At Surat School, ‘Talking Books’ Keep Board Time Stress Away

Imagine a school for the visually challenged, and the first thought that appears in your mind is that of young students wading their fingers across braille textbooks.

As you think deeper, it becomes evident how difficult, if not demanding, the exercise of reading over raised dots can be. But things don’t end with a mere reading exercise. Board Exams, dreaded sincerely by students across time, seem like one huge mountain for the visually impaired.

But Board Exams are now less terrifying for visually impaired students at Surat’s School for the Blind, all thanks to ‘Flash Talk’– an audio device that plays pre-recorded lessons. Around 70 students of the school, who have received the device from the Central government, say it’s come as a boon for them.

Vignesh Pathak, whose board exams start from 12 March, seems really impressed with the device. He says it comes with pre-recorded lessons than can be revised at anytime, without him having to ask for help. In cases where a specific book or a chapter isn’t available, the device can record that audio from anyone and play it up as any other lesson.

If an audio book isn’t available or recorded, we can record it separately from anyone. At a time when e-books are widely being used, the Flash Talk device also reads out e-books for us. -vignesh pathak, Student

‘Flash Talk’ has left its deep impression on others students as well. Jagruti Salvi, for instance, says lessons have become simpler and can be accessed just about anywhere.

Shashikant Jadhav, Director of Andhjaan Shala, says the device comes with an expandable memory and can load contents from a memory card or a flash drive. His school handed these devices over to the students after receiving them from the Centre.

Inspired by the idea of ‘talking books’ for the visually impaired, Jadhav now aims to ease the burden of school children by designing mobile devices that can replace physical books and notebooks, and thereby sacks.

The students, on their part, thanked the Prime Minister for helping these devices reach their school. “I urge the government and the Prime Minister to keep helping us so that the country can develop,” said Vignesh, as he clutched onto the device that has become his board-time-best-friend.

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Talking books Flash talk Surat