The Union Education Ministry has finally approved the guidelines for the development of e-Content for children with disabilities. A comprehensive initiative e-VIDYA was launched last month, with an aim to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education for the Divyang (children with disabilities-CwDs), also referred to as children with special needs (CWSN). The guidelines have been recommended by an expert committee formed under the department of school education and literacy, Ministry of Education.
The salient features of the e-Content guidelines for Divyang are:
- e-Content for CwDs should be developed based on the four principles- perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
- e-Content including text, tables, diagrams, visuals, audios, videos etc. should comply with the accessibility standards, as well as national and international standards
- Distribution platforms on which the content is uploaded (like DIKSHA) and reading platforms/devices on which the content is accessed and interacted with (like e-pathshala) must comply with the technical standards.
- Reasonable accommodations have been recommended to meet the specific needs of the CwDs.
The committee has recommended accessible digital textbooks (ADTs) in a phased manner. The content of the ADTs should be provided in multiple formats (text, audio, video, sign language etc.) with the flexibility to the CwDs to respond to its content/exercises. In addition to this, specific guidelines for the development of supplementary e-Content for students having intellectual and developmental disabilities, multiple disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, specific learning disabilities, blindness, low vision, and deafness, too have been recommended.