The Hindu, India.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
CHENNAI: A cube with the universal Braille dot matrix could well be the language learning device for thousands of visually challenged students.
The Vasantha Braille Cube, developed by Vidya Vrikshah, as part of a national initiative, is gaining acceptance as a simple and easy-to-use tool. Over 200 blind schools in the country have sought supply of the cube in large quantity.
Braille continues to be the bedrock of primary literacy.
By espousing learning by touch, this tool not only enhances cognitive ability but also stokes the creative process in children.
The cube has dots in different positions on the six sides. This allows a maximum of 63 possible dot patterns, enough to represent all letters of any alphabet, says N. Krishnaswamy, chairman, Vidya Vrikshah.
A ready reckoner chart containing the letters and their corresponding Braille dot patterns help anyone to learn to use the cube in less than an hour.
Universal Braille Kit
The organisation has also developed a comprehensive Universal Braille Kit, including the Natesan Block, which enables the user to read words, an abacus and a geometry set.
Next in line is the Vikas Composer, which will equip the blind to read sentences. The organisation's collaboration with the IIT-Madras has produced a speech-enabled software for multi-lingual applications.
The National Initiative for the Blind, formulated by the organisation in 2003, envisages a holistic programme, including education, empowerment and employment.
It aims to introduce the Braille version in all schools and colleges so that the blind can get educated in the mainstream.
Vidya Vrikshah can be reached at 24414741.
End of article.
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