On 28 February 2014, LIN organized a site visit to The Center for Multilanguage Database Kim Tu Dien, which won 3rd Place (and a grant of VND 50 million) during the Narrow the Gap Community Event 2013: Focus on Children. Kim Tu Dien agreed to use those funds to produce a “Let’s Learn” English language E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in Ho Chi Minh City. Click here to watch the short video introduction to their project.
Four Narrow the Gap representatives joined the morning site visit, where we met and talked with Mr. Tri, the software developer , who gave an introduction to the Center and how they came up with the idea to produce a “Let’s Learn” English language E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in Ho Chi Minh City.
“In the past, we created several E-books for children,” said Mr. Tri. “We also created E-books for visually impaired children, with a shelter as our client. We just thought, ‘why not turn this popular English language learning book into an E-book for visually impaired children as well?’”
After running through a demo of the “Let’s Learn” E-book, which Mr. Tri said is ninety percent completed, he talked about next steps. First the team needs to check, once more, for errors and complete the design (referring to functionality as opposed to graphics). Before the end of March, they expect to install the E-book on some computers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in order to test usability with the Director and some of the students.
Attention NPOs working with visually impaired children! Mr. Tri said that Kim Tu Dien would welcome a chance to test the software at one or two other shelters. If any of your organizations would be interested and willing to help test the software, please contact Mr. Tri (at Kim Tu Dien) and/or Mr. Son (at LIN).
“In our experience working with visually impaired children, we know that they cannot use a mouse and they prefer to only use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons,” explained Mr. Tri. “That is why we designed this software to rely heavily on those two keys.”
Once the tests are completed, Kim Tu Dien will make the required fixes before disseminating the completed “Let’s Learn” E-book to schools and shelters in the existing network first. Afterwards, Kim Tu Dien said it would like to make the software available to anyone else that would be interested. For this purpose, they plan to upload the software to the Center’s website for free download. (A password may be required but Mr. Tri said the Center plans to provide a password to anyone interested to download the program.)
“In the past, we made software for visually impaired children as a service provider, with the shelter as our client,” said Mr. Tri. “We did what they wanted.” But the decision to produce the “Let’s Learn” B-book, was different, “This program is something [Kim Tu Dien] wanted to do so we gave it our all, we contributed our staff time and we are working hard to make it perfect.”
Because Kim Tu Dien won third place, they were only able to create one out of the three “Let’s Learn” E-books they originally proposed to translate. Mr. Tri said the center plans to look for additional funds so they can make these books as well, “We still have a desire to produce the other two E-books.”
The Center for Multilanguage Database Kim Tu Dien
302 Nguyen Duy Duong, Ward 4
District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Photos taken by Quang Tram