The Delhi University’s Miranda House has become the first college to put up ‘digital vision signages’ on its premises to help its visually challenged students. This initiative has been launched under “mapped by digital vision” programme. This will help students find their way across the college.
There are about 70 visually challenged students in Miranda House.
According to the reports published by the Times of India, Miranda House has installed 100 QR code acrylic sheets. When a smartphone with a customised app comes within 3 feet of a code, verbal messages go out identifying the location and giving other details.
Explaining how the ‘digital vision signages’ function, Miranda House Principal, Pratibha Jolly said, ‘If a student wants to meet me, the digital signage in the office corridor gives a warning about the glass door and verbally directs the student on how many steps she should take to reach the spot.’
“We carry out a programme called ‘Samdrishti’ wherein we guide the visually challenged students and take them around the campus, to Metro stations, bus stops and the university’s equal opportunity cell. The QR coded digital signs are an extension of that programme to sensitise the college and make it more accessible to them through technology,’ Jolly further asserted.
Jolly added, ‘We have also installed non-visual digital access software on the laptops of all visually impaired students which are also Braille face and Lex scanner compatible. There are scanners, ebook readers, voice recorders and Braille embosser that converts printed text to embossed Braille dots for easy reading.’
A visually challenged student Shanti Chaurasia, a Hindi honours student at Miranda, said ‘it was very tough to move around the campus. But the app installed on my phone is very smooth and through its verbal messages, it helps me whenever I mistakenly go to some other area.’
Sunita further added that ‘she was trained on how to use the app by teachers who had installed it on her phone when she took admission.’
The digital mapping programme was undertaken by Lakshita, the college’s ‘enabling society’. The convener of Laskhita, Reena Bhatia said ‘this is an attempt at deconstructing the notions of disability and bringing a fresh approach to sensitisation of the sighted.’
The mobile app was created by a company, Yes We Do (YVDO) and later customised by the college.