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Development of a Suite of Indigenous Assistive Systems and Tools for the Disabled Community in India

Primary Information


Information & Communication Technology

Project No.


Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: F. NO. 3-18/2015-T.S.-IVOLIII

Sanction Date: 31/01/2017

Project Initiation date: 42768

Project Duration: 24

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry



Role of partner:


Support from partner:

Principal Investigator

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Prof. Anupam Basu
IIT Kharagpur

Host Institute


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Prof. Anil Prabhakar
IIT Madras

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Prof. M. Balakrishnan
IIT Delhi

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Dr. Rajlakshmi Guha
IIT Kharagpur

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Suman Deb
National Institute of Technology, Agartala


Scope and Objectives

SCOPE: This project addresses the requirements of learning-disability, visual-impairment and neuro- motor-disorder affected people. Accordingly, five new technologies (work modules) have been proposed - WM1: to assist the children with dyslexia, WM2: for education of the visually impaired, WM3: reading support for the low vision, WM4: Edutainment for children with cerebral palsy and WM 5: Portable AAC platform for hosting all the above applications. OBJECTIVE: Development of systems and tools, for providing ICT-enabled education and rehabilitation to specific disability sectors constitute this multi-institute project. In particular, this project aims at three particular disability sectors: i) visually impaired, ii) children with neuro-motor disorders and iii) the dyslexic children. Five distinct novel technologies will be developed for the different disability sectors and these will form five distinct work elements, as detailed later. A major objective of the endeavor is to provide affordable, and socio-linguistically compatible solutions for the Indian users, which will make India self reliant in this sector.


WM1: The system will be programmable and personalized, so that the teachers can tune and program it for individual child. The system will also monitor and store reading speed and performance for the teachers to take note of. Provide reading and writing support to dyslexics. WM3: The system will enhance the reading experience of people with low vision, using image interpretation and image enhancement methods. WM4: The system will enable the users with mouse and keyboard disabilities, to access the web, using indigenous special access switches , alphabetic autoscan keyboard with a prediction engine as well as iconic keyboard developed based on international stamps. WM2: (a) Tools for making Geometry Images accessible, (b) InDesign Tools for conversion of font encoded text to Unicode WM3: The proposed system will be using on image interpolation algorithm and image enhancement algorithms to arrive at the solution. The interface issues will also be taken care of .The proposed projects aims at developing an equivalent solution based on tablets at a cost point of sub 10000 INR. The cost of ownership will be even lesser as the same tablet can be used for other uses as well. The system will also incorporate user- friendly tactile interface, so that the user herself can control the magnification according to her requirement. The tool will be Android based, portable and will satisfy the requirement of an affordable solution by the low vision community in India. WM4: The system will enable the users with mouse and keyboard disabled users (due to neuro-motor deficiency) access the web, using indigenous special access switches alphabetic autoscan keyboard with a prediction engine as well as iconic keyboard developed based on international stamps. The design of the keyboards will be based on AOL Query logs. WM5: Access to an AAC tablet for persons with motor disability hinges on the availability of appropriate input devices. We shall evaluate and develop input mechanisms based on Resistive touch (vPlay) Capacitive proximity sensor (ADITI-W) Gesture recognition (iGest) Eye tracker Each of these will work as independent input devices, but will also be available as accessories to KAVI (with suitable device drivers).




Scientific Output

WM1: The content development task has been started. The database is designed and developed. The tools for the model development, particularly Automatic speech recognition system is designed and is under development. WM4: Intelligent link parsing, easy scanning based interface for web accessibility.


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Results and outcome till date

WM1: Design of System Layout and Database System. Design of Android application. Design of Interactive game. Design of Chatbox. Design of Color-coded font. WM2: (a) Identified basic shapes from Geometry Images (b) Converted to Unicode over 120 textbooks with Devanagari content at NCERT WM3: An app based system for image enhancement to aid people with low vision has been developed. WM4: A basic version of desktop web browser has been developed. WM5: vBill and KAVI-PTS have been launched on Google Playstore. Fingerswitch and SmileyBall have been released as access switches. vPlay and iGest are being prototyped as accessories. KAVI-T assembly is ongoing.


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Societal benefit and impact anticipated

WM1: Dyslexia is the most common and most misunderstood learning disability in India, this module provides a better, cheaper and easy accessible prototype/model for the Indian dyslexic population. Also, it helps in their academic and non-academic improvements. WM3: People with low vision experience difficulty as they have problems viewing small prints, but are not trained in Braille. This system, through the enhancement and enlargement techniques, will aid such users to overcome the hurdle. WM4: Access to web is also access to the bigger knowledge pool. People with severe speech and muscle impairment experience difficulty in accessing the web via conventional methods, and they cannot use voice feedback either. This scanning based web browser will cater to the need of the large target user groups. WM5: Access to a tablet running software for education, leisure and communiation will provide independent experience to children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders

Next steps

WM1: Development of the Automatic speech recognition system. Development of phoneme syllabification system. Development of the database and the user management. Content development. WM2: (a) Generate text descriptions and/or identify alternate interfaces to access Geometry Images, (b) Support for mathematical content, other structural elements, fonts, one additional language WM3: Development of portable, lightweight tablet/mobile based application for easy reading from print medium, complemented with voice feedback, for people with low vision. WM4: Development of enhanced version of accessible web browser for people with SSMI that can cater to dynamic web pages and provide extended functionalities such as e mail. WM5: Prototype and testing of KAVI-T. User feedback and release of KAVI+ (desktop and web versions) for teachers to create lesson plans for students

Publications and reports

WM2: Template based Approach for Augmenting Image Descriptions, Akshansh Chahal, Manshul Belani, Akashdeep Bansal, Neha Jadhav, Prof. M. Balakrishnan, 16th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 2018


WM5: Patent application No. 201841018407, portable electronic Braille notetaker

Scholars and Project Staff

WM1: Staff: 2 (1 year) WM2: Scholars: 1 Staff: 3 (1 yr, 1 yr, 2 months) WM5: Staff: 5

Challenges faced

WM5: No funds from DAE

Other information


Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 39800000.00

  • Amount received: Rs. 14800000.00

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 130000.00

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 3409000.00

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 1162000.00

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 1038000.00

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 369000.00

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 0.00

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 1770000.00

Equipment and facilities


WM5: Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology ( with CSR support from L&T Tech Services