discussed below in the form of a series of questions and answers. It is hoped that the reader would find this a meaningful approach and thus understand how he/she could benefit from the use of the Multilingual software. The reader is urged to read the document in full.

There is a proposal to prepare a Braille version of this document. When available, the same will be supplied on request.
Please send a written request to,

Prof. R.Kalyana Krishnan
Dept. of Computer Science and Engg.
IIT Madras, Chennai-600036

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