School launches picture-based app for people with disabilities

Asia-Pacific, February 15 2017

NOIDA, INDIA: A school for persons with disabilities has launched a picture-based application for the speech impaired and also an e-commerce portal that sells products made by children with speech disabilities.

The mobile app, Vaakya, is helpful for persons with speech disabilities, those affected by autism, cerebral palsy.

The authorities of Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, which came out with the application, said the app is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool and can also be used for rehabilitation of children with disabilities.

The app creates a combination of custom images and phrases, which can be related to an individual user in order help them effectively communicate.

The application does not rely on internet connectivity and utilises the phone’s own memory. It will be available on Google Playstore free of cost from February 16.

The school has also integrated an e-commerce portal with its website — www.mbcnschool.org — which allows customers to buy products made by children with disabilities of the school under the vocational training program, Swayam.

The handmade products include wedding gifts, packaging items, office stationery, paper bags and other gift products which will be available online for purchase.

Product details such as price, size and other specifications have been mentioned along with customers’ reviews.

The prospective buyers can log on to the school’s website and buy the products using the simple user interface, the school authorities said.

Speaking about the initiative, Vandana Sharma, director, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, said, “MBCN has been working towards empowering children with disabilities for 18 years now. With Vaakya, our mission is to give the specially abled a tool to communicate efficiently and make them independent and self-reliant.”

She said the vocational training programme Swayam provides a sense of self-worth and economic independence. “The students get a stipend for the hours they spend on their skill as an encouragement for their hard work and give them a sense of economic independence.

Source: Hindustan Times

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