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TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND OF WORTH TRUST, KATPADI A PRESENTATION BY Col.K.RADHAKRISHNAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, WORTH TRUST, KATPADI.

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Presentation on theme: "TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND OF WORTH TRUST, KATPADI A PRESENTATION BY Col.K.RADHAKRISHNAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, WORTH TRUST, KATPADI."— Presentation transcript:

1 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND OF WORTH TRUST, KATPADI A PRESENTATION BY Col.K.RADHAKRISHNAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, WORTH TRUST, KATPADI

2 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND LET US FIRST LOOK AT THE MIND-BOGGLING FIGURES OF INDIA’S POPULATION OF THE DISABLED Type of Disability Census, 2001 (in lakhs) Locomotor61.05 Visual Hearing12.62 Speech16.41 Mental22.64 Total THE STARTING POINT FOR ENABLING THE DISABLED IN THE COUNTRY IS PROVIDE THEM WITH DEVICES THAT HELP THEM TO SEE, HEAR AND MOVE AND THEREBY ACQUIRE LITERACY, EDUCATION AND SKILLS TO EARN A LIVING.

3 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND OF WORTH TRUST, KATPADI WORTH TRUST, KATPADI IS A UNIQUE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT FULFILLS ALL THESE BASIC REQUIREMENTS. IT IS UNIQUE IN THAT IT RECRUITS, TRAINS AND EMPLOYS DISABLED PERSONS IN TO ENGAGE IN INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES, AND IN MANUFACTURE OF DISABILITY PRODUCTS FOR THE DISABLED. AND USES PROFITS FROM THE FORMER ACTIVITY, TO MAKE ITS DISABILITY PRODUCTS AVAILABLE TO THE DISABLED AT NO-PROFIT PRICES. THESE PRODDUCTS ARE MADE TO INTERNATIONAL QUALITY, INTERNATIONAL SPEIFICATIONS BUT AT A FRACTION OF INTERNATIONAL PRICES LET US LOOK AT SOME OF OUR PRODUCTS, NOW AVAILABLE OR UNDER DEVELOPMENT.

4 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND TWO IMPORTANT EXAMPLES OF ESTABLISHED PRODUCTS (1) THE PERKINS BRAILLER : THIS IS A PRODUCT OF PERKINS, USA, THE WORLD’S LEADING MAKER OF BRAILLERS, OUT-SOURCED BY FOR ASSEMBLY BY WORTH TRUST IN KATPADI. WE OFFER IT IN INDIA FOR US$ 275, FOR US$ 450 IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AGAINST THE US AND DEVELOPED COUNTRY PRICE OF US$ 690 (2) THE UNIVERSAL BRAILLE KIT : THIS IS AN ORIGINAL WORTH PRODUCT. IT HAS BEEN DESCRIBED IN DETAIL IN THE LAST PRESENTATION. WE OFFER IT AT A UNIT PRICE OF US$ 10, WHILE THE COMPONENTS SOURCED IN THE USA OR ANYWHERE ABROAD WOULD TOGETHER COST AROUND US$ 100.

5 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND AN IMPORTANT EXAMPLE OF A NEW PRODUCT THE DIRECT SLATE THE DIRECT SLATE IS A PATH BREAKING INVENTION OF AN AMERICAN WELL-WISHER NAMED LARRY HAWK WHO HAS GIFTED TO US THE PLASTIC MOULD EQUIPMENT FOR ITS PRODUCTION BY WORTH TRUST. A SIMPLE DESIGN APPROACH REPLACES THE PITS BY RAISED DOTS IN THE TRADITIONAL SLATE SURFACE, AND THE SOLID ROUNDED PIN TIP OF THE CONVENTIONAL STYLUS IS REPLACED BY A HOLLOW CUPPED TIP. THEREBY, THE PUNCHING ACTION ON THE PAPER SHEET CREATES RAISED DOTS INSTEAD OF DEPRESSED DOTS. IMPORTANTLY, THIS CHANGE MEANS THAT BRAILLE CAN BE WRITTEN, NORMALLY WITHOUT LATERAL INVERSION AND FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. THIS NEW SLATE WILL BECOME PART OF FUTURE UBKs THE NEW SLATE WILL NOW BE AVAILABLE FOR US$ 3 AGAINST THE US PRICE OF US$ 30

