Blind and visually-impaired people in the country can now read any printed Nepali characters using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, which was launched on Monday.
The software, developed by two IT experts from the Kathmandu University (KU) for the Nepal Netra Joyti Sangh in financial support of the Australian government, was launched by Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Peter Budd, amid a function.
Speaking on the occasion, the Australian envoy said that the software would provide the blind and visually-impaired people the much-needed and rightful access to public information and written knowledge. World Blind Union estimates that less than 1% published works are accessible for visually-impaired people in developing countries like Nepal.
The software was developed by Prof Dr Bal Krishna Bal and Nirajan Panta after two years of intensive research. The software scans printed texts and reads them out in synthetic speech. The scanned texts could also be saved for future reading.
OCR could help an estimated 95,000 blind population in the country.