Visually challenged at Kerala's SB College get extra help; free audio library set up 

Students of the Library Science department have offered to record audio versions of the textbooks in the syllabus 
SB College Changanassery | Pic: Wikimedia Commons
SB College Changanassery | Pic: Wikimedia Commons

The right to information should not be limited to just the non-disabled. St Berchmans College in Changanassery, Kerala, resonates with this and that is why they have recently introduced a project called Dhwani where they have created an audio library for their visually challenged students. They have converted textbooks and learning materials into the audio format.

The college is celebrating its centenary year in 2022 and the free audio library is a move as a part of the celebrations. Currently, three visually challenged students are a part of the college under various departments. 

The way it works is that audio versions of the textbooks from the courses in the college will be recorded from cover to cover. It is being done by the students of the Library Science department. A separate audio room has been set up on campus for this purpose. Students are being nifty with their time to record these audios. They are making use of the break between their classes to record. Kavyalochanam, a poetry collection that is part of undergraduate syllabus, was the first audio book to be recorded. It took three students 24 days to read and record the full book and the two-hour audio version of it has been uploaded on YouTube.

Anugrah Philip, a visually challenged student pursuing MA English, said in an interview, "It is an amazing initiative to provide audios of the textbooks and learning materials. It might be difficult for others to always read everything for us. We can listen to the audio whenever we want and play it repeatedly, if required."  

PB Yamuna, Head of the Department of Library and Information Sciences, says, "In the initial stage, the textbooks of all the courses would be recorded for the audio library. We wish to make audio recordings of the entire syllabus of the Mahatma Gandhi University in the future. Besides, we would also like to make audio recordings of other books and materials that could help not just visually challenged students but people who work in other areas too. Moreover, all the students can make use of these audio books. It would be easer for them to listen to the audio, using headsets, while they are travelling."

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