Sparsha: A Comprehensive Indian Language Toolset for the BlindBy Lahiri, Anirban; Chattopadhyay, Satya Jyoti; Basu, Anupam; ASSETS 2005 - The Seventh International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility,
Publication Date: October 9-12, 2005
Overview of the Sparsha toolset, which enables the visually impaired to read and write in Indian vernaculars with the help of a computer. Named Sparsha for the Hindi word for touch, the toolset includes: (1) Bharati Braille transliteration software which uses a single script to represent all Indian languages and interfaces with a large variety of commercial Braille embossers; (2) a mathematics-to-Braille translation system with a special editor, the Nemeth (named after the mathematician), to enable complex mathematic and scientific expressions; (3) Sparsha Chitra, a tactile graphics tool so named as "Chitra" is Hindi for "picture"; and (4) a file reader enabling the typing of text in Indian languages using Microsoft Word. Training and deployment of the Sparsha system has been carried out at a number of organizations for the visually impaired throughout India, and user feedback is being implemented to make the system more usable. A test of the Sparsha Chitra tool was conducted with visually impaired participants who were handed sheets of Braille paper with tactile diagrams created by the tool and asked to guess the image on the sheets. The majority of the guesses (40%) were correct, and 35% of the guesses were very close. Limitations to the toolset and implications for future work are discussed.
Published by: Association for Computing Machinery (Website:http://www.acm.org)
SIGACCESS (ACM Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing) (Web Site: http://www.sigaccess.org )