6 TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND ANOTHER IMPORTANT EXAMPLE OF A NEW PRODUCT THE NINA UNIVERSAL BRAILLE TEACHER THIS IS A SMALL BOX, WHICH HAS 6 SWITCHES, NUMBERED 1 TO 6, FOR ENTRY OF BRAILLE CODES FOR A LANGUAGE PROVIDED IN READY RECKONER CARD. DOR EXAMPLE, IF ONE PRESSES THE SWITCHES ENTER, WHICH IS THE CODE FOR THE LETTER L, THE BOX WILL SPEAK THE CODE AND LETTER OF THE LANGUGE. WE NOW HAVE BOXES FOR ENGLISH, HINDI, PUNJABI, TAMIL, MALAYALAM AND ARABIC, ENGLISHHINDIPUNJABITAMILMALAYALAMARABIC DOT IS THE CODE FOR L OR ITS EQUIVLENT IN ALL THESE LANGUAGES. THIS PRODUCT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR Rs 700 or USS 20 AND IT WILL BE VERY USEFUL AS IT CAN BE SHARED BY ALL AS A CLASSROOM RESOURCE LET ME NOW REQUEST LAKSHMI TO GET AFROSE TO DEMONSTRATE THE USE OF THIS UNIT

7 THE NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND A PATH-BREAKING PRODUCT UNDER DEVELOPMENT NEARING COMPLETION THE NATESAN REFRESHABLE BRAILLE DISPLAY This will enable reading by the blind of of braille versions of all text downloads from the Internet. The price of this product will be around Rs 2000, not the US$ 2000 plus that now obtains for conventional Refreshable Braille Display offered in today’s market.

8 THE NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND OUR NEXT MAJOR DEVICE THE NATESAN BRAILLE PRINTER This is planned as an add-on enhancement to the Natesan Refreshable Display Unit. It consists of a paper carriage mechanism sitting on top of the Natesan Refreshable Display, where a sheet of braille paper can be pressed down on the text reading line of the Display, as and when each refreshed line of text is formed. This is what is to become the Natesan Braille Printer This Braille Printer will be available at an add-on price of Rs 400, not the US$ 4000 plus, that now obtains for the conventional Braille Printer offered in today’s market.

9 THE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND A new Path Breaking Project An Industrial Workshop Unit for the Blind This is a unique path-breaking Project designed and under implementation now at Worth Trust by Ted Moallem, a PhD scholar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, USA. Let me introduce Ted at this point and request him to make a brief presentation of this Project. As he has not been able to make it to Chennai to make this presentation in person, we have arranged him to make from Boston through a Skype international telephonic conference connection

10 Blind Lead Initiative Ted Moallem

11 Blind Lead Initiative An Industrial Workshop Unit for the Blind This is what I believe may be a unique path-breaking Initiative to establish an Industrial Workshop Unit for the blind. A team of blind persons are now being trained at Worth Trust, Katpadi to acquire industrial workshop skills to be able to themselves make affordable devices to serve the needs of the blind across the world. They would handle production at all stages starting from the basic stage processing of the raw materials to building the components, and finally assembling and finishing them as final products. All the equipment to handle the processes at all stages are specially designed to enable handling by the blind workers themselves, without any compromise on safety standards, and to result in meaningful products for the blind.

12 Blind Lead Initiative Motivation Establish a model for production, distribution, and ongoing development of low-cost tactile and Braille literacy technologies......sustainable through the initiative and efforts of blind and low-vision individuals

13 Blind Lead Initiative An Industrial Workshop Unit for the Blind The first product of this Unit is the Blind-Lead Braille-It Labeller This is a pocket device, that enables the blind user to enter braille codes through a set of small buttons on its side that will produce labels on adhesive tape that will emerge from the top. The labels can be fixed (and later removed when no longer needed) on any object : a book, medicine bottle, doorway etc) to provide its identity to the blind user. It will become available world-wide at a price of less than US$ 5 which would be less than one-tenth the price of commercial equivalents available today. Its importance also lies in its being a fore-runner to further useful devices for the blind, like note-takers etc.

14 Braille-It Labeler Features: 1.Pocket-sized 2. One-handed operation 3. language-independent 4. embosses durable Braille on ordinary clear tape 5. Mechanical simplicity 6. Common hardware parts 7. Local maintenance/repair Applications: 1. Quickly label food packaging, medicine containers, media devices, CDs, householdappliances, etc. 2. Label borrowed items or novel locations without obscuring visual markings 3. Record contact information and paste into a notebook 4. Record personal reminder and paste onto oneself!

15 Production Braille-It labeler designed with the primary goal of enabling safe and effective construction by a team of visually-impaired workers. Workshop facility for blind and low-vision workers to open this summer at WORTH Trust in Katpadi! Construction methods include: sheet metalwork, wire-shaping, press-fitting, hole-punching, rivet/screw-fastening

16 Blind Lead Initiative Acknowledgments N.Krishnaswamy Vidya Vrikshah T.G.Venkatesh and K.Radhakrishnan WORTH Trust, Katpadi Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE) Matthew McGarvey MIT/Sloan School of Management

17 THE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE FOR THE BLIND With that, let me close and say THANK YOU


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