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BREAKING BARRIERS ACHIEVING ACCESSIBILITY
At the Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) we work towards creating an enabling environment to facilitate the development of an inclusive society both at the micro as well as the macro levels thereby providing equal opportunities for holistic growth for the visually challenged.
The expanded facilities of the XRCVC were officially inaugurated on 23 November 2005. This replaced a much smaller resource unit, which had been operational since September 2003. These facilities have been set up to provide state of the art support to the visually challenged students as well as to expand and increase their accessibility and reach. Since the inception of the XRCVC there has been a manifold increase in the number of visually challenged students on the college rolls. This number is expected to rise further in the coming years.
The centre is equipped with state of the art software and hardware, which facilitate ease of learning and studying for the visually challenged. The software and hardware support available at the centre include the following:
Access Technologies available at XRCVC
1. Computer-based screen readers
Softwares that can read aloud with multiple languages like English, Hindi and Marathi, etc. Some screen reader programmes: JAWS, Supernova, NVDA, ORCA, VoiceOver, Dolphin Guide specially designed for persons with low computer literacy etc
2. Screen magnifiers
Computer-based Screen magnifiers which zooms screen for low vision and partially sighted users such as MAGic, Zoom Text, Supernova, etc
3. Screen readers for phones
TALKS, TalkBack, VoiceOver.
4. Text-to-Speech (TTS)
English Indian accent Sangeeta, Hindi TTS, Lekha and C-DAC Marathi.
5. Dictation software
Dragon naturally speaking software with screen reader, J-Say.
6. Electronic low vision aids
CCTV systems and video magnifiers such as Prisma, Ruby, Camera Mouse, Bonita, Smart View Pocket, etc
7. Optical low vision aids
SEE TV Glasses, Telescopic distance reading device, Illuminated magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers - a range of magnifiers and power lenses.
8. Accessible OCRs
To scan, edit, save and read aloud printed books, letters, etc. Programmes are Kurzweil 1000, Open Book, KNFB Mobile reader (phone-based system), ZoomEx. Stand alone scanning machine like SARA, Flatbed Scanner and Camera edition.
Basic, high speed, A5 size and Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) types of scanners
10. Braille Production System
Allows for electronic conversion and embossing of Braille in multiple languages -Shree-Lipi Braille, Duxbury and Winbraille programmes. Braille embosser Index 4x4 PRO and Braille typewriters like Mountbatten Pro and Perkins Brailler.
11. Applications for keyboarding and spelling training
Softwares assisting keyboarding and sharpening of spelling - Talking Typing Teacher Software, Speaking Spelling, Enable India Spelling Tool programme, Sayso specially designed for persons with dyslexia.
12. Math Aids
Standard and Scientific Talking Calculators.
13. Mac Book Pro
A Macintosh machine which has a built-in screen reader and screen magnifier programme VoiceOver
14. DAISY books production softwares
Applications to create DAISY books - Dolphin Publisher, Sigtuna, MystudioPC, Easy Producer, EasyConverter, Dolphin producer, OBI.
15. DAISY playback softwares
FS Reader, AMIS, Easy Reader, Daisy2go
16. DAISY playback portable units
Victor Reader Stream, Buddy, Angel, Angel Pro, Plextalk PTN2
17. Digital Recorders
To facilitate recording of notes and classroom instruction
18. Tactile Graphic Production system
High resolution tactile diagrams - Picture In A Flash (PIAF)
19. Braille Note Taker
Speech and refreshable Braille unit - mPower Braille Note Taker, Pacmate.
20. Talking Electrotherapy Equipment for Physiotherapists
Totally speech-enabled Interferential Therapy Unit (IFT) machine of Unique Medical Appliances and the Talking Ultrasound from Johari Digital Healthcare Ltd.
21. Other talking devices
Colour Recognizer, Blood Pressure Monitor, Thermometer, Personal Weighing Scale, Kitchen Weighing Scale, Wrist watch, clock, Pen Friend Talking Labeler.
XRCVC services are open to any visually challenged persons. If you are interested in seeking a membership to access our services please download the form below.
For Mumbai Members: Please download the form, fill in the same and courier it across along with a copy of your disability certificate and two passport size photographs
For Non-Mumbai Members: Please download the form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org the duly filled in form along with an e-copy of your disability certificate and one photograph.
Your membership will be confirmed on receipt of your form via email and allocation of a membership number to you.
Member Related Services
1. Volunteer support
Members can avail of volunteers largely drawn from the Social Involvement Programme (SIP) of the college to help with the range of activities such as creating accessible study material (through typing, scanning, editing), scribes for examinations etc.
This is a reservoir of a large range of study material and other books. As a active member of the Daisy Forum of India (DFI), which is an umbrella body of over 80 organizations aiming to promote print access in India, the XRCVC is not only an active producer of accessible study related books but is also a point where members can acquire accessible titles. In addition it also creates accessible formats on demand. These include Braille, audio and e-texts.
3. Training programmes
These need-based short / medium term programmes focus on computer literacy, English language training, preparation for competitive exams, etc.
4. Accessible Technology Orientation and Support
Given the fact that the centre hosts state-of-the-art access technology for the blind and low vision users, it provides beneficiaries the opportunity to explore and learn the use of these technologies. In addition, it regularly conducts awareness programmes regarding the use of such technologies. A number of people, both members and non-members, further avail of an informal helpdesk that has become very popular.
5. Personal Counseling and Career Guidance (for individuals and families)
This one to one support is designed to identify individual needs, interests and aptitudes, and to guide the person towards pursuing effective career choices.
6. Hardware Loans
The Centre also lends out computers on an annual basis so as to create the opportunity for users to use access technology at home as well.
7. Financial Support
Economic support to meet financial requirements of needy students
8. Teaching Aids
Models, diagrams in accessible format, audio describe movies, Braille kit, geometry and algebra kit
9. Accessible educational material, Games and Sports
Tactile educational books for science and geography, etc. playing Card games, Chess boards, Uno game, Cricket and Football games for blind.