Sugamaya Pustakalaya – Online Library for Persons with Print Disabilities
OREANDA-NEWS. “Sugamaya Pustakalaya” is an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people. The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats. It has been created by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India and powered by TCS Access. Books are available in Accessible formats for people with visual impairment and other print disabilities. Over 2 lakhs books in diverse languages. Integrating libraries across India and the Globe, including the largest international library, Bookshare.
In case of End User i.e. person with Print Disability: The next time a person with Print Disability needs to read a book, he can skip the laborious process of looking for volunteers to read them to him or scan and edit them. A quick search on the Sugamya Pustakalaya may land him with the book of his choice at the click of a button. He will need to be a registered print-disabled member with one of the member DFI organizations to download the book or procure it offline through their member organization. He can access all the books in the library at a click of a button. He can read the publications on any device of his choice- mobile phones, tablets, computers, DAISY players or even in braille using refreshable braille displays. He could also request for a braille copy through member organizations that have Braille presses.
In case of a School/College/Library: Universities, School Library, Public Libraries or any such institution can become a member of DFI or subscribe to the online library to offer the entire collection of the Sugamya Pustakalaya to their members or students with print disabilities. Educational institutions can also contribute accessible format books produced for their students so that students from other educational institutions can access the same and avoid duplications of creation at multiple locations.
In case of a Publisher/Government House/Textbook Production House: They can be part of creating history by creating the largest accessible online library in a developing country. Increase their reader base to include persons with print disabilities by sharing accessible formats of their publications to be put up on Sugamya Pustakalaya. The library already hosts publications such as Reader’s Digest and India Today and seeks to have new partnerships with a large number of private and government publishing house and publications. Textbooks production houses, state text book boards (SCERTs/NCERT) can meet their obligations under the Right to Education Act (2009) by providing their content to students with print disabilities through this platform. Sugamya Pustakalya will provide protection to books and limit distribution to only those who cannot read normal print.
In case of an NGO: They can begin a library service for persons with print disabilities by joining as a members and offer the complete content provided by the Sugamya Pustakalaya to their members.
In case of a Corporate: Their employees can volunteer for accessible content creation and help reach out to millions of users with print disabilities. The IT industry can contribute with technology development to fill gaps in authoring and reading of digital content in all Indian languages.