Novel devices empower disabled

Strapped to the wheelchair and armed with knowledge of operating computers to communicate, Avinash is as good as any student.

“I carry a laptop and use voice recognition system to speak. I feel I am independent. I go to college in a Volvo bus but one of my parents has to accompany me,” he said.
Avinash is one of the several disabled children, who have or could benefit immensely from assistive technology.

Custom made for India
However, assistive technology,  advanced in the West, should  be modified for  Indian context to become affordable and accessible, felt experts during the last day of the two-day international conference on assistive technology organised by Spastic Society of Karnataka on Saturday.

Jude Pereira, researcher and freelance assistive technology developer, pointed out that although, people felt prototypes are not the way to extend assistive technology to all, the purpose is servedeven if it helps a single one child.

 “Why not build a one stop shop, where customised technology can be provided to disabled children. The government can set up one,” he suggested.

Ajit Narayanan of Invention Lab, which has come out with the first commercial device ‘Avaz’ in February, said that the device has features such as touch screen and audio reading and helps the child to make words and thereby frame short sentences.
DH News Service

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