Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Accessible online library provided for free as a corporate social initiative

In 2016, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a multinational IT company, launched Access Infinity in India, an online platform that enables the conversion of published materials to accessible versions. Backed by the Government of India as a part of the Accessible India mission and with Daisy Forum of India, Access Infinity introduced an online accessible library for people with blindness, low vision, or print disabilities. In 2020 the library had 32,346 registered users, compared to 25,539 in 2018.

“Before, I had to get books recorded myself. Now, I’ve found huge collections for instant downloading.”

Sweety, a B.A. Political Science studentDelhi University
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Sugamaya Pustakalaya (Online Accessible Library) by TCS Access Infinity
Organisation:Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Country
of Implementation
India
Start Year2016
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The number of registered users increased from 25,539 in 2018 to 32,346 in 2020
  • From 2016 to 2020, the library has had 55,000+ downloads with 70 per cent educational content
  • Seven newspapers and eight magazines are available in real-time

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Often, blind or visually impaired persons have difficulty accessing printed educational material due to the lack of accessible formats.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The TCS Access Infinity platform allows publishers to generate real-time accessible content with one-click conversion methodology into multiple formats. It is supported by two patents: one for digital watermarking of audio streams, the other for a service delivery model.
The online library also serves as a national repository of accessible books, and supports libraries and publishers seeking to digitize their content into accessible formats. The library is a primary source of content for persons with disabilities preparing for competitive exams, and thus includes educational content from 13 educational boards and institutions.

The library is easy to use and includes content in 17 languages. It is accessible from any device, and titles are available in nine accessible formats, such as DAISY text, audio, Braille, Braille Tactile, and more. The system complies with national and international copyright laws, including the Marrakesh Visually Impaired Treaty.

A young person with dark glasses is typing on a keyboard in front of him. He seems to be very concentrated.

A user is accessing the online library platform through his Refreshable Braille Display (an assistive device).

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

TCS runs the online library as a social initiative of the company. It makes the technology available to the Daisy Forum India consortium of 190+ entities, including government bodies, educational boards, publishers, and NGOs with a zero-cost license. The online library is available free of charge to persons with disabilities.

TCS in collaboration with WIPO Accessible Books Consortium ( UN) – plans to extend the platform to create similar ecosystems in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

By 2025, TCS aims to provide 1 million accessible e-books along with various partner organizations (DFI members) through the ´See a Million´ campaign.

FACTSHEET

Download factsheet as accessible word
download