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CSR: Simply Reading Without Seeing

Reading for blind

Dependence on others for reading and writing is one of the biggest hurdle in the way of education, employment and leading an independent life, especially in case of people living with visual disabilities and low vision.  To empower persons with visual disabilities, the DAISY Consortium has developed the “Simply Reading” app as part of Standard Chartered Bank’s global Seeing is Believing initiative to tackle avoidable blindness. The App is based on the cost-effective and flexible android platform which aims to unlock digital reading for people who struggle with existing, more complex touch screen solutions.  It is the only Android application in India for reading books which connects to online accessible libraries, and allows books to be read on connected Braille display in all major Indian languages.

Mr Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium said, “The Simply Reading app is simple to use by persons with blindness or low vision on a touch screen device and books can be directly downloaded and read in this app from any online platform such as Sugamya Pustakalaya and Bookshare.”

Sugamya Pustakalaya is an online platform to create countrywide ecosystem for accessible digital publishing for people with print disabilities in India. Sugamya Pustakalaya is an integral part of Accessible India Campaign of Government of India. A software platform for this has been contributed by TCS, accessible content and outreach is contributed by government and non-government not for profit organizations and publishers.

Ms Karuna Bhatia, Head of Sustainability for India, Standard Chartered Bank extended her support for the app and said, “In India, from 2003 to 2017, we have provided over 13 million eye care interventions through our network of 125 vision centers across 22 states catering to people in the urban, rural and remote parts of the country. We are excited to be part of this project and congratulate the Daisy Consortium for their hard work in creating a long-term and sustainable value for the local community through the development of Simply Reading app which aims to unlock the digital reading potential of the visually impaired. The launch of this app is a true demonstration of how we are getting closer to being digital with a human touch and empowering our communities.”

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The CSR Journal Team