Currently there is
converts text to speech
but only in English
Bhubaneswar: The Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department of the state government Tuesday decided to develop software which can convert Odia text to speech for the differently-abled. The software is aimed at bridging the digital divide between normal and differently-abled citizens.
The decision was taken by the department after the maiden meeting of the State Advisory Board on Disability, constituted under the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, held at the Secretariat here Tuesday. The objective of the meeting was to roll out the roadmap of future course of action to make a blueprint of the measures needed to be taken for the welfare of the differently-abled.
The members of the board, led by SSEPD Minister Prafulla Samal, decided to come up with an Odia text-to-speech software, for devices such as computers and laptops among various others, to cater the needs of persons with visual disability.
The department after the meeting in its resolution said, “The meeting discussed to develop text-to-speech software for Odia language besides creation of accessible websites and ensure accessibility of documents.”
At present, people living with visual impairment in the state suffer due to lack of such software which can read out the contents on the screen of a computer/laptop. Besides, the alien accent of the systems is another hindrance.
“Currently, one software has a monopoly over the text-to-speech facility which also offers audio in foreign accent, not fit for all Indians. If a locally made software could be developed it will surely help in improving the skills of visually impaired people and bridge the digital divide,” Ram Kishore Sharma, Assistant Director, National Career Service Centre for the Differently-Abled (NCSCDA) said.
The department meanwhile also decided to retrofit all existing government buildings to ensure complete accessibility and make sure that all the new buildings include the mandatory accessibility features.
The department is also planning to ensure that banking and other financial institutions provide access to them (differently-abled) besides working out with the election bodies to pave way for barrier-free access to the differently-abled during elections.
The meeting has also decided to engage special educators in all schools and establishment of Equal Opportunity Cell in all colleges and universities besides ensuring appointment of sign language interpreters to facilitate public services to the people living with any form of disability.