About this Dictionary
Rational of the project:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) finding, 15% people are persons with disability, approximately four million people are visually impaired in Bangladesh (WHO, 2013). Visually impaired students are now studying at school level & there is severe lack of accessible study materials. Furthermore, approximately 48% (BBS, 2011) of people in Bangladesh are illiterate or low literate. This large amount of population can also be considered as print disable. Accessible information and reading materials have not been available to this group. Information rights have not been recognized/ adequately met.
Further barriers have been created for the print disabled and visually impaired. In the context of the usability of traditional dictionary, it was very clear that the traditional dictionaries had many limitations and these could not satisfy the learners anymore. Furthermore, persons with disabilities faced more problems to use traditional dictionaries and for having physical limitations they had to depend on others to learn new words.
YPSA is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. Considering the situation, with the support of Service Innovation Fund of a2i, YPSA is working in a project to convert three Bangla Academy Dictionaries into accessible format as Bengali to English, English to Bengali, Bengali to Bengali, which will be available in online and offline both for all student including persons with visual and print disability, learning disability and information disadvantaged groups.
The Accessible Dictionary and reading materials are accessible for all. It will be cost effective, less time consuming and universally designed so that all can have an easy access to these accessible dictionary and reading materials all over the country.
Definition of Dictionary:
Accessible Dictionary means the dictionary which is prepared for all types of people and that is easy to approach, enter, use or understand through printable or digital media. Excluding print disabled persons, all people can easily access the dictionary for the fulfillment of their purposes. So, the term accessible dictionary has been mainly used for easy access to Persons with Disabilities exclusively print disable persons to enter or use smoothly for their approach and education.
Persons with Disabilities involvement:
In preparing the project, planning meetings were held with Disabled Person Organization (DPO) groups, student with disabilities together their suggestions. The persons with disabilities were involved with a participatory process to identify problems, required dictionary books and format. The DPO members, teachers of the Govt. school for the blind, worked hard to interact with the target group, collecting their feedbacks upon which the project has been designed. 10 people with disabilities were full-time involved in the planning phase upto the implementation stages such as preparation of accessible dictiionary, promoting the use of web portal, and implementation , monitoring and evaluation of the project etc also engaged by the people with disabilities. Besides, 80% project staff were people with disabilities . The Program Manager was also a person with disability. In all activities 50% participants were women with disabilities. It can easily be said that this project is designed by the Persons with Disability for the Persons with Disability.