Visual impairment is one of national problem in Indonesia with the ratio 1.5% of the population as reported in the survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in 1993-1996. People belong to this category have very limited access to the information. Braille characters could be considered as the only way to access the textual information. However, only few of the literatures are provided in Braille thus their accessibility to the information is still very limited. To help these people, various research and development of supporting systems have been conducted in Japan, United States and the other countries. Examples of such equipments are Optical Braille Character Reader (OBR), virtual sound based 3D information visualization and screen reader. Those systems are however still relatively expensive, and yet not accessible for the visual impaired in Indonesia. Nevertheless, only few R&D activities in Indonesia to help the people with visual impairment. This situation motivated us to develop an intelligent system based on FOSS (Free Open Source Software) to improve the accessibility of the people with visual impairment to the textual information, in low cost and accessible by the community in Indonesia. “TextReader” is the system developed in this study by combining a self-customized Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Text To Speech Synthesizer (TTS). It converts the information from analog to digital image, and from image to text by OCR, which is then converted into voice signal by Indonesian TTS. The prototype of the system was evaluated and the result is promising. In the future, TextReader will be enhanced to enable the visual impaired people to access textual information written in book, newspapers which come with various layout. Speech recognition technology will also be integrated to operate the system via human voice.
- This study will be presented in “Accessible ICT/Assistive Devices and Media session, “Regional Conference on ASEAN and Disability” Hotel Bidakara Indonesia, 1 December 2010
- Part of this study is published in Proc. of International Conference on Advanced Computer Science & Information Systems. (A.S.Nugroho, I.Suwadi, V.Pragesjvara, R.Irbandini, O.Riandi, M.Gunawan, D.Handoko: TextReader: An Intelligent System for People with Visual Impairment)