Study materials in audio format demanded for visually impaired students


BHUBANESWAR: Students requested chief minister Naveen Patnaik to make provision of releasing study materials in audio format for visually impaired students pursuing their higher education at Odisha State Open University (OSOU) Sambalpur. The university has an audio library, but it does not have enough content.
Some visually challenged students have enrolled their names in different courses under this open university. They get study materials in the form of textbooks, but it is difficult for them to read. It is not possible to request somebody every time to read out the texts of the book, said a student.
“I am a Plus III third year student at the open university. A few weeks before the fourth semester examination, I received study materials in English language instead of Odia though I am an Odia medium student. It was difficult to understand the language. The university does not have audio material for my subject history,” said a visually challenged student requesting anonymity.
A city based activist Sushanta Kumar Sahoo has written a letter to Odisha chief minister, higher education secretary and vice-chancellor of OSOU on this issue. He said visually challenged students cannot study textbooks and they badly need audio materials.
He said the university website has a partial provision of an audio library, but it has very less content for a few subjects. “If the institution uploads contents of all subjects on its website, blind students can access these study materials easily and find no difficulties to grasp it,” he said in the letter.
Sahoo said he has met some visually challenged students and they gave this feedback. “The university should send books to the students at the beginning of the semester of a course. Delay in supplying study books will not help the students,” he added.
OSOU vice-chancellor Arka Kumar Das Mohapatra said the university has so far prepared and uploaded audio lessons of 10 subjects. These are- journalism and mass communication, law, management, Odia language and communication, Odia, soft skill, rural development, entrepreneurship development, media management and computer application, he added.
“We have internet radio Pragynavani used for educational purposes. We are preparing more audio lessons to cover other subjects,” said the vice-chancellor.





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