Hindi Supernova: Helping to Break the Accessibility Barriers in India
20th Feb, 2008
On February 4th and 5th 2008, Dolphin Computer Access jetted off across the globe to Asia to attend Techshare India in New Delhi. The event, organised by BarrierBreak Technologies, was the first accessibility conference and exhibition of its kind to be held in India. And Dolphin assisted in breaking the barriers to accessibility in the developing nation of India by introducing an impressive Hindi version of Supernova.
Dolphin Supernova: A Hindi Experience
Developed exclusively for Techshare India, Dolphin gave delegates and attendees a chance to preview the Hindi translation of Supernova; the world’s only fully combined screen reading and screen magnification software with Braille support in the event’s interactive ‘experience zone’.
The soon to be released Hindi translation is a part of some 23 alternative language translations supported by Dolphin software, allowing customers to access a multitude of informational resources in the languages they are familiar with. And the Hindi translation was also popular among delegates who commented on the potential benefit of the full Hindi translation:
“…Hindi version of Dolphin's Supernova will be of great help to people in India. Particularly, it enables people in the government sector to work independently, as Hindi is the most widely used language in the Government of India. Also, today, there are lots of government and other websites available including news papers which publish content in Hindi to reach people even at rural areas. Using Supernova Hindi version, people with visually impairments too can access that content"
Vasu, Account Manager at BarrierBreak Technologies
Dolphin Supernova, along with the other access products Lunar, LunarPlus and Hal, will be available in Hindi from March 31st 2008 with the extremely popular Lekha and Sangeeta synthesisers. To pre-order your copy of the Hindi Supernova, please contact your local Dolphin dealer.
The need for Techshare in India
Major-General Sir John Megaw, K.C.I.E., President of the India Office Medical Board and Medical Adviser to the Secretary of State for India, estimates that there are over two million blind and visually impaired people in India (cited from rnib.org.uk external link). To cater for a visually-impaired population of this size, the Persons with Disabilities Act (external link)promotes the equality of people with disabilities in India. However, many people remain unaware of the availability of assistive technology to break the accessibility barriers that people with visual impairments and learning disabilities are subject to. Techshare India provided the most prominent opportunity to date for industry experts such as Dolphin Computer Access to raise the awareness of assistive technology in India.
“Techshare India brings together the entire ecosystem – the government, the corporates, the NGOs, people with disabilities, the product companies and the education providers under one roof. The conference is a platform to share insights and learning’s and in the process serve a bigger purpose – which is to educate people about accessibility, promote accessibility and highlight the laws and standards that are there and encourage their implementation”
(Ms. Shilpi Kedia, Founder and MD of BarrierBreak Technologies India)
Breaking the Monetary Barriers to Accessibility
A substantial barrier to accessibility in developing countries such as India is the affordability of assistive technology. According to the Indian Government’s Planning Commission, poverty levels in India have fallen from 51.3% in 1977 to approximately 27.5% (2005). That said however, the wealth distribution in India is considered to be drastically uneven. In attempting to break this monetary barrier to accessibility, Dolphin has partnered up with Sightsavers International, (a collaboration which has also been supported by RNIB), to promote the Sightsavers Dolphin Pen. The Pen is an affordable and socially inclusive solution, providing users with all the benefits of combined screen reading and screen magnification technology. In addition, the mobility of the Pen means that users can get all the accessibility they need to unlock their potential from any PC. After receiving a positive response from its exhibition at Techshare, it is hoped that the adoption of such technology could be the catalyst toward new levels of accessibility in developing nations such as India.
Techshare 2008: A great Success
Delegates and other attendees enjoyed a multitude of different presentations, with the chance to find out how to make a positive impact to the accessibility of information and other IT applications.
Dolphin Computer Access were represented by a lively presentation by Sales Director Steve Bennett, introducing Dolphin EasyConverter to the audience. With an emphasis on a flexible approach to providing accessible information, solutions such as EasyConverter allow users to provide accessible information in alternative formats such as MP3 audio files, DAISY talking books, Large Print and Braille on request. This means that all information has the potential to be accessible to all, regardless of disability.
In addition to the conference,attendees had further opportunities to explore some 25 plus exhibiting stands, including world leading assistive technology suppliers such as Optelec and Dolphin Computer Access.
With the success of the 2008 event, Techshare India is planned to be staged annually. By helping to raise the awareness of affordable assistive technology with relevant language translations, Dolphin will continue to support BarrierBreak Technologies in making a real difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities, blindness and low vision in the developing world.