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Enhancing Learning Capabilities of students with print and visual disabilities (ELECTS) through accessible ICT in Nepal.

ADRAD intends to provide accessible books & Android device for reading books to students with print & visual disability in grassroots level.

Photo of Action on Disability Rights and Development Nepal
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What problem does your idea solve?

The critical gaps in limited number of accessible talking books available & the low number of visually impaired students going to school are: Existing accessible book production is very limited, publishers are not trained in accessible publishing, there is no proper mechanism for distribution of digital accessible books, the teachers engaged in the education of Blind students have no idea about such book & students do not have playback devices to read them. ADRAD has come up with this solution.

Explain your idea

The ELECTS campaign is the means of inclusive education for children with visual and print disabilities, having paramount importance in making eBooks available for everyone including people with different disabilities including dyslexia. Private and government publishers to be capacitated producing textbooks in accessible formats and students will have access to devices with assistive technologies for reading such books. 100 teachers engaged in the education of Visual and print disabilities gain skills and idea about producing DAISY books and method of handling playback devices so that the beneficiaries group will be privileged to enhance their learning capabilities from early classrooms. As a result, the dropout rates amongst targeted students should be reduced, they will be privileged of access to educational materials which enhance their ability to learn, acquire education and gainful employment to lead an independent and dignified life. The ultimate goal is to showcase the use of accessible reading material to promote inclusive education and push the government to adopt strategy of making accessible books available to the students with print and visual disabilities. The learning capabilities of end-users will simultaneously be improved by making Android devices available with accessible Text-to-Speech local software available for reading the accessible books which are uploaded and distributed by the satellite centres of ADRAD through the skilled Teachers.

Who benefits?

There are 2,500 students with visual disabilities enrolled in educational institutions. The innovative idea covers 1500 such students to access E-books and Android reading devices with Nepali TTS. The students enrolled in the schools and colleges within age 12- 25 will be covered as beneficiaries, amongst them, 50% will be women. The satellite centers in state levels will be functional to provide training to 100 teachers who are engaged in the education of such students.

How is your idea unique?

The Government has a scheme of developing educational materials for children with disabilities and providing Braille books for school students however these are very limited in number and no outreach services to the students in grassroots level particularly in geographically difficult regions. The policy of accessible publishing and developing E-books has still not been adopted by the Government and private publishers consequently the students with print and visual disabilities are left behind educational opportunities. ADRAD has initiated introducing DAISY to produce accessible books, that allow such students to use the accessible ICT for acquiring quality education, the initiatives supports the principles of “Left no one behind”, fulfilling the targets within Goals 4 of SDGs. The innovative idea of providing E-books and Android devices has tremendously helped the students of Earthquake affected area mainly district headquarter. Thus, the idea is considered innovative and unique.

Tell us more about you

Action on Disability Rights And Development (ADRAD) is a non-profitable, non-Governmental networking organization established by persons with disabilities, engaged in human rights and inclusive development. The Chairperson of ADRAD is key actor to implement the idea of the campaign who acquired training from Japan and adopted the technology in Nepal, also has trained some organizations to produce accessible books and hundreds of visual impaired persons to read the books.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

DAISY digital talking books are being produced in collaboration with other self-help organisations and Department of Education. ADRAD has been privileged to extend its collaboration to work with WIPO, the Accessible Books Consortium and the DAISY Consortium for capacity building of ADRAD to produce accessible books. With this experience ADRAD is very much encouraged to extend the idea to make accessible books available to all children with visual and print disabilities in Nepal. Some of the visual impaired students are using Android devices purchased at their own cost, however most of them have no purchasing capacity. Thus ADRAD intends to showcase the importance of such devices and push the government for policy to provide such devices.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Nepal

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Indeed very thoughtful idea, but please also incorporate their future employment plan into your design. In fact, securing jobs is the major challenge of disabled persons who happened to find their way through training of any sort, especially in developing countries.
As a practical case, there is no discriminatory employment policy in my country, yet I underwent four recruitment interviews in the private sector after my first degree in which the interviewers in each case confessed my remarkable performance in my very presence but without success in any. Well, I had severely lost vision and not entitled for a job in the personal philosophy of most employers in my country. In one of the interview situations, a concerned panelist privately probed deeper into my identity and discovered that my uncle was his close friend. Shortly, he informed my uncle about my excellent performance and how fast my vision needed to be treated; else the head of personnel would not employ me. In the public sector however, the story is not too far from that of the private. While public administrators are better in government recruitments than the private entities, they employ less than 5% of the total unemployed blind persons; but rarely employ any in their private enterprises. Maybe, to justify their claim of subscribing to the policy of inclusion alongside developed countries.