Multimedia Talking Books

Learning beyond barrier

Ensuring access of every single visually impaired people in the nation to education contents and reading materials through adoption of an international standard technology. Show more

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 ray of light in the dark I have been teaching in this special school for visually impaired children at primary level for last 15 years, but never have I seen the kids so happy. When they hear this regular MP3 player play, they can actually feel the books coming to life. This happened in the late 2015, when our school received these multimedia players containing multimedia talking books that could read out the text written in the curriculum book. Parents are thankful since they no longer have to spent hours reading the text to their children. Previously, we could give the students only second-hand braille printed books to study from. But, this time we received brand new books for all the children. Now, I know for sure that my students can compete with any able kid. My husband is a teacher at a secondary level school and he was saying that a similar kind of product will soon be coming to his school” said Asma Khatun, a teacher at the physically handicapped training centre.

An unseen problem

There are 2.5 lakhs visually challenged people in this country among which a large number of sight impaired students are now studying at various educational institutions. It’s very difficult for them to have access to information and attain advanced education since there are no suitable study materials for them in Bangladesh besides braille books.

However, the contribution of the braille books is incomparable but students depending completely on braille might face pronunciation problems as well. Moreover, it is very important to present the study materials to students in an attractive way that will not make learning monotonous and with visually impaired children the task gets more difficult.

Ensuring inclusive education

Service Innovation Fund of Access to Information (A2I) Programme has facilitated a project by Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) named ‘Multimedia Talking Book’ specially designed for visually impaired students. Any students with access to computers, tablets or android mobiles can use these books for acquiring knowledge. Visually challenged students can learn their lessons listening to it. Previously, it was difficult to provide the braille books at the beginning of the year but now National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) partnered with a2i ensuring the revised multimedia talking books and braille books along with other textbooks within 1st January every year in the hands of visually challenged children. The partnership with NCTB and Department of Social Services in the Ministry of Social Welfare have enriched the initiative and taking Bangladesh one step ahead in attaining the sustainable development goal-4 which focuses on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. At the moment, Multimedia Talking Books can also be used in the regular schools to ensure inclusive education and can be developed into interactive e-book as well.

Awards and Recognition

Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) has won several national and international recognition for developing DAISY standard Multimedia Talking Book. In 2013, it received Manthan Award South Asia in E-Inclusion category.In the same year it was awarded the ‘Youth Solutions! Technology for Skills and Employment’ honor by World Bank and Microsoft Sri Lanka. It went on achieving Accessible Books Consortium Award for Accessible Publishing Initiative at the International Excellence Award 2015 held in London Book Fair (LBF).

Cases and Stories


DAISY MULTIMEDIA TALKING BOOK

Visually impaired Vashkar Bhattachajee couldn’t read or write. He grew up learning books mostly narrated by his parents. He always had to…

DAISY MULTIMEDIA TALKING BOOK

Visually impaired Vashkar Bhattachajee couldn’t read or write. He grew up learning books mostly narrated by his parents. He always had to depend on others to read for him since he couldn’t see or read himself. While other parents read story books to their kids, Vashkar couldn’t do the same when his little daughter insisted to read for her. The little soul didn’t know about her father’s unfortunate state.  Nights after nights he wondered about miracles that could help people like him move on with life as blessed as others with vision.

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