Sunday, August 21, 2016

Library Updated

Dear Friends of Esha - we found that there were over 300 repeat entries in the catalog. So we went through a really laborious process of sorting the whole catalog alphabetically and a second step of checking duplicates with spelling mistakes - so that if the same file is in 2 places, we are able to find and delete it.

The entire process took over 200 man hours, but we hope that now, after the second major cleansing in less than 6 months, the catalog is update and clean.

The new release has the following additions:
1. All the summer project content that was found usable. In case of some files, even after noise reduction and editing and amplification, we were just not able to make the files usable. We apologise for their non inclusion in the library.

2. Pratham books has agreed to share some content. That has been added.

3. We4U - A lot of Oriya content has now been shared. We are in the process of adding and cataloguing some more Oriya content. Special thanks to We4U for taking the trouble to categorise and share their content in a way that we can easily upload, catalog and share. We are in the process of cataloguing and the next release should come relatively soon.

We hope you enjoy the content. And as always, please share your thoughts and let us know what else we can add to the library.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chaurya - The first accessible format film that we know of

Sharing as received on a mailing group:
Chaurya is a Marathi language crime thriller written and directed by  Sameer Asha Patil and produced by Nilesh Navalakha of Navalakha arts.

Navalakha?s earlier films Fandry and Shala have won national awards and  are
> known for their meaningful themes, Chaurya, which is a crime mystery
> thriller, is equally meaningful and exciting and that has attracted the
> producers.

> Chaurya is also India?s first accessible film to release in cinema halls.
> The accessible versions have been created by Kintel Inc and will have
> descriptions for blind and captions for the deaf in Marathi.

> Chaurya is a film that will entertain audiences to the fullest.  A mystery
> thriller of this kind has never been tried in Marathi cinema.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cafe Dissensus - New Issue

This is an online magazine published on issues related to disability.

Sharing in case it is of interest to anyone.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Times Now Independence Day special

"Building a Better India" - pretty much sums up how we feel about the library. The NEED and the passion to put knowledge in the hands of people who will benefit from it.

It doesn't matter how many times you have heard me talk about the library. The passion remains the same. I see pictures of our Outreach happening at various places - and the faces speak for themselves.

Tomorrow, at 4:30 p.m, catch the online library in the feature that talks about building a better India - Times Now - 4:30 p.m. - Building a Better India - Independence Day special. I love that name!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pratham Books and Radio Mirchi Content , We4U content

Pratham Books, in association with Radio Mirchi, has created content and hosted it online on Soundcloud.

I am happy to share that Pratham Books has granted permission for us to add that list of files to our catalog.

In the next revision of the catalog, you will find this content as part of the catalog. The content is in 8 Indian languages - English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu and Punjabi.

We will ,of course, post when this content is live.

The next refresh will also have a lot of rich Oriya content from our partner organisation - We4U.

We are very grateful for both these contributions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Who will benefit from the online audio library - updated list

Based on the actual usage of the library, we are now releasing the updated list of people who can benefit from CLABIL. It is pure joy to see that more and more people come up to say that they could use this content.

  1. The visually impaired
  2. Rural children
  3. Underprivileged children in urban areas
  4. Girl and women children who are not sent to school due to gender issues
  5. All adults who cannot read or write and therefore cannot access knowledge on demand.
  6. Children of Indian origin who don’t know the Indian script and therefore the literature is also lost to them.
  7. Muscular Dystrophy
  8. Children with dyslexia or print related learning disability, who can use audio.
  9. Older people who lose sight as they age.
  10. Community Programs where books cannot reach or cannot be used due to low effective literacy. This content can be used on public broadcast or local radio as a means of change / information dissemination. (we have recently spoken with the change management team of Swachh Bharat Mission, who came up with this idea)
  11. The terminally ill who need to access content on demand.
Here's to More!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What is wrong with screenreader format of accessibility

Pre read:

I have never been fond of screenreaders. For a very intuitive reason - they try to ADAPT the user experience of the sighted for us. And that, you see, is not how user experience for the differently abled should be designed. Every user interface should be designed with that user in mind - First. The idea of adapting the user interface of one category of users to another category of users is prima facie counter intuitive.

With the mobile phones and touch phones, that problem becomes worse. A mobile phone, as we know, can become a real friend with an audio guide like Siri. Instead, my accessibility talkback feature first trains me on how to touch the various areas of the screen to reach the app i want.

From a UX perspective, thats all wrong. I don't need to know where the apps are on a screen. I just need to open the one i want. Which means i should be able to tell the device what i want, and the device should be able to meet that need.

We have created touch screen laptops for our sighted users. If that's possible, tell me again why complete voice navigation based devices appear so unimaginable.

Here, then, is UX Design 101, as applied to differently abled users that we work with:
1. Voice Based Recognition and authentication - this includes special training on local accent customisation.

2. Voice based program triggers - You do realise that actually, we only need a screen to show someone sighted our work? So the screen should not be the primary trigger for program activation, change and closure. The voice command or tactile buttons should be.

3. Intra Program actions - this can be website usage, using office or personal productivity software, or playing games. The intra program actions can easily be designed so that they are voice controlled. We should be able to review our work using playback.
I highly recommend the native built in talk back feature of MS Excel (not sure if its still there in the new MS Office)

4. Braille? Maybe: We may or may not know Braille. That's all.

Times Now TV - Esha's ONline library broadcast in 80 countries

Our online library, CLABIL and our Outreach program with the library were covered by Times Now as part of the news. This clip was broadcast in 80 countries around the world. Thank you for the support.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Founder in an inteview on

Our Founder was interviewed by .

In this freewheeling chat, she talks about her journey as a social entrepreneur and parent.

Do read the interview here.