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Report of National Conference on ICTs for the Differently Abled.

From: Loyola College Jerald Inico <jeraldinico@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 21:47:39 +0530
Message-ID: <ce15c95f0912190817h35b77a60r6485808121d57941@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org, w3t-pr@w3.org
 Loyola College’s National Conference on ICTs for the Differently Abled /
Under privileged Communities in Education, Employment & Entrepreneurship
2009 by Loyola College in association with NASSCOM, Computer Society of
India and Centre for the Internet & Society Sponsored by Ministry of Social
Justice & Empowerment, Tamilnadu State Council for Higher Education &
Tamilnadu State Council for Science & Technology
Organized by Dr. A. Albert Muthumalai S. J, Principal, Loyola College,
Chennai & Prof. J. Jerald Inico, Faculty in-charge, Resource Center for the
Differently Abled(RCDA), Loyola College, Chennai.

* *

*Report of Track 1 - Researchers / Academicians*

*Day 1 – 01-Dec-2009*

*Morning Session *

The most awaited National Conference *NCIDEEE 2009* began on 01-Dec-2009
with the Inaugural function in the morning. Prof.G. Ramamurthy, Vice
Principal, Loyola College welcomed the gathering. Rev.Dr.A. Albert
Muthumalai, Principal, Loyola College, Chairman & Convenor of the Conference
explained the theme of the conference. Rev. Dr. S. Peter Xavier, Secretary,
Loyola College bestowed his blessings and felicitation. The Guest of Honour,
Mr. Ram Agarwal, CEO Karishma Group of Companies spoke on the importance of
Technology for the differently-abled and the tools for carrying out
Information and Communication. The Chief Guest Dr.S .S. Singh, Technical
Director –NIC, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, elucidated the
need to create more opportunities for differently-abled. The conference was
divided into three tracks for Researchers/Academician, Web Designers and
Differently-abled and conducted simultaneously.* *

*Afternoon Session*

The session started with a talk on “ICT Tools for Expression” by Dr. Rajan
Varda from UNESCO. Dr. Sam Dharapurwala, Joint Director of Xavier’s Resource
Centre for the Visually Challenged shared his views on the topic “Setting up
Resource Centers”. Prof. Sudhir Krishnasamy from National University of
Juridical Sciences spoke on “Constitutional and Legal Basis of disability
Law”. Mr. Harish Totian from RBI shared his ideas on “Building Communities
Online”. It was a very informative session.

Paper Presentation was organized during the second session of Day 1. Over
the 36 papers submitted online, only 20 of them were selected for
presentation. The researchers and academicians presented those 20 papers,
mainly focusing on ICT, Health, Education and Employment participation for
differently-abled, Rehabilitation of Disabled, Strategies to improve the
standard of living of differently-abled, Development of facilities and roles
of individual, NGO and Government for the empowerment of differently-abled.
Dr.S. P. Victor, Head, Department of Computer Science of St. Xavier’s
College, Palayamkottai was the moderator during this session. Among 20
papers presented, *two papers* were selected to be the best papers. The
paper titled *“Emotion Agent and Sound Agent for Differently-abled learners”
* *presented by* *Mrs.R.Senthamarai of Aarupadai Veedu Institute of
Technology **was declared First Prize *and the paper titled *“Augmentative
Communication in Intellectually Disabled Children with Cerebral Palsy”
**presented
by** Mrs.A.Turin Martina, Holy Cross College, Trichy-620 002 **was
givenSecond Prize.
*

*Day 2 – 02-Dec-2009***

Deliberations on Day 2 had OCR Round Table discussion chaired by Dr. Santanu
Chaudry , IIT, Delhi who delivered a talk on *“OCR as a tool for visually
challenged”*. Dr.Jawahar , IIIT, Hyderabad spoke on *“OCR Technology: State
of the Art”*.     Dr. Gurpreet Singh Lehal, Punjabi University, Punjab
shared his expertise on the topic *“OCR Technology for Indian Scripts”*. Mr.
Dipendra Manocha discussed on the topic *“Unicode & Braille-conversion
Issues”*. The interaction of the participants during the deliberation and
discussion was phenomenal. A demo on Indian Language OCR was given by Dr.
Tusar Batnaik & Team, CDAC, Noida. After the domo session a Panel Discussion
was organized wherein the researchers shared their experiences in their
respective field of research.

*Day 3 – 03-Dec-2009***

Third day proceedings mainly focused on TTS (Text To Speech). Dr. Hema
Murthy, IIT, Chennai began the session with her impressive talk on “TTS
Technology”. Dr. Kishore Prahalad delivered a speech on “Unit Selection
TTS”. Mr. Dipendra Manocha and Mrs.Anu Bajpai from Sigma Science Tech shared
their proficiency on “TTs Requirement for the Visually Challenged”. Dr. Das
Mandal from CDAC, Noida and Santhosh Thottingal also shared their expertise
on TTS. All the resource persons added value to their deliberations with
live demonstrations which certainly kept their session so alive and much
impressive. The deliberations on three days conference have really laid up a
platform to Academician/Researchers to join hands together to work more
effectively in uplifting the needy people of the society.



