Bangalore University has set up a Braille Resource Centre at its Central College Campus in Feb. 2012 with the ambition of having the best assistive technologies available in the world today for its visually challenged students with disability such as blindness and low vision studying in its post-graduate departments and affiliated and autonomous colleges. The University intends to reach out to its visually impaired students in order to facilitate their process of pursuing higher education and enter the mainstream of society with self-confidence and dignity. The Centre further proposes to perpetuate the immense possibilities of employment for these students and to make them add to the work force and contribute to nation-building. Presently the Centre is the epicenter for 180 visually impaired students of 36 colleges and 7 PG (Appendix-1) Centres.
- To facilitate the process of higher education of visually-challenged students by providing assistive technology to make them self-reliant and independent.
- To provide a resource ground for teachers /educationists to enhance their capacity to deal with students with visual dis-abilities.
- To create an awareness among the employers about the immense possibilities and capabilities of the students with visual disabilities if they were provided with assistive devices/software in the workplace.
- To facilitate their employability by providing a common platform for the visually challenged students and the corporate sector.
DIFFERENT UNITS OF THE CENTRE
- Electronic Reading Unit : The Centre is equipped with Text Reading machines, stand alone for non computer users, PC based devices for reading of printed books by the blind, Screen magnification software, video magnifiers for the partially blind and those with low vision, display talking books players for listening to audio books created by the Centre or Sourced from other NGOs. There can be various text books of all classes and various courses on Arts, Commerce, Science, and Management.
- Braille Book Production Unit:
- Books: This unit is equipped with 2 embossers or high speed Braille printers, wherein English and Kannada language is translated into Braille language and printed
- Audio CD’s: 13 audio CD’s on the text books for optional subjects are prepared by the Centre for its distribution to the needy students who do not know Braille language (Appendix 2)
- Software: The Centre has installed a number of software for access of reading material by the students
- Pearl Instant Open Book Reading and Scanning Software: This has portable reading camera, which scans and reads out to the students ;
- JAWS for Windows Screen Reading Software, which guides the impaired students regarding how they are proceeding with the system ;
- Duxbury Translation Software: This helps converting / translating English and Kannada into Braille language ; and
- Bonita Mouse Magnifier (poor vision reading software)
Career Counseling / Job Placement Unit: This unit is for providing information on different opportunities that can be pursued by visually challenged students in order to improve their skill and hence employability, based on their aptitude and qualifications.
The Centre in collaboration with the NGO, ENABLE INDIA is organizing a series of program on continuous basis. The thrust of these of programs is in the form of job profiling, computer and employability training, career workshops to create awareness on job market based on the need of the corporate industry, contact classes and finally placement services. (Appendix-3)
This is a unique partnership model, where the educational institution, the NGO and the corporate sector will come together.
The Bangalore University Braille Resource Centre will be a catalyst in coordinating these three-tier linkage programs.
- Financial Aid : The University has been supporting these students by offering each student a scholarship of Rs. 500/- per month for ten months which is paid in one installment in an academic year. The scholarship offered by the University is of great help as these students come from very poor socio- economic background, without parental care. They stay in hostels run by charitable trusts.
Coordinator: Dr. Ismath Afshan, Professor, Dept. of Sericulture & Life Science
Tenure: 29.04.2014 to UFO
Central College Campus
Bengaluru – 560 001