Making the world a special place for special students!
Best Innovation award
2018, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Kannada open source literature in audio format: Kannada Dani
We signed a MoU with the Department of Kannada and Culture, Government of Karnataka to create an open library of open source audiobooks. We are working towards creating audio formats of all the open source Kannada Literature. We are working with Team Kanaja.in and the department to pilot this ambitious project with 5 books.
The Raghu Dixit's Project
Raghu Dixit has been supporting us since mid 2016 and he took up his dream project of recording all textbooks from 1st to 10th standard with volunteers contributing his studio resources at the Wandering minstrel Records. Raghu Dixit selected a set of 13 volunteers through an audition process and is overseeing the recording personally. He is also determined to record the challenging mathematics and science textbooks that are difficult to create audiobooks for. We will have a dedicated channel for these audiobooks!
After over two years of groundbreaking activities, we registered Kannada Pustaka as a non-profit public trust on the 3rd of May 2018. This enabled us to build projects and build our resource base.
Here is our trust deed that Harish Narasimha and Dr Somashekhara Achar executed
Our trust registration number is YPR-4-00029/2018-19
Podcast channel as accessible library
Podcast episodes are like on demand radio programs and we decided to upload our audio book chapters as podcast episodes. Anyone with internet connectivity can listen to these, save for offline playback. In the remotest corners Karnataka, with a decent internet or mobile connectivity, visually challenged students can play these Podcast episodes on their smartphones, download for offline use and play them at the their comfort and pace they prefer. This possibility led opened up a new era of content access for visually challenged students. It is like a blanket of clouds with audio textbooks floating all over the world and students can access with a simple internet connection.
Around February 2017, we started uploading audio chapters on our iTunes podcast channel. We found Podcast Republic app to be the most suitable one on Android platform. In fact "chapter mark" feature of this Android app opened up possibilities beyond iTunes native Podcast app. Chapter marks are simply time marks within an episode that students can use to navigate within a continuous audio file instantly without having to seek or wait for playback.
“Podcast will take the audio book library to students. We now need to train them how to use it and wait for miracles to happen!”
— Shimoga Rakesh
10th & 9th accessible textbook DVDs sent across Karnataka
On 28th of January, 2016, we dispatched DVDs with audio & Braille textbook chapters to all special schools across Karnataka. The DVD with 10th standard textbook contained two special books for visually challenged - sociology, political science and economics. These are alternatives to mathematics and science.
It took months of effort before we could do this. This was our first attempt in delivering the audio and Braille books that we created. The process was coordinated from across the world (UK, Leeds) and delivered from Mysuru.
To track the responses and understand the needs of the schools, we send out a responses form. The details of responses received is available on this document.
In just two more months, we could dispatch 9th textbooks on 1st of March, 2016.
First distributed proofreading initiative
It all started with we got MD Pallavi, onboard and she recorded a call for volunteers. From a few friends, the number of volunteers proofreading textbook chapters grew from tens to over hundred. We were clueless we were making history and it was in conversation with Dr Dipendra Manocha that we realised we are the first distributed proofreading initiative of India!
In simple words, several volunteers cleanup a textbook chapter one after the other. Since the cleanup process, or proofreading is shared by several volunteers, the process is termed distributed proofreading. We do distributed proofreading on Google Document.
"A wonderful online volunteering platform - A first in India. This model is worth replicating across languages"
- Deependra Manocha, DAISY India Director