*Report of Track 2 – Workshop on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0*

This Session was taken jointly by four facilitators:

*Mr. Rahul Gonsalves* - a free lance web designer, founder of the web
designing company Pexlogue.

* Mr. Manish Agrawal* - Software Consultant at Sapient.

*Mr. Prashant Verma* – ICT Resource Centre, Delhi University.

*Mr. Srinivasu Chakravarthula* – Accessibility Lab Manager, Yahoo India!

Mr. Manish,Mr. Prashant and Mr.Srinivasu were highly inspiring as they were
all visually impaired to some extent.

*DAY 1:*

Day one of the event was mainly an introduction into the programme. This
session was done by Mr Manish of how to *differentiate a couple of
terms*that are sometimes highly confused:

*Impairment *– Impairment occurs when an organ doesn’t function properly,
for instance, when one’s eyes are partially or fully blind. *Disability* –
This is the inability to do something. A disability may be created by
impairment or the environment, such as darkness! Whereas* Handicap* – Is a
human caused difficulty, when people are not cautious to create systems for
people who are disabled. For instance, when tall buildings are built with
only stairs but no ramps!

Mr. Rahul led the participants to learn *the various types of disabilities*,
such as vision impairment, motor impairment, auditory impairment, speech
impairment, all of which are in different scales, ranging from those who are
partially impaired to those who are fully impaired.

Mr. Prashant showed the participants various gadgets and tools that those
who are impaired can use. These gadgets include the head stylus and a track
ball, for those who are paralyzed, a refreshable Braille display for the
blind, a gear and a switch for those with cerebral palsy and display unit
with a computerized sign language for the deaf!

The session continued in the lab, where the participants learnt the *factors
that make websites inaccessible*.

*DAY 2:*

Day two began with a recap of day one. It was Mr. Manish who led us through
the recap and thus brought us into focus with what we were discussing.

This was followed with the discussion of the WCAG 2.0 by Mr. Rahul.
Participants were then divided up into groups, and given an exercise. The
exercise was to see if they could design a fully accessible website,
composed of two web pages. It was an interesting experience as the
attendants got to experience hands on what they were learning.

*DAY 3: *

The main theme for the last day of the conference was *Automated and Manual
accessibility testing. *This session was taken by Mr. Srinivasu, who
introduced us to a tool known as *wave.* Websites were then tested for
accessibility, both manually (by a visually impaired person) and automated,
by online tools such as wave.

 *CONCLUSION:*

As Mr. Rahul said in a conversation during one of the tea breaks, making
websites accessible is quite possible, because once you decide to do it, it
“becomes a habit”. This was surely an interesting conference for all the
attendees due to the high level of interaction, lab activities and the down
to earth nature of the resource persons. It has inspired, shed light to many
and made them aware of the importance of making their sites accessible to
all.



**

*Report of Track 3 &4 – Capacity Building Workshop for the Differently
Abled.*

RESOURCE PERSONS
1. Ms.Vidhya, Enable India, Bangalore.
2. Mr.Santhosh Kumar, Enable India, Bangalore.


 *DAY – 1 (01.12.2009)*

Track 3 and Track 4 together organized at Saulier Hall, Loyola College at 2
.00
PM Resource persons started first day session with “Self Introduction”. The
training
programme was more interesting and innovative way to the participants. The
training
was totally participants centered. Through the training the hindrance of
knowledge
about the society was avoided. About 37 Visually challenged students were
trained on
the first day. The training was led by Ms. Vidhya and Mr. Santhosh Kumar,
Enable
India, Bangalore.  The visually challenged were taught the basics
instructions to
follow in day to day life, Opportunities in Education and Employment. The
training went
up to 5.30 PM.


*DAY – 2 (02.12.2009)*

The session for Track 3 & 4 Started at 10 AM on 2nd December 2009. The
resource persons conducted Brainstorming session among the participant about
Thinking power. After the brainstorming session they conducted Group
discussion. Goal
setting was the major objective of the group discussion. All the members
were shared
their short term and long term goal in their life. Individual and Group
games were
organized to understand the mobility. Participants were actively
participated and they
learnt many tips for their mobility in their day to day life.
The participants were taken through theoretical and special practical
training on
the use of the white cane. They were introduced to the handling of the cane,
how to
direct it to identify objects ahead, walking on level grounds, crossing
gutters and
climbing of staircases. That training enabled the participants to be
self-reliant and
independent of guides who at times create problems for them when there is a
misunderstanding. Participants realized that the white cane is part and
parcel of all
visually-impaired adding that it acts as their guide.


