The Times of India | TNN | Jul 20, 2016 |
Hubballi: Normally, blind persons depend on others to learn Braille. Now, four engineering students of KLES’ BVB College of Engineering and Technology (KLE Society’s. B. V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering & Technology) have developed a slate for learning English with Braille (SLEB). Sagar Betgeri, Varun Deshpande, Pradeep Hubli and Ayyappa Pujar, now in the 6th semester in industrial and production engineering, have donated it to students of the Government School for the Blind Boys. Speaking to TOI, Betgeri and Deshpande said that their consideration was that blind children should be given the reassurance that there are alternate ways for them. “This would result in a positive attitude to these media, particularly when they realize that these media are just as valuable as the print medium,” they said.
“When we decided to help visually challenged students, we visited the school and learnt that teaching students, especially those who are newly admitted, was a major problem. Usually, these students use a slate and stylus to read and write. To help them use the slate and stylus, teachers make use of a plywood board with six holes, on which small balls are placed, and make them practice regularly. Another method to teach them is by use of boxes which make different sounds. Based on the studies we conducted, we designed the SLEB, over a period of six months,” they said. Hubli and Pujar credited their head of the department V N Gaitonde and faculty members Praveen Petkar and Vinayak Kuklarni for their guidance. “This SLEB has 6-dot Braille system which is interfaced to a ps/2 keyboard and controller. As of now, this has been a good experience for us. There is a lot of scope in future if this product is improved further. We have donated this system to the Government School for the Blind. We have received order for 2 sets from visually challenged individuals. If we get eight more orders, we can provide it at the cost of Rs 8,000-9,000,” they said. “This SLEB has minimized hurdles of teaching our students. Students are learning English faster with the help of this slate,” said Annappa G Koli, teacher, government school for the blind boys, Hubballi. – Courtesy