Insight – ICT for the differently abled
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Insight is a project jointly initiated by the Social Justice Department, Government of Kerala and Kerala Federation of the Blind to bring the benefits of Information and Communication Technology to people with disabilities. Insight commenced its activities in May 2007 with the setting up of a resource centre for the visually challenged in Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram. It caters to the ICT needs of the visually challenged by providing ICT training and developing assistive technology for them. It also imparts computer training and develops devices to aid autistic children.
Insight is aimed at empowering the disabled by expanding their job competencies and resourcefulness through ICT. The primary concern of Insight is to aid people with special needs access technology. The organization aspires to play a productive role in helping the disabled secure a job and lead an independent life.
Currently, Insight imparts ICT training to people who have Visual impairments, ranging from Blindness, Low vision etc. The training programme is designed in such a way as to help them comprehend the various distinctions of ICT. It resorts to cutting-edge technology and software, that are specially designed for the visually challenged, for the training programme. The training at Insight will help them familiarize with IT-enabled services and applications that will enhance their career skills.
The training programme makes use of Orca (an assistive technology for the visually challenged), Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux based operating systems. Training will also be given in other free and open source technologies. On successful completion of the two-month programme, students are awarded a certificate by the IGNOU. Insight imparts training to autistic children using GCompris, a package of free educational software for children.
Insight was founded as an attempt to embolden the disabled through ICT. Through its three years of operation, Insight has been able to alter the conventional notions of a common man about the capacities of a visually challenged person.
The IT policy of the state government had envisaged the penetration of ICT to all sections of the society. And Insight is a shining example to prove that the government is well on track in implementing what it envisioned. Insight is entering the fourth year of its activities and in the coming days, Insight will continue to extend its services to the disabled community for ensuring that they are not left behind in a race, that is increasingly being governed by technology.
Insight releases a bimonthly audio magazine “Swaram”, which is probably the first of its kind in India. Swaram is the hallmark project of Insight in the field of production of audio content. Recording of study materials and books are also done here upon request.