*DAY – 3 (03.12.2009)*

Third day was very special day, ie World Disabled Day. On that day the main
focus was Self Observation. Participants were shared their Strengths and
Weakness
among themselves. That exercise was more helpful to the participants to do
SWOT
(Strength, Weakness, Opportunities & Threats) analysis. Personal skills,
Technical
skills, and Communications skills were taught through interesting games.
Resource
persons oriented about the Opportunities and challenges for visually
challenged.


*OUR RESPONSIBILITY*

Let’s recognize the visually challenged for their ‘abilities’
let them not be identified by their ‘disability’
let’s not see them as ‘disabled’, but ‘differently abled’
We need to understand…We need to accept…We have to acknowledge…
We must show them the way…
lead them from darkness to light…………
Let our Light Shine !


*CONCLUSION*


NCIDEEE 2009 Conference created the awareness about the employability of the
Visually Challenged and thus plays a catalytic role in bridging gaps to
create an inclusive
environment and thereby achieve Social Integration. Using their superior
listening skills and
retention power, they are able to produce better results in certain fields
of activity such
as music, data entry, telemarketing, call center jobs, medical
transcription, food tasting,
assaying (fragrances, essential oils and extracts etc), counseling and
physiotherapy.
NCIDEEE2009 conference really paved the way through the training and support
for the visually challenged to excel in their life.





*Feedback of Track 3 & Track 4*

By Balanagendran:  A visually challenged III B Com student

 The national level conference on ICTS for the differently-abled under
privileged community in education employment and entrepreneurship:

Those were the immaculate days in the life of every differently-abled
students. The students of Loyola college were on cloud nine because, on
those three days we have learnt a lot about life, hard work , challenges and
various skills. The programme was conducted by the both the experts from
Enable India namely:

   1. Vidya
   2. Santhosh

Both of them took over the three days with various workshops and some live
skills training. Thus several activities took place on those three days
which are as under:

v  The first session took place on Tuesday i.e., [1/12/2009] in the
afternoon. On that day they spoke on various employment opportunities such
as:



·      Human resource manager [HR] in this case they mentioned one person
named Vinoth Benjamin, who is working as a HR manager in TCS, so that we
would be able to get some knowledge about employment opportunities in MNCS.

·      They then mentioned us about the opportunities available in fields
like help executive and the required qualifications for those posts, also
the areas in which we have to improve ourselves.

·      Another post in which a visually challenged person can work is
medical transcription, provided we should be a good communicator in English.


·      They said that a visually challenged person can also become an IAS,
IFS, IES, ETC. for eg., Mr. Dharamaraj , IES director ministry of finance
Mumbai. They gave us various tips about various fields in which a visually
challenged person can work.

v  The second day started at 10 a.m. in Saulier hall. During that session,
they taught us how to interact with new or unknown people. They gave us
practical exercises by dividing us into pairs.

v  The second session of the second day was about brain storming. They
divided us into groups and gave a topic and asked us to give 50 good
qualities and 50 bad qualities of that object which helped us to know about
our own creative ability. Mainly it helped us to find out, how much
knowledge we got about that particular object. They mentioned that it was
the starting point which leads us to the development of our own personality.


v  The final session of the second day was about mobility training. They
gave us various tips to tackle traffic, society, the people, and the
situation and so on. And they gave a practical walking training and they
revealed the important keys for visually challenged persons.

v  The third and final sessions took place on Thursday [3/12/2009]. On that
day, they wanted to know about our own ambition and accordingly they gave us
some advice. Both of them disclosed the steps which are required to develop
our network and other awareness through, various sources such as eye way
news and through SMS services and bookshare.org. , so that the session
avoids the hindrance of knowledge certainly, which helps to develop our
personal technical and communicative skills.

NCIDEEE in the News:

http://www.hindu.com/edu/2009/12/07/stories/2009120750040200.htm

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/12/03/stories/2009120354780600.htm
http://www.digitallearning.in/news/news-details.asp?Title=ICT-conference-by-Chennai-College-and-NASSCOM&newsid=16972
http://www.indiaedunews.net/Tamil_Nadu/Chennai_College_to_host_conference_on_ICT_from_December_1_9541/
http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/edu/2009/08/03/index.htm
http://www.conferencealerts.com/seeconf.mv?q=ca1m3am3

-- 
--
____________________________________________________________________

Prof J. Jerald Inico M. Sc, M. Phil, MCP, MCSI, (Phd)
Faculty Incharge, Resource Center for Differently Abled ( RCDA), Loyola
College,
Founder & Former Student Branch Councilor  - LOYOLA COLLEGE - Computer
Society of India,
Coordinator - Programmes - Loyola College student Union,
Member, Loyola College Sports Committee,
Coordinator, Placement cell, Department of Computer Science,
Lecturer, Department of Computer Science,
LOYOLA COLLEGE,
CHENNAI - 34.

My profile:
http://www.loyolacollege.edu/profile/ComputerScience/Jerald.pdf
____________________________________________________________________
Received on Saturday, 19 December 2009 16:19:14 GMT

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