The United Nations in 2006 came up with the universal design convention for the disabled to assure equal rights when living in a world that, more often than not, marginalizes them.

Take books, for example. Even though Braille was invented decades ago, access to books for visually impaired people is still limited, partly because of the expensive printing and reading devices.

My Learning Module for the Blind (MLM for the Blind), a device developed by another group of students at Bina Nusantara University, offers a more affordable, locally made alternative.

By converting texts in digital form with a micro-controller, the tool allows the visually impaired to read e-books, for example.

“You simply insert a multimedia card holding files in the format with the ‘.txt’ extension. One can choose which file to open and which page to read from the 42 Braille cells,” said graduate Erik Taurino Chandra, who worked on the project with two colleagues.

MLM for the Blind is a stand-alone device powered by a rechargeable battery that is intended to be placed in libraries, Erik explained.

Working with Mitra Netra Foundation, an NGO for the visually impaired, Erik and his colleagues calculated that one single MLM for the Blind would cost Rp 20 million to make. It is indeed more affordable than the current device that Mitra Netra uses, which costs around Rp 50 million.

“If we can start focusing our research on such tools and manufacture them locally, we might be able to open up the world for the disabled,” Erik said.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Thanks RI_54 for the tip!