Recommendations of the Two Days
National Workshop on IT for the Blind
Held in Karachi on 7th-8th December 2015
Under National ICT R&D Fund and Pakistan Disabled Foundation
All the concerns including participants of the workshop, like ministry, ICT RND fund, representative of different universities and institutions consumers of the services like blind themselves, other stakeholders national and international manufacturers and companies dealing with the Information Technology particularly software developers are urged upon to play their meaningful and practical role to get the following recommendations attended and implemented.
1. It is considered advisable to setup a permanent workable lesion between pattern ministries, funding agency/agencies, research units like universities etc, software companies both within and without the country, stakeholders and most important group like consumers of the services that is concern group of blind community to ensure the smooth working, coordination and facilitation as and when needed.
2. Government and Non Government Organizations particularly working for and of visual impairment and also the social workers should play an active role in promoting Information technology.
3. Federal, provincial and local Government must allocate budget regarding software development.
4. Government should provide trainings or refresher courses on the subject of Information technology for the teachers and students with visual impairment. Monitoring and evaluation is also necessary in this regard.
5. There is a need to establish an institute to cater need of training, selling, repairing and marketing of information technology for people with visual impairment.
6. The NGOs and GOs must take steps in regard of how to reduce the cost of theassistive/information technology for visual impairment.
7. To the maximum possible extent the information technology must be tried to develop and manufacture locally to avoid the extra cost and irrelevant hindrance like linguistic barrier.
8. Text to speech Urdu synthesizers should be created on sappy 5 or available standards.
9. There is a need to develop Urdu screen reader for blind users.
10. Web accessibility must be ensured like FPSC provincial service websites, HEC, and so on.
11. Need to work on graphics accessibility.
12. Urdu eBooks must be available for blind students.
13. Create Urdu speech apps like money identifier, travel maps and etc.
14. Develop Urdu OCRS and to ensure subsidized distribution.
15. Government of Pakistan as per requirement of UN convention and National Policy of Special Education 2002 and National Plan of Action may establish technology cell to cover the need of:
a) Research Facilitation and coordination with the manufacturers
b) Mobilization of financial and other resources
c) Establishment of resource bank for equipment and devices to cover the need of assistive devices and information technology on a large scale.
16. To develop the specialized assistive technology locally as per our requirement, the different stakeholders like industrialists, manufacturers, engineers and authorities to facilitate and protect legal requirements may be mobilized by funding agencies both nationally and internationally.
17. Provision to facilitate the advertisement of information technology through electronic and print media. Realizing the role of media to motivate and educate the public mood and tendency towards the serious and meaningful attention of the media must be ensured by the patronizing authorities.
18. As we believe shortly policy under the federal government need to be revised as such probably suggested that, because of commendable entry of the young blind community in the field of ICT, the chapter of the ICT for the blind/disable must included as a permanent agenda with the inclusion of recognized representative of blind community, competent enough to understand and represent themselves as per policy and required standard.
19. Keeping in view the inevitable inclusion and role of the ministry of IT together with ICT R&D fund, the bridge may be between international and local software companies dealing with the development of software and accessories to get the idea of developing Urdu software and otherwise may be materialized locally.
20. The departments of IT’s in different universities of the country dealing with the research and development work on software together with other institutions like Pakistan Software House etc may be officially approved to undertake the described subject as one of the regular study program to provide foundation for onwards implementation of the policy.