The Advanced Centre for Informatics and Innovative Learning (ACIIL) at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), conducted a 'Digital Drishti Workshop' for the visually-impaired recently. The workshop focused on basic computing and Internet surfing while using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The main objective of the workshop was to enable visually impaired students to operate basic Internet functions and social networking sites, and empower them for employment. “IIT-B has specifically named this workshop as 'Digital Drishti' as it aims to provide a digital vision to the blind with the help of spoken tutorials, which are software driven,” said Prof. Kanan Moudgalya, Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT-B. Krishnakant Mane, Consultant, Spoken Tutorial Project at IIT-B, who is visually impaired himself, added, “The workshop which as a precursor to the Digital Drishti Project, will give an overview of the power of Linux-based screen readers to the visually impaired. The project is aimed at empowering visually impaired students with proper knowledge of digital technology for employment. The workshop is an introduction to the FOSS-based Orca screen reader on the Linux desktop.” Orca is a powerful FOSS based feature rich screen reader for the Linux desktop. A project started by Sun Micro systems, Orca assists the visually impaired in performing all the daily computing tasks with no sighting assistance.
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