COMPUTER TRAINING FOR VISUALLY CHALLENGED
Job Access With Speech is a screen reading software and, in short, it is called JAWS. This software is specially developed for the visually challenged. It is based on Microsoft Windows operating system and useful for many Microsoft software products. JAWS basically converts the normal computer into a talking computer, thus enabling the blind person to work on computer independently. We use JAWS to teach Activities different applications in Microsoft Office, different languages like C, C++, Java, etc and to access Internet like browsing, creating E-mail ID, sending mails, opening the Emails etc. It can make visually challenged person comfortable to use Microsoft Office and other software products. The visually challenged person can install JAWS if he or she so desires.
Kurzweil is a software used for reading printed text. A scanner is used to scan the printed text. The Kurzweil software commands the local scanner, connected to the computer, to scan the printed matter and to obtain the image of the text page. The scanned image is in the form of photograph of the text page. This photographic text is then converted to actual characters by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software incorporated in Kurzweil monitor screen. Screen reader transforms the text on monitor screen to voice. In this way the visually challenged person can listen to the printed text interpreted by screen reading software.
Magic is the software used by a person with low vision. Here the text is magnified so that a person with low vision can see the text on the screen with the help of this software. The person can use mouse as he can see the magnified image of cursor on the monitor screen. MAGIC has screen reader option also. Therefore, in addition to seeing the enlarged text, a person can hear what he sees. Enhances the learning abilities of the partially sighted children who use the zoom text on the monitor
Prisma is a teaching aid, which magnifies the text and diagram on the monitor of the Computer or TV, and it can be adjusted to the comfort level of children with low vision.
Mountbatten Electronic Braille Writer
Our students use the keyboard to print the matter in Braille, which is transcribed to normal text and vice versa in a matter of seconds. The equipment enables the students to write examinations on their own, dispensing with the usual practice of employing scribes as was done earlier.
Even with Braille text – books and embossed diagrams, detailed structures are hard for the students to perceive, because of their intricacy and complexity. To get over this difficulty, Devnar Science Lab has more than 50 tactile models ingeniously designed and prepared by the Biology teacher, Mr. Egbert Dawson. The students are able to score more than 95% in science with the help of these assistive devices and the exhibit “fractional distillation of petroleum” won a silver medal in the 93rd National Science Congress.
Devnar Printing Press
Prints the text-books prescribed in the State syllabus in Braille for the benefit of the visually challenged students studying in Andhra Pradesh. Devotional and religious books are also printed and Devnar School got entry into the LIMCA BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for printing Bhagawad Gita in Braille. Printing of text-books is sponsored by companies like Amway, U.B.S., SEW., HAL and others. Dictionaries and grammar books are also printed in Devnar School and supplied to other schools. Stories in English, Hindi and Telugu add to the reading pleasures of students.
Library – DIGITAL & BRAILLE
Devnar School has a digital library, which has compact discs of educational material prescribed in S.S.C. syllabus, and also discs on general knowledge. Some popular stories in CD format are also in the library. Students are provided with CD players. Devnar School has very good selection of books numbering over 1000 and is considered the best school library in our country. The students enjoy reading the books during their library period and other free time. Every year new books are added to the library.
Advanced Learning and Research
Ramananda Centre for Advanced Learning and Research for the Visually Impaired is another branch of Devnar Foundation for the Blind. Here, the adult blind are taught income generating skills like leaf-plate making, candle making, weaving towels and napkins and making detergents, phenyl, envelopes and different types of office files, besides most sophisticated Computer education. Making disposable paper- cups is also on the aniel to Rehabilitate the adult blind.
The adult uneducated blind of Devnar Foundation make beautiful scented candles of different shapes and sizes at aur Ramananda Centre for Rehabilitation at Bansilalpet which can adorn any home or occasion. These lovely candles and diyas are for sale and during festival season you can place an order for your requirements in advance. They are made of superior quality wax and bring a waft of fragrance and glow to your homes. The sale proceedings are used for the rehabilitation of the blind.