Disable friendly software at DU to ease the admission process

Adding another feature to its effort for making the admission process a lot more student-friendly for the differently-abled candidates, < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Delhi University this year has introduced JAWS computer software for the benefit of visually challenged applicants. JAWS is a software programme designed to work with a speech synthesiser, converting an ordinary computer into a talking computer. Last year, the University had introduced Braille forms to enable the visually impaired to 'feel' the form, even though their admission applications were filled by the student counsellors. 'Last year, we got some students who did not know Braille. They had studied JAWS software, following the computer's instructions. We decided to get that software so that the blind students can hear the vast choice of courses and colleges available to them,' said Seema M. Parihar, Deputy Dean of Students' Welfare, on Monday.

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'However, the forms will be filled by our student counsellors only as these candidates will need counselling and advice in terms of college location and other things. Besides, their parents also need counselling,' added Parihar, who herself undertook training in that software. The same rationale had been applied behind the introduction of the Braille forms. 'Through Braille forms, we wanted them to be a part of the admission process. These forms were designed only for the purpose of making blind students understand for themselves what awaits them on the campus in terms of options for courses and colleges, said Swati, a student counsellor. A team of 15 counsellors will be manning the registration centre for the physically challenged candidates at the office of the Dean of Students' Welfare on the North Campus. Mamta, who is hearing-impaired and works as a sign language interpreter with the Equal Opportunity Cell of Delhi University, will also be present at the centre. The disabled students can fill up to 30 preferences in different colleges. The University is offering more than 1,500 seats for such students this year. However, out of 1,200 seats available in 2008, only 356 had been taken up.

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