Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies is an organization under Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment [KSCSTE] The vision and mission of the centre is to create a barrier free environment with a spirit to provide access to all. The activities of the centre should be according to the guidelines of the United Nation’s Convention of Rights of Persons With disability (UNCRPD) and Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies strongly believes that technology has the potential means of offsetting the limitations caused by disability, especially to the persons with visual disability. Hence,we are focusing to start facilities imparting training in the use of assistive technologies, basic computer skills,along with imparting suitable soft skills.
Assistive technologies are highly essential for helping students with various disabilities to succeed in their studies. These also can enable disabled students to socially interact with their non-disabled peers. Individuals with disabilities who use these technologies usually select a combination of conventional and assistive technologies .There is a very fine line between educational and assistive technology and are often interrelated. Looking at the difference is that ,assistive technology is more personal to the student, whereas educational technology is more classroom-based.The current focus is on "Universal Design for Learning",which incorporates basic principles of teaching through different modes. It involves ,using technology that allows students to access educational materials through their strongest learningmode. Universal design provides equal access to learning and gaining information. It does not remove academic challenges; it removes barriers to access. For example,a student with visual disability access information about a specific topic using screen readers.
As the first activity ,Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies will implement training in basic computer skills for persons with visual disability. On completion of the training the candidates will be in a position to use computers for reading documents, reading book, surfing internet, using online library etc. Also Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies will be focusing its activities in four broad areas:
Services: Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies proposes to start an assistive technology help line services, counseling services, E-book library, internet radio, accessible GPS service.
Promotional: Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies will be carrying out awareness drives through effective use of mass media and social media.We will be conducting workshops, seminars etc. to promote education, rehabilitation, employment, entertainment and recreation. The goal is to mainstream the disabled persons integrating them with rest of the society.
Advocacy: Through advocacy Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologieswill be working towards realization of the guidelines of United Nation’s convention with right of person with disability and shall promote implementation of accessibility in existing services such as websites, buildings, transport, ATMS, educations,government orders and documents etc for creating a barrier free state.
Research: For research into various aspects of disability, Kerala State Centre For Assistive Technologies will be conducting research in various aspects of technologies such as making new devices and conduct research in existing solusion to implement accessibility etc. The centre shall also partner with centre of academic excellence.
Kerala State Center for Assistive Technologies(KSCAT) has started a Computer Lab Specially designed for the visually challenged at Farook College,Calicut, which was inaugurated on September 20,2014.Sri.Oommen Chandy, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Kerala has consented to be the Chief Guest on the occassion.Sri.P K Abdu Rabb ,Hon'ble Minister for Education ,Govt of Kerala, inaugurated the Computer Lab Specially designed for the visually challenged.Dr.M K Muneer,Hon'ble Minister for Panchayaths and Social Justice ,Govt of Kerala , presided over the function.The official website for KSCAT http://www.kscat.kerala.gov.in/ and KSCAT logo were inaugurated on the same day.