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November 8, 2002

TN develops novel device for hearing impaired

From: Sify, India
Nov. 8, 2002

Coimbatore, Nov 8

A Pollachi-based advanced educational institution has developed a novel software aimed at making studies less strenuous for the hearing impaired student and the teacher.

The new 'You Can Voice' package, programmed in eight languages by the Dr Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology (MCET), carries a set of words used in daily life. Classified in meaningful categories, the system has its template designed with lip movements, pictures and text for each word.

''Students can practise any word as many times as required to get the proper spelling. It thus motivates children to have more interest and interaction in learning new things,'' pointed out MCET Vice Chairman Manickan.

The package with English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya and Bangla would cover 80 per cent of the country's hearing impaired children, he told a press conference here.

The Tamil software will have 1400-odd words while other languages will have over 400 words in first phase. ''Normally people use only about 600 words for their routine purpose, while stage speakers use around 1000 words on an average,'' Manickan observed.

To a question, he said the software was more helpful that the conventional sign language, where all those wanting to interact with the hearing impaired should know it.

MCET has applied for patent rights of the software, the compact discs of which would be released at its four-day national conference on 'Empowering Technologies in Educating Hearing Impaired Children in India' from November 14 (Children's Day) at Pollachi.

The event, to be attended by over 60 delegates including teachers, principals and students of hearing impaired schools from across the country, would also impart knowledge about the new techniques evolving in sign language and oral method of teaching-learning process.

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