With another shiny gold star to add to their resume in making colleges more inclusive, Miranda House has made news by incorporating policies that truly benefit marginalised audiences. The all-women’s college in Delhi has installed talking signs across the entire campus, which would aid all visually and auditory-challenged students in findings their way in and around the area. In adherence to Delhi University’s bid for an increase in disabled-friendly campuses, Miranda House has installed around 100 acrylic QR code enabled sheets in popular areas within campus - like the canteens, classrooms, libraries, residential houses - that will enable greater accessibility for deaf and blind students. The project actually was brought forth by the college’s Enabling Committee, called Lakshita.
So how does the talking signage work? The technology is designed to provide directional voice messages to students when they come within detectable range of the sign. This facility can be availed by downloading a customised app on one’s phone and the overall concept optimises on a differently’abled person’s sense of direction, rather than their tactile skills. Once a student is within a 3 feet radius of the sign, they are each notified with a verbal message that also includes the details of the location.
Dr. Pratibha Jolly, the principle of Miranda House told the Indian Express, “If a student wishes to enter the canteen, all they’ll have to do is come close to the digital signage installed outside. The code will inform them that in exactly three steps, there is a gate and it will provide them with (literally) step-by-step directions to enter the location.” What’s even better about this initiative is that both students and teachers have been actively volunteering to help disabled students install the apps on their phones and get used to the signage. This is an incredible move on Miranda House’s part, and hopefully it’ll inspire ofther college campuses to follow suit.
Feature image via Times of India