Lamenting about the challenges they faced, K Raghuraman, professor, department of English, Government Arts College, Nandanam, who lost his sight when he was 30 years, said attempts were being made to persuade offices to install Braille maps to help them find their way around places.
“Additionally, as most of us can hear, it will be helpful if
each office has a hearing device giving directions,” he said.
A major challenge for persons with visual impairment is the fact that 90 per cent information comes mainly in print. “Government documents, besides school textbooks, are not provided in Braille form. While some have learnt to read in Braille, very few have learnt the codes in English. It was a challenge for them during the RK Nagar by-poll as the coding was not in the regional language,” said Smitha Sadasivan, a disability rights’ activist.
When the suggestion of Braille maps in public buildings was made, Arun Roy, Commissioner for the Welfare of Differently Abled, told DTNext, “We will be more than willing to provide it. Only recently, did we call for a tender for 74 public buildings to be audited. Once the report is submitted, we can ask them to incorporate the idea of Braille map.”
The Chief Minister had recently launched 150 auditory traffic signals in Chennai. The Commissioner for the Welfare of Differently Abled expressed the hope that more such signals would be installed in other cities of the state.