Believing in equal opportunities for all, Andhra University has started e-books for the visually challenged and for those with learning disabilities. The e-books would help them pursue under graduate and post graduate courses stated the officials.
New software has been launched on the campus to enable accessibility of books for the visually-challenged students free of cost. The tool which is used for reading is enabled with a screen reader that can read out the content in 14 Indian languages, including Telugu. Newspapers, magazines, novels and special course materials are available for the students.
” The free online library would make a world of difference for the visually-impaired students who could now browse through a wide range of e-books with just a click,” said AU Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao. Interestingly, the facility would be the first of its kind in the country.
The cathartic technology which has the potential to alter a person’s life in a substantial way, was put forth in collaboration with Bookshare, a wing of the U.S. based company Benetech.
The dignitaries, V. Rajasekhar, Deputy co-ordinator of the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad and Homiyar Mobedji, country director of Bookshare, who are visually challenged, addressed the gathering saying that the biggest limitation for the visually challenged was reading a book independently, which has finally come to an end.
A total of 15 academic books have been made available for the students presently and the remaining would be added in a phased manner. Those who have already been a member of the online library said the facility had taken their academic performance a notch higher.