Asia-Pacific Apr 4, 2017
INDIA: The Louis Braille Centre was recently opened at the Library Annexe of Ananda Rangapillai Library in Pondicherry Central University. Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy inaugurated the center.
In a press release issued by the University, R. Samyuktha, University Librarian, stated that the existing facilities of hardware and software (desktops with audio head phones, flatbed scanners, refreshable Braille display, Braille typewriter, Readit-Instant Reader and JAWS-Screen Reader Software) available at the Ananda Rangapillai Library are shifted to the Louis Braille Centre and several other equipment such as instant reader with assistive technology, single sheet Braille embosser, image scanner (overhead scanning), desktops (additional), Tamil OCR software, Hindi OCR software, handled magnifier and large keyboard are in the process of procurement shortly.
The HEPSN Centre (Higher Education Centre for Special Needs) of Pondicherry University is working in tandem with the Louis Braille Centre to create awareness and promote maximum utilisation of the facilities for persons with disabilities at the University.
Services for students with disabilitieswere started at Ananda Rangapillai Library in 2010, to cater to students with vision disabilities faculty, research scholars and students. The essential hardware and software required were installed and other gadgets such as scanners and accessories were provided.
During a celebration of the International day for Persons with Disabilities in 2010 at the library, showcasing of the abilities of the persons with disabilities in accessing e-books, an email account, a newspaper online, a PowerPoint presentation of hardware and software for themled the then Vice-Chancellor Prof. J.A.K. Tareen to declare a policy of the university that from the next year (2011), Pondicherry University would provide free education to the differently-abled. Hence, the library takes pride in being instrumental for a major policy-making at the university.
Though the special services were catered with periodic training workshops and a special workshop by Mr. Daniel Kish, President of the World Access for Blind in 2012, a special Louis Braille Centre was designed and constructed in the Library Annexe by the vision of the then Vice-Chancellor Prof. J.A.K. Tareen. V. Narayanasamy, present Chief Minister of Puducherry had inaugurated the Library Annexe in 2013.