Computer training center for people with learning disabilities launched

Asia-Pacific, November 24 2016

TRICHY, INDIA: C Surya, 26, a woman with learning disabilities, from Trichy, will now have the opportunity to add value to her hand-made purse, which is her source of income. As of now, she sells her purse in the market for Rs20 a piece. She will soon be trained in embroidery so that she would be able to sell her purse for Rs70 in the market.

A touchscreen Braille app undergoes testing in Sri Lanka. Photo Sohan Dharmaraja

Surya will learn embroidery with the help of a computer based tailoring unit designed exclusively for people with disabilities in Bharathidasan University (BDU). The ICT-enabled training centre for people with disabilities was launched at Bharathidasan University on Tuesday.

“It is a proud moment for the university. No other university has such a centre to train people with disabilities,” said BDI vice chancellor V M Muthu Kumar, who had inaugurated it.

Aimed at meeting the skill needs of people with disabilities to ensure their economic independence, the centre is set up with a fund of Rs.11.40lakh from the state government.

Stating that the unit would enable specially-abled students to enter the world of dress-making with ease, head of the centre, M Prabavathy, said that new courses and training programs would be designed on a need basis.

While more than 74% of people with disabilities in the employable age group are non-workers or marginal workers, Prabavathy said that the main aim of this centre would be to equip them with skills required to lead an economically independent and socially self-reliant life.

Even though the government has taken effort to improve the welfare of people with disabilities, rural areas don’t have access to such training centres. There arises an imminent need for quality vocational training, homogenous training curriculum and methodology. Collaboration with various government and non-government organizations would be undertaken to fulfill training needs, she added.

The centre would be instrumental in ensuring that a student with special needs chooses the right course according to his/her academic background, aptitude and skill-set, said director of Dolphin Special School G Praveena, who has been guiding 103 students in her school.

“Ascertaining skills of special children is a complex task. They have to be engaged in numerous activities to understand their interest level. In addition, less than 5 percent of children will be found to have unique skills,” she said.

Source: Times of India

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