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Thanks Tina for corresponding with the Nepal Association of Blind and other potential Blind users. The prototype testing sessions were just the great method to come up with better ideas to solve the problem in this iteration. The people at NAB were just fantastic. We need to do one more round of testing of the new version of prototype with them.

thanks Alisha!

Dear OpenIDEO,
Thank you very much for your feedbacks. They really helped us with revisiting our concept. Here are some replies to your concerns:

What experts shared for is this idea desirable, feasible and viable?
== We agree, there is a need to lobby with government in a national level. This can be done with the help of Nepal blind association and other organizations working for the rights of disabled people. We already have contacts with their head office and local offices and they are very positive to collaborate with our team.

Concerns related to whether kiosk and companion app will be needed separately:
==The kiosks will still be useful in any part of the country, as services like Citizenship certificates and passports are still given in person in Nepal. Government offices are mostly located accessible from most parts of the district and recent political changes have ensured even more decentralization in the governance. Hence, we can expect the talking-form service will locally be even more useful. Yearly awareness and application collection with mobile Talking-form services can be run across various villages around the country so that people who are not yet registered as blind or who had no one to help them to the government offices can also benefit.
There are around 50% of the population living in the cities and there is a good penetration of Internet, mobile phones and smart phones in the cities. In many cased blind and visually impaired are forced to migrate to cities because lack of facilities for them in the country side. Companion App will therefore be very useful for users in the urban areas.

How does this idea consider user needs?
==We learned that most of the blind users, we met, use assistive technologies in their computers or smart phones in the cities. However we haven't met any one from rural areas. With our earlier experience in SAMBAD project while working with non-literate users, we are considering audio contents and forms because it is a natural way to interact for anyone. The contents should be presented one at a time and should not confuse users. It should be possible for users to navigate through the system using audio menus and a remote controller. For new users of technologies, we will provide audio guides which will help the them to get a training or do a mock up form fill up before filling in the real form.

What plan do you have to create awareness to the community at larger?
== We are planning to organize Talking Form Boot camps in all the 75 districts where we will invite blind and visually impaired users to test our product and educate them about the benefits like independence, privacy and legal security. We will also run mobile Taking-form awareness program and form filling programs yearly in different villages around the country.
How are we planning to sustain the intervention? == We will add a fee for each form entry. Right now in Nepal there is a fee for a form which is given in charity to the Red Cross Society. Similar fee can be charged to the blind users/ or government for each application.

What’s your familiarity with and desire to implement ATM accessibility and accessibility in general (WCAG2.0)?
== We have gone through the WCAG2.0 guidelines and we will follow the guidelines as far as possible. There are however problems because of unavailability of technologies or at times issues of usability of the system if available technology is used at the current state. For instance, there is no screen reader available in Nepali in Windows. If we use a Nepali TTS for Linux, the voices are very mechanical and unnatural. We have worked with technologies that can be used for assistive technologies earlier but this will still be the very first project we will be implementing only for the blind and visually impaired.

In general, we are very excited and thankful to OpenIDEO for providing us with this opportunity. Your feedbacks have changed the way, we initially thought about the solution. We still have a concern on use of Nepali Automatic Speech Recognition. We would be grateful if we will receive some assistance from an expert in ASR from OpenIDEO, if we get selected as the finalist.