Daisy makes disabilities not so challenging | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 27, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 27, 2010

National e-content and ICT4D Award 2010 winner

Daisy makes disabilities not so challenging

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This week, we focus on the winner of the e-Inclusion & Participation category.
In Bangladesh, approximately 14 million people have some kind of disabilities. About 3 million of them are visually impaired. It is difficult to provide books and written information to these people. So, the alternative formats to print are Braille, talking books, e-text and large prints.
Daisy (Digital Accessible Information System) for All, a range of diverse initiatives and interventions have been introduced in the country by an organisation Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), to address the problems and issues associated with disability and the people affected by it.
They cover almost all types of service delivery models and rights based approaches in a multimedia form. The newest trend is the inclusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It uses an open international standard for accessible multimedia.
The YPSA ICT & Resource Centre on Disabilities (IRCD), based in Chittagong, has established a digital talking book library using the standard.
At present, there are over 455 publications in Bangla and English including books on primary and reproductive health, HIV & AIDS, disaster preparedness and management, text books and Bangladeshi legislation.
Each book can be accessed in several ways. If a PC has Daisy software installed, the text can be displayed on screen and its font size and colour may be adjusted to aid readers who are visually impaired.
If a user prefers to listen to the book, a voice recording of the text can be played back. These options are managed in such a way that words are highlighted on screen during the playback. If a PC is not available, talking books can also be played on CDs and MP3 players. Talking books may also be printed out in Braille format.
The Talking Library has approximately 500 members from all over Bangladesh. Twenty organisations have also registered to use the library.

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