UGM students develop reading tools for the blind, named as BR-BLIND.
Made by Yassir Dinhaz, Mahmud Fauzi and Nicolas Christianto, the tool works by converting the text from print media to sound that can be heard instantly by the blind people.
Yassir said the BR-BLIND was initiated from the limited availability of Braille-version books. This hampers the blind people to read books from different themes.
In 2014 the Health Ministry Research data showed an increase in the number of blind children aged 6-14 years old, particularly in Yogyakarta, by two times than in 2010.
“This matter needs to be addressed seriously, because the children need to have many kinds of information to hone their skills,” he said.
The three students finally developed a technology to help the blind that can open more access to reading.
“The tool that we develop uses Image Preprocessing algorithms before being converted into text by the Object Character Recognition (OCR). The text output will be changed into sound output by the Text-to-Speech (TTS) Engine,” said Yassir on Thursday (11/7) at UGM.
The BR-BLIND is connected with the blind people directly so as to facilitate them in accessing information that otherwise cannot be obtained.
Nicholas said the tool can be accessed without internet connection, hence accessible anywhere and potential for development in remote areas without the internet. “The tool is also supported by design schemes that are disability-friendly, so increasing independent accessibility and decreasing dependency on help of the users,” he said.