New Delhi: To make solving numerical problems less taxing for visually-impaired students, Delhi University is developing specialised ‘mathematical kits' which will make it much easier for them to study the subject.
The varsity plans to carry out a campaign across the country during which students and teachers will visit various blind schools where it will distribute the kits to the students and conduct workshops to teach them how to use it. In the second phase, after receiving feedback from various quarters, DU plans to recommend to HRD Ministry for inclusion of the tools in the curriculum.
The kits have been developed by four DU students pursuing M.Sc Maths Education in consultation with experts and two professors, Jyoti Sharma and Pankaj Tyagi.
“We conducted a survey at various blind schools in Delhi and found out that the only specialised technique available for their teaching is Braille. Few schools use audio mediums too.
These can be helpful in teaching literature or other subjects but not maths, which is very complex,” Madan Chaturvedi of DU's Cluster Innovation Centre told PTI.
Elaborating on the contents of the kit, Sharma said, “The kit has been divided into three parts. The first one contains geometry tools which include specially-designed scale, protractor, compass, and a board. Braille technology has also been used to make the tools.
“The second part includes shape-based abacus, which is different from a routine abacus. The third segment is braille designed board for multiples and factors.
Apart from this, we have also included a snakes and ladders game, especially designed to suit the needs of the blind. The game will help the users get a hang of how to use other tools,” she said.
The tools were also tested by students of three blind schools. “We plan to validate the tools by seeking feedback from a large sample size and then approach experts for advice on any rooms for improvement,” Sharma said. “
We have also kept in mind minute details such as what material should be used, what should be the size, what can be used for which class and much more,” she added.
After completion of the first phase, the varsity also plans to introduce the product commercially in the market. DU, which boasts of a well-stocked Braille library, had last year installed a special technology in all its libraries to enable visually-challenged students to also access the books.
The technology called ‘Inclusive Print Access Project' can scan books and automatically transcribe the text to speech.