Impaired Aid

10 Reduced inequalities
  • Year: 2009
  • Award: World Summit Award
  • Category: Inclusion & Empowerment
  • Country: Sri Lanka

Before the arrival of Impaired Aid, no attempt had been made in Sri Lanka to harness the power of ICT to improve the teaching and quality of life of two disadvantaged segments of the population; the aurally and the visually impaired. Impaired Aid comprises a suite of software programs that opens up the world to these marginalized groups, giving them the chance to be equal partners in society. An engine developed to convert Sinhala text to Braille, and vice versa, offers the visually impaired the facility to read daily newspapers, use word-processing software and read and write emails. Messages typed in Braille are converted into Sinhala and sent to the recipient. If the recipient is also visually impaired, he can read the mail using a refreshable Braille display. Impaired Aid has also produced interactive multi-media software to teach written language skills to the hard of hearing. Likewise a series of programmes exists to give hearing impaired students a grounding in mathematical concepts, ensuring that such students are able to keep up with the rest of the mainstream class.