Two-day Training Programme on Enabling Mobile Apps for Persons with Visual Impairment

Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute (RKMVERI), Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education (FDMSE) organized A Two-day Training Programme on Enabling Mobile Apps for Persons with Visual Impairment on 09.02.2023 and 10.02.2023 (Thursday and Friday). Inaugural function of the programme was held on 09.02.2023 and the inauguration started by invoking the blessings of Gurumaharaj with a prayer song. M. P. Kandasamy, Retired Professor of Tamil, Mettupalayam, Coimbatore was the Chief Guest of the inaugural function. In his chief guest address, he quoted his experiences of learning Braille and the importance of Mobile Apps for the empowerment of persons with visual impairment. Swami Nirmaleshananda, Assistant Administrative Head, FDMSE, RKMVBERI delivered the presidential address and Dr. N. Muthaiah, Dean, School of Rehabilitation and Sports Science, RKMVERI presented the special address. Dr. S. Parween, Asst. Prof in Spl.Edn, FDMSE oriented the participants about the objectives and schedule of the training programme.

The sessions of the first day (09.02.2023) started by a lecture given by Mr. Shankar Subbiah, Accessibility and Assistive Technology Consultant, Agate Info Tech, Chennai on “Mobile applications as Game changers in Education and Employment – few Case Studies and Possibilities”. He discussed the need & importance of various Mobile Apps and its utilization in day today life.

Afternoon first session was handled by Mr. S. Sasi Kumar, Programme Coordinator, Karnavidhya Foundation, Chennai on the topic, “Screen Reader, Magnification and other Accessibility settings in Android Mobile Devices”. He explained the concepts by hands on experience to the participants.

Last session “Connecting external devices to Mobile devices for typing and note taking operations – Keyboard” was handled by Mr. S. Sasi Kumar and Mr. Shankar Subbiah. They explained the topics by using experiential learning method for easy understanding of the participants.

The first session of the second day (10.02.2023) was on “Installation and Training of Scanning and Reading, Object recognition Mobile Applications for Classroom routines – Practical Session”. This session was dealt by Mr. G. Kumaresan, South India Consultant, Bookshare, Chennai. He demonstrated about the Mobile Apps useful for reading and object recognition. And also they explained how these Apps are helpful in classroom routines for students with visual impairment through practical sessions. All the participants were involved in doing the activities.

The second session of the day was handled by Mr. S. Sasi Kumar & Mr. G. Kumaresan on “ePub Reader applications, with books download and reading from Bookshare for text and other books – Practical Session”. In this session participants were practically taught how to download books from Bookshare and other sources and reading the content by ePub reader applications.

Evaluation of the learnt Mobile Apps was done in the last session. During this session participants were asked to do demonstrations of different Applications. This two day training programme ended with sharing the feedback by the participants. On the whole, the two-training programme was very much useful for all the participants. In total 48 participants including, parents of visually impaired children, individuals with visual impairment and teacher trainees benefitted through this programme.