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Education Ministry lays down norms for content for disabled children

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 10:17 -- geeta.nair

Digital education resources must be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust: Centre

The Education Ministry has laid down new guidelines for producing digital education resources for children with disabilities, after a year in which the COVID-driven shift to online education has spotlighted the lacunae in such resources. However, the PDF document containing the guidelines does not even follow its own rules, making it partially inaccessible to the visually challenged, says an activist, raising concerns about effective implementation.
 

PwDs can use their unique ID card for registration on CoWIN

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:57 -- geeta.nair

Soon, people with disabilities (PwDs) can use their Unique Disability Identification (UDID) Card as a Photo ID to register themselves on the CoWIN platform for vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

“This has been done to further facilitate the access to vaccination by disabled people and in this regard, the Centre has written to all the States/UTs to include it as a Photo ID for registration,” said a statement issued here by the Ministry. The necessary provisions for the same are being made and would be available in CoWIN shortly, it further stated.

Smart cane, powered by AI, navigates for the visually impaired

Fri, 06/04/2021 - 13:00 -- geeta.nair

The life of the visually impaired has been improved greatly with the use of the WeWalk smart cane.

Designed by a start-up with offices in London and Istanbul, the smart cane can warn the user of obstacles, provide navigation assistance and information on public transportation.

WeWALK acts as a new handle when attached to any long cane and was designed to feel natural, allowing for normal cane usage. 

Lockdown has been especially hard on Valley’s visually-impaired persons

Fri, 06/04/2021 - 12:49 -- geeta.nair

Yam Bahadur Gurung is a visually-impaired man but he is gifted with a good singing voice. Until the Covid-19 lockdown started in March last year, he had a busy schedule singing at various functions besides a regular evening job at the Indreni Dohori Sanjh, a restaurant with traditional Nepali live music, at Koteshwor in the Capital.

An inclusive website offering COVID-19 data

Fri, 06/04/2021 - 10:56 -- geeta.nair

A young trio designs it for the benefit of the neurodiverse and visually-challenged

Dynamic charts are an indispensable part of pandemic reporting. Take the one that tracks the daily case load in a geography. With a gentle glide of the mouse manifesting the data in chronological order, it presents an evolving picture with the minimum of fuss. However, without an accompanying audio feature, this prop means little to a visually-challenged user. Similarly, what is convenient presentation of information to a majority may be a challenge to someone on the autism spectrum.

First blind Chinese mountaineer climbs Mount Everest

Tue, 06/01/2021 - 10:30 -- geeta.nair

The 46-year old Chinese Zhang Hong has scaled the tallest peak in the world from the Nepal side, becoming the first blind man in Asia and the third in the world to climb Mount Everest. "No matter if you're disabled or normal, whether you have lost  your eyesight or you have no legs or hands, it doesn't matter as long as you have a strong mind, you can always complete a thing that other people you can't," Zhang told Reuters. Zhang completed the 8,849 metre-high Himalayan feat on May 24 along   with three high altitude guides, and returned to the base camp on Thursday.

Nethrodaya opens a park for the visually-impaired in Chennai

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 10:40 -- geeta.nair

Visually-impaired students currently residing at Nethrodaya now have a space to spend time at in the evenings.

An accessible, user-friendly park was inaugurated on the Nethrodaya campus a few days ago for these students.
“We have around 42 students who study in our school staying on campus and for them, this park is a welcome, accessible space. Owing to the lockdown, the students cannot step out anywhere as well and this space serves as their stress buster.,” said C. Govindakrishnan, Founder, Nethrodaya.
 

Blind Relief Association, Delhi in the launch of a COVID Helpline for the Visually Challenged which is serving since 28 April 2021.

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 16:08 -- geeta.nair

In the wake of the disastrous second wave of COVID-19 in India, the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi is actively partnering with the Blind Relief Association, Delhi in the launch of a COVID Helpline for the Visually Challenged which is serving since 28 April 2021. Depending heavily on the sense of touch, a visually impaired person is much more vulnerable and needs special care/attention to be able to fight the pandemic and living through the widespread fears and unforeseen difficulties resulting due to the second wave.

Scientists restore partial sight in blind man

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 11:07 -- geeta.nair

PARIS: Scientists have for the first time managed to partially restore the sight of a blind patient by altering his cells, according to the results of a groundbreaking study published on Monday.

The technique known as optogenetics, which has been developed in the field of neuroscience over the last 20 years, involves genetically altering cells so they produce more light-sensitive proteins.

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