Centre for Accessible Technology

Education with Computer Aid

Computer technology is developing fast in India. But, persons with disabilities are not fully familiar with the technology, which can help them a long way to become self-sufficient. This program has been designed to produce Computer literate persons with disabilities who would be able to use the technology for their betterment.

Background

The idea of developing a Computer resource center for deaf, blind and orthopaedically handicapped persons first came to the mind of Mr. Douglas Charles Helmer, who visited India in early 1999 as a Rotary volunteer. During his 3 days stay in Muzaffarpur, He visited Shubham with the members of Rotary Club of Muzaffarpur and met the founder and general secretary of Shubham, Dr. Sangeeta Agrawal in Shubham premises and observed the welfare activities being carried out there. With the help of a team of fellow Rotarians of Canada, U.S.A. and Rotary Club of Muzaffarpur he started his work on this project. Having obtained sponsorship from Rotary foundation, Mr. Douglas visited Shubham in the spring of 2001, from 12.3.01 to 9.04.01. He trained the staff and students of Shubham in Computer technology, execution, installation and other basics. To continue this work after his departure, Dr.K.K. Sahu voluntarily accepted the responsibility of being the technical advisor of this program.

Objectives and Goals

  • To establish and foster an international network of technical and educational support for staff and students of Shubham, facilitated by e-mail and direct visit.
  • To send regular e-mail reports, web page updates, photos and streaming video back to students at different schools throughout the world through the school-net grassroots program.
  • To establish an accessible Computer technology institute at Shubham.
  • To assist teachers at Shubham in integrating accessible technology in their school curriculum.
  • To establish a well-equipped Computer training center for persons with disabilities of Northeast India in 5 years.

Strategy

The time frame for completion of this program is 5 years and the development process has been divided into three phases.

Resource and infrastructure development.

  • In this phase human resource will be developed in order to meet the need of special computer instructors for students with hearing and visual impairment.
  • Procurement of basic hardware, software and specially designed equipments for persons with visual, hearing and locomotor disabilities.

Establishment of Computer Institute and resource center

A separate arrangement will be made for setting up the proposed Computer Institute and resource center.

Designing of various Computer training courses

In this phase specially designed training-courses will be developed and launched.

The program aims to solve the following problems

  • To fulfill the need of an advanced computer training institute for the disabled in the north eastern part of the country,
  • To provide computer literacy to all types of disabled persons in one institute. It will thus be able to facilitate a larger number of beneficiaries.
  • The institute will enable the persons with disabilities to become more useful components of the society by providing them with computer skills.

The institute will ensure maximum self-sufficiency of persons with disabilities and will develop confidence in them by avoiding their dependence upon normal persons for reading purposes, correspondence with friends and well-wishers globally and by developing creativity on their own. They will be able to reach to the treasures of worldly knowledge easily.

The program has already been started with the help of one computer with various softwares including Jaws for Windows, and other accessories. Efforts are on to acquire a Braille printer soon.

Appeal

Shubham requests its will wishers to extend help in the forms of cash and kind to make this innovative program a success.