Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Free learning tool for visually impaired persons to improve their computer skills

EnAble India is a large Indian NGO, headquartered in Bengaluru. Its Educate Yourself Easily (EYE) Tool is an open source self-learning platform that supports persons with visual impairments to learn job-critical computer skills. Users can choose from over 400 exercises to develop skills, take part in job simulations, and test their progress. From 2015 to 2020, the tool had over 10,000 users, 90 per cent of whom have reported that their computer efficiency has improved significantly.

“By practicing scenarios, I handle situations in real time and manage people’s perceptions.”

Rajeshwaridigital literacy training student
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Educate Yourself Easily (EYE) Tool
Organisation:EnAble India
Country
of Implementation
India
Start Year2015
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 95 percent of EnAble India’s trainers have visual impairments
  • Over 500 trainers have been trained in how to use the EYE Tool with their students
  • The EYE Tool has users in 15 countries

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Computer skills are critical in the modern job market, and people with visual impairments in India often do not have accessible training tools.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The EYE Tool is a training platform offering exercises on job-relevant skills, such as editing, and data management. Exercises support people with visual impairments to increase the speed and confidence with which they use computers and understand the more visual aspects, such as common document layouts. It can be downloaded to a desktop or accessed via a server, and is compatible with screen readers and magnifiers. The tool has two modes: a ‘Learning’ mode gives instant feedback on errors so the user can make corrections; and a ‘Test’ mode allows users to test their progress. For those working with a trainer, trainers can also access their students’ scores.

The EYE tool is targeted at individual users with visual impairments, trainers of people with visual impairments, as well as parents, employers, and volunteers. It is available in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Kannada, and content can be easily added. About 95 per cent of EnAble India’s trainers have visual impairments and are involved in its design.

On the left side is a screen, and an instructor demonstrates the EYE Tool to a visually impaired male person sitting on the right.

An instructor demonstrates the EYE Tool.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

The EYE Tool is free and is an open source technology. Development is funded by donations from companies and foundations. The long-term strategy is to integrate the tool into existing software packages, for example, from Microsoft or Google, and to develop a licensing model for corporate customers.

Strategically, scaling to date has focused on India, with over 500 trainers trained in using the tool. EnAble India already has users in 15 countries and plans to scale further internationally. Next steps are upgrading the web tool, developing an Android app, and exploring opportunities for Artificial Intelligence features within the tool.

FACTSHEET

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