LOCATION: Bangalore, India | PROJECT LAUNCHED: 2011
- IEEE Student Members at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Karnataka
- NIT Karnataka IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) affinity group
EPICS IN IEEE FUNDING: $2,252 USD
Computers can be a boon to most students – software programs can connect to the curriculum through educational games, allow pupils to easily research information, and overall, enhance traditional methods of learning. But what if the users can’t see the keyboard, mouse or screen? Screen-reading technologies can be prohibitively expensive, and the programs literally may not speak your language.
Barriers such as these can limit the opportunities for visually impaired students to learn and contribute to society. It also illustrates the predicament at Roman and Catherine Lobo School for the Blind (RCLSB) in Bangalore, India – until an enterprising team of 30 IEEE Student Members at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Karnataka stepped in.
The 30 students, with additional support from the NIT Karnataka IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) affinity group, rose to the challenge, designing and developing educational, enjoyable mathematical games for visually impaired students. After the engineering students obtained a grant of $2,252 from EPICS in IEEE, they customized these applications to Kannada, the local language, as well as English. The IEEE team promoted the spirit of sustainability by also training RCLSB students in an open-source programming language for the visually impaired, so they can develop and maintain their own tools in the future.