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Archive for the ‘Inclusive Planet’ Category

Bookbole.com is seeking ideas on creating a sustainable and scalable user verification system. The goal is to ensure that Bookbole is reaching its intended users i.e. print-impaired, caregivers of print-impaired or organisations /individuals accessing for the print-impaired and NOT sighted users who are none of the above.

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The Beyond Profit write-up is the first time that one has really gone into ‘why Bookbole?’ in some detail. Since we’re on the subject I thought I’d share some more thoughts on ‘why Bookbole?’

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“…In the summer of 2008 the team at Inclusive Planet set out to take on the biggest challenge in the world of the visually impaired: making the world’s inaccessible content accessible… On Monday, October 26, 2009, BookBole began reaching out to print and visually-impaired people the world over… Bookbole is designed exclusively for the print and visually impaired and available in both English and Spanish.”

Bookbole has had the privilege of being featured as a “true social venture” in the latest edition of ‘Beyond Profit’- a magazine that covers people and ideas from the social enterprise sector. You can read the full article athttp://beyondprofitmag.com/?p=563/. We look forward to an exciting partnership with Beyond Profit in the months to come.

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Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

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A Treasure Trove of Books

– a teacher’s heart-felt contribution to Bookbole

Deprived of eyesight,
Milton didn’t falter.
He reached his height
With Paradise Lost,
And Paradise Regained, later.

Books galore await your pleasure,
A feast for the inner eye.
Dive for the bountiful treasure,
Savour the thrill to the full,
Till you reach as high as the Sky.

For you we have ‘bookbole’,
Technology at your doorstep.
Everything is easily available.
Flex your intellectual muscles,
Till you plumb your own depth.

– Leela Jacob*

*Leela Jacob is an English Teacher at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Baroda with a passion for poetry.

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A story from inside Inclusive Planet

‘All you need is love, love, love is all you need…’
– The Beatles

The gap between the early idea phase of a venture and its successful realization is about as wide as the sahara and as deep as the grand canyon, or worse. Many a noble soul has disappeared in this great divide. And currently at Inclusive Planet we’re doing our damned best to not join that happy lot.

We believe that the best way to avoid that fate is to work closely with the community so as not to misunderstand their needs or substitute them with an approximation of ‘what we think are their needs’. Tricky business this can be.

Take for instance the challenges that our first project, Bookbole, is faced with. Now we know that access to books is a big problem in the visually impaired community since very few books are in Braille and community members by themselves are only able to convert a few books into accessible formats – usually by that good old scan-and-painstakingly-proof-read method. It follows logically that a designed-for-the-blind platform that enables the community to search for accessible books around the world AND share their personal libraries of such books with each other should fly.

But – and ‘but’ must be god’s favourite word in the English language – the success of the project depends on a largish volume of users taking to the platform and this comes down to how many visually impaired people ‘want’ to read – both for learning and leisure. You see, it’s not good enough that ‘some people’ say ‘Ah jolly! That takes care of my problem!’ We need a lot of people using the platform to call it a success. So a ‘need’ to be able to read has to be coupled with a strong ‘want’ to read (a.k.a. the love of reading). We know the need is there but how strong is the desire to read?

In a few months Bookbole should have a large number of college curriculum books to add to the collections of its partner databases, thanks to a Government grant that enables us to convert them, so we’ll have a number of books that the community ‘needs’ to read. But it’ll all come down to this – will the love of reading come visiting.

Only that will help Bookbole take wings.

SM

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Come 5th August, we would be ready with the next release of Readable. For the last couple of months, we were focusing on usability and bug fixing of Readable. After many iterations of testing and bug fixing, we are now in a position to release a much improved version.

Now our next challenge is to spread the word about Readable within the visually-impaired community. Whilst Readable is an online offering, we would be relying on both online and offline methods to reach out to users in different parts of the world. We intend to spread the word through mailing lists, roadshows, NGO’s, blind schools & training institutes,  and the medical fraternity.  An optimal mix of creative ideas, and an effective execution strategy holds the key.

Would you like to Get Involved in speading Readable, through ideas, meeting people, tweeting, blogging etc ? If yes, do write to me at simon.jacob@inclusiveplanet.com or call on 98199 36418

SJ

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