Help us to help them!

December 18, 2007 | By | Reply More

Sri Lanka: At the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB), visually handicapped children read online Sinhala newspapers in Braille. Hearing impaired children in grade 1 use computer-aided learning software to help them learn at the same speed that their non-hearing impaired counterparts do. At the University of Peradeniya, visually handicapped university students get help with their courses by listening to audio books that let them move from line to line, page to page, just as if they were reading a printed book.

These projects are carried out by the communities that benefit from them. The CSDB oversees the web browsing and learning projects while the Daisy Lanka Foundation, an association for the visually handicapped, oversees the audio book project.

All of these activities are made possible in part through the e-Society grant programme of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). This programme gives grants to organizations (public, private, non-governmental, community-based) to carry out projects that use technology innovatively to help disadvantaged communities.

There are other projects also funded by ICTA which help those with disabilities: self-learning Sinhala sign language CDROMs carried out by Infolume and the installation of computer-aided learning throughout the Rohana Special School in Matara which is carried out by Loadstar.

ICTA has funded the development and testing of these special tools which are now ready for wide usage. They now seek the assistance of governmental, non-governmental and corporate donors to take these advanced technologies which can overcome disabilities to all of Sri Lanka, opening opportunities for disabled children to join the mainstream of society.

More information is available at the ICTA website at or by contacting Jaliya Jayawardena, Angela Samarasinghe or Muad Ramzan at the e-SDI Process Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers Sri Lanka, +94 114 719 838.

Category: ICT for Development

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