Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bank funds project to help blind

Database News : Thursday December 06, 2007


Bank funds project to help blind

Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) in cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University has launched "iSight Lab", a project to research and develop assistive technology for the blind, with over three million baht in funding over three years.

The project aims to develop the first Open Source Thai Text-to-Speech-equipped screen reader software to enable the visually-impaired to gain wider access to computers, to be able to surf the internet and read electronic documents without any sighted assistance.

The "iSight Lab" has been created with initial funding of US$30,000, over one million baht, per year for three years.

The project began in October 2007 and the bank is assisting Chulalongkorn University's Spoken Language System (SLS) Research Group of the Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.

Standard Chartered will also supply computers and necessary peripheral equipment to the SLS Research Group to undertake the "iSight Lab" project.

Under the three year plan, upon completion of phase I, by the end of 2008, Standard Chartered Bank will integrate these tools into its call centre in Thailand.

Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) CIO Ashley Veasey said that "on a wider mission, we would like to distribute these tools freely to other organisations and the general business community, which will enable the visually-impaired to gain computer-related employment."

By : Bangkok Post

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