Hear2Read

ExcellenceIn Literacy for the Visually Impaired


The right to education has been recognized as a human right. Hear2Read allows the visually impaired to succeed in school. Our goal is to assist people with Visual Impairment (VI) to join the mainstream learning community.

 

right to education
Hear2Read’s Mission

Ensure the same quality of education for the visually impaired as for people with sight, Open doors to all professional employment and business opportunities, and to empower people with visual impairment to become productive members of society.

VOICE OF UNHEARDBridging the Digital Divide for Blind and Low Vision Indic Language Speakers

Learn More

The visually impaired population uses braille and human readers to develop language skills, especially in early childhood. The importance of braille is unquestionable; however,
the visually impaired also need the ability to read all of the material available to people with normal sight. In addition to hard copy books, today we get digital information in form of email, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, websites, and ebooks, Twitter, and Facebook. Printing all of these in braille is neather practical nor timely.

Challenges

  • Less than 10% of blind children in India get any formal education.
  • 90% of people with visual impairment (VI) live below the poverty line.
  • Education is key to economic empowerment.
  • People with visual impairment must be able to access (read) digital information without printing it in braille which requires access to a Braille Embosser.

Solution

  • Text to Speech software allows visually challenged people to read digital media (email, documents, websites, e-books, etc.) just as people with sight do without printing it. (TEDx talk)
  • Open source Text to Speech software for Indian Languages that runs on low cost
  • Smart Phones and Tablets allows access to digital content.

OUR IMPACTReading without Seeing


  • Connector.

    Computing Technologies

    Text To Speech (TTS) software that allows people to read electronic content by listening, hence the phrase “Reading without Seeing”.

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    Accessibility Service

    In PCs, tablets & smartphones, TTS software is the basis of Accessibility Service for vision-impaired users.

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    Talkback

    On Android devices, this service is called Talkback . As of now, Hindi and Bengali are the only Indian language supported by Android TTS.

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    Additional Languages

    Andriod allows developers to add TTS for additional languages. Hear2Read apps use this support TTS Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. all Apps are completely free and there are no Ads.

  • Connector.

    CMU Project

    We worked with Prof. Alan Black and his students at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Prof. Black is a world renowned technologist in language processing. We leveraged Festvox and Flite open source software developed over the last 20 years with contributions from researchers and developers around the world.

The GoalCollective Impact & Local Collaboration.

The conversion from text to speech is done in real-time without internet access, as most people in India either do not have continuous internet access or cannot afford it.

The Hear2Read app works with the Android Talkback accessibility option that allows people with low vision to use applications such as web browsers, email, SMS (texting), phone calls, word processors, spreadsheets and book readers.

Take a look at the demo below to get a feel for how the platform works. 

Click Here
To Watch the Demo

Expanding horizons

The text-to-speech (TTS) software, developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in collaboration with the Hear2Read project, can now be downloaded free of charge from Google Play.

Financials

The TTS app is available in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu. In 2017, it will expand to Assamese, Malayalam, Oriya and Urdu.

The 12 languages account for 93 % of the people.

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