For persons with Blindness, Braille has been a crucial medium for information access. The advancements in technology had led to the development of electronic braille displays which are small portable devices (like computer) that can display 10 to 80 characters of Braille. Basically they have Braille cells which are controlled electronically to display the content of a file.
These displays are highly portable, can be connected to computer and mobile phones, pen drive etc. Persons with blindness use them for note taking, browsing internet, reading books, emails etc. For persons with deaf blindness, they are actually the only interface for access to computers and mobile etc. as they cannot use audio interface. However, use of such displays is not at all common in countries like India simply because of their lack of affordability, with their starting costs being around one Lakh.
Recently, the researchers at IIT Delhi have developed an innovative technology that can significantly bring down the cost of the Electronic Braille cells. Saksham has collaborated with IIT Delhi and Industry partners (Phoenix Medical Systems and Kritikal solutions) in this ongoing project to develop an affordable electronic braille display. The project is currently in its second year.
User Interaction, with consistent help from Mr. Dipendra Manocha from Saksham Trust, New Delhi and staff and students at National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi has been an integral part of the development process. Direct user interaction at every stage including problem identification, design feedback and prototype validation, has not only motivated and driven the process, but kept it pointed towards the right direction as well.
The following have been the key roles of Saksham under this project: