Information & Communication Technology for disabled


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Information and Communication technology for disabled: What we academicians have to offer?

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Information & Communication Technology for disabled

  1. 1. ICT for Disabled - Whatwe Academicians have to offer? Aniruddha Chandra ECE Department, NIT Durgapur
  2. 2. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008  Do we believe that this person can communicate?  Even if he can, do we really need to bother about it?A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 2
  3. 3. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008  The answer is an emphatic “YES” Stephen Hawking during the press conference at the National Library of in Paris, France to inaugurate the Laboratory of Astronomy and Particles. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 3
  4. 4. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008Professor Hawking suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which is a kind of MotorNeurone Disease (MND). He can’t speak, get off from bed, have difficulties in swallowing andeven breathing.Yet he has written two bestsellers, dozens of scientific papers, gave numerous lectures. HOW?With the help of some software developed by Walt Woltosz ofSimulations Plus Inc., he can select words from a series ofmenus on the screen, by pressing a switch. The programcould also be controlled by a switch, operated by head or eyemovement.David Mason, of Possum Inc., fitted a small portable computerand a speech synthesizer to his wheel chair. Thus he can Speech Synthesizer fromeither speak what he has written, print it out, or save it to disk. AbleData Corporation. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 4
  5. 5. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008 We have seen how practicing engineers helped anacademician. NOW Let us see how we academicians can reciprocate. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 5
  6. 6. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008Case Study I Z. F. Joubert of National Electrical Engineering Research Institute, South Africa developed a 16 segment system to display all lower and upper case alphabets as well as Arabic numerals in 1979. Fingercross technique uses a natural writing motion, whereas normal keyboards require fine finger control to operate the individual keys. Feedback technique is used to confirm the correctness of the character generated, thus reducing the frequency of typing errors. Z. F. Joubert, “Fingercom—an electronic communicator for the disabled,” Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, Springer, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 489-491, July 1979. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 6
  7. 7. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008Case Study II Researchers from Brain Computer Interface (BCI), Graz University of Technology, Austria, are analyzing electroencephalogram (EEG) that monitors brain activity. When a person with disability imagines some movement (e.g., left versus right hand; hand versus foot), the same is reflected in EEG signal patterns. They are able to extract the operation by looking at the EEG. R. Scherer, F. Lee, A. Schlgl, R. Leeb, H. Bischof, and G. Pfurtscheller, “Toward Self-Paced Brain–Computer Communication: Navigation Through Virtual Worlds,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 55, no. 2, Part 1, pp. 675-682, Feb. 2008. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 7
  8. 8. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008 Sounds Big, Costly, Complex, and Sophisticated. Possible in first-world developed countries. SO Let us see what is going on in our own country. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 8
  9. 9. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008The J.S.S. Polytechnic for Physically Handicapped, Mysore : This polytechnic institution wasestablished by the J.S.S. Mahavidyapeetha, a nongovernmental education society that supports220 educational institutions in India. With financial aid from the government of Karnataka, thepolytechnic institution is linked to a network of institutions. Through this organization, studentswith physical disabilities will be assisted to start small businesses.Dr. Ambedkar Institute for Physically Handicapped, Kanpur : This institute, established by thegovernment of Uttar Pradesh, is located in Kanpur, in Northern India. It has links with majororganizations in the region, including the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.The Simputer Project : In an effort to bring the Internet to the masses in India and otherdeveloping countries in line with Design-for-all, several academics and engineers have usedtheir spare time to design an inexpensive handheld Internet appliance. The Simputer, for SIMpleComPUTER, makes the Internet accessible to illiterate populations. The device was designed byprofessors and students at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bangalore.Rajib Mitra, “ICT Support for Disabled Persons,” DRTC-ICT Conference onDigital Learning Environment, 11th-13th Jan. 2006, DRTC, Bangalore. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 9
  10. 10. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008Sanyog Project at IIT Kharagpur (2004-05) An alternative communication aid for people with speech impairment and neuro-motor disorders Visual, iconic language based, speech enabled Can be personalized to the cognitive ability of the user Alternative access mechanisms with scanning/ access switches Supports 3 languages – Bengali, Hindi, and English The system has been deployed at four centers in India, (i) Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata, (ii) Action for Ability Development and Inclusion, New Delhi, (iii) Monovikas Kendra, Kolkata, (iv) Blind Peoples Association, Ahmedabad Winner of Da Vinci Award – Engineering Society of Detroit & Multiple Sclerosis Society A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 10
  11. 11. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008IIT Kanpur & University of Ulster (U.K.) Collaboration(Nov. 2007) SCIENTISTS from the University of Ulster and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur have teamed up to investigate how to develop intelligent low-cost assistive robotic devices that could help people suffering from neuro-muscular disabilities such as motor neurone disease (MND) and spinal cord injury (SCI), achieve greater independence by providing means of communicating with the external world . The three-year £145,000 project funded by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) has the following three main objectives:  A brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows a disabled person to control a smart wheelchair and robotic manipulator combination by thinking.  A visual tracking system for operating the wheelchair as an automated guided vehicle (AGV) to provide mobility.  The development of a robotic arm for the natural execution of actions desired by the disabled user. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 11
  12. 12. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008.... and the Saga continues IIIT, Hyderabad: International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad in association with National Association for the Blind (NAB) has released a screen reading software for Hindi and is developing an OCR for Indian scripts and languages. Vidya Vrikshah: A Chennai based organization which promotes the multi-lingual IITM software developed by Professor R. Kalyanakrishnan and his students at Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. A. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 12
  13. 13. IEI Durgapur May 17, 2008 Thank You!for patient hearing in a weekend eveningA. Chandra, NIT Durgapur – ICT for Disabled 13