In an attempt to provide visually impaired aspirants hassle-free access to important locations and offices on the campus, Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College (KMC) has installed more than 80 acrylic sheets with QR codes. These codes can be easily read by using open source applications on smart phones by aspirants.

“Every year, many aspirants from persons with disability (PwD) category join the university with visual impairment being one of the most common disabilities. Under the Mapped by Digital Vision programme, the college is taking a sensitive path towards providing visually impaired aspirants equal access to the facilities on the campus,” says Seema Parihar, associate professor of Geography and nodal teacher, KMC.

The acrylic sheets have been put up in important locations such as academic blocks, administrative office, principal’s office,  classrooms and cafeteria. When scanned with an open source app on smartphones, the QR codes provide information and guidance in the audio format. In addition to the information system for the aspirants, the college is also planning to announce QR coded textbooks and identity cards.

Parihar, who is also the University’s former dean of aspirants’ welfare, says that technology can unite the learning gap for aspirants with disabilities and they are also exploring digital tools for support. She adds, “We also have a dedicated technical room for visually impaired aspirants where computers are empower with the Job Access With Speech (JAWS) programme. It allows hearing the text that is displayed on the computer.”

The college will soon be formulating a geography workshop in association  with National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization (NATMO), to introduce visually impaired aspirants to reading maps.