A workshop on 'Alo' - screen reader software for the visually impaired was held at Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) on Thursday.
The primary objective of the workshop was for eGeneration to incorporate the feedback and requirements from its users (visually impaired) to make this solution a truly efficient experience.
ICT Division and eGeneration are collaboratively in the triumph of developing a screen reader software for visually impaired people of our community, said a press release.
eGeneration is developing the software 'Alo', under the project 'Enhancement of Bangla Language through ICT (EBLICT)'; it is aimed to enable people without vision to actively operate computers and gadgets, making them strive out of the dogma they are living with and contribute through digital footprints.
The project is bestowing the opportunity of enabling 750,000 visually impaired people in Bangladesh to start a new life and impact their surroundings through active contribution to society.
This software will read the name of the icon floating on the computer screen and read the Bangla text of the document. The buttons or icons in the computer interface will identify the Bengali language, commands can also be given, through which the visually impaired person can easily use the computer or mobile.
Mamunur Rashid, consultant, Enhancement of Bangla Language through Information, Communications and Technology (EBLICT) moderated the session and Sabbir Arif Siddique, head of artificial intelligence, natural language processing & blockchain delivered the keynote.
Dr Muhammad Abdul Mannan, executive director, Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) said on the occasion, "I always believe, that someday it will happen that visually impaired brothers or sisters dilemma of vision will not even exist, the problem of visual impairment will be completely resolved, that's the basic reality. As the main goal of this project is to fulfil the requirements through research, from my prior experience, I'll request that technologically advanced people, as well as the implementation team, should align while working, because if they don't, there is a high chance that when it's time to deliver the project software will come up with huge bugs, so this point should be prioritized."
He also added, "I hope that this project will integrate with our national portal so that it will fulfil the wishes of our visual impaired brothers and sisters to take the 600 services of the national portal."
SM Ashraful Islam, executive vice-chairman, eGeneration Ltd. said, "A large number of people in Bangladesh suffer from various levels of visual impairment. Our screen reader is being made according to the needs of all these people. This screen reader is more user-friendly than other foreign screen readers and is made in Bangla so it will create a stir among the visually impaired people of this country."
Professor Dr Muhammad Nurul Huda, director of artificial intelligence & natural language processing, eGeneration ltd. said, "The development of the project would enable visually impaired people to use computers with keyboards and mouse-like visually capable people, and the screen reader software would be visually impaired friendly. Moreover, visually impaired people will be able to work comfortably on Windows, Linux and Android operating systems."
Mahbub Karim, Project Director, EBLICT; Engineer Enamul Kabir, Director, BCC; Emran Abdulla, Director, Operations & Sales, eGeneration ltd.; Bhaskar Bhattacharya, Accessibility Consultant, A2i; Rakib Mahmud Shoeb, Head of Emerging Technology Solutions, eGeneration Ltd. were also present at the workshop.