Editing Workshop for Snehankit Helpline Volunteers at XRCVC
On 26th January 2019, seven volunteers from Snehankit Helpline got the opportunity to attend a Training for Editing Scanned Books, conducted by the Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) at their premises at St. Xavier’s College at Dhobi Talao, Mumbai.
The workshop/training was conducted by Ms Elisha Lopes from 10:30 am to 2pm. The Snehankit Helpline volunteers who attended the workshop were Ms Jayalakshmi Bhujang, Ms Sangeeta Vinod, Ms Mrunalini Gupte, Mr Aditya Dhanawade, Ms Lakshmi Kumar, Mr Girish Gadre and Ms Nilima Karve. The aim of the training was to understand the Compilation Standards for the creation and production of Accessible reading materials and books for blind and low vision persons.
XRCVC has extensive experience over the years in creating accessible books through its volunteer system. The organisation has endeavoured to create norms which are based on feedback from their diverse user base across age groups and content needs. This knowledge and experience has been codified into the Standards that it has created and which it uses to conduct training programmes for other organisations, such as Snehankit Helpline, engaged in similar work. The rationale guiding this work has been to develop a more efficient accessible book creation process where endless duplication is reduced to the minimum and diverse user needs in terms of format can be served through a single streamlined process.
The training for the day covered standards for creating a master Word file which can be used to create DAISY and E-PUB Books and Braille Ready Files.
Snehankit Volunteers learnt the procedure stepwise for scanning a book from cover-to-cover: the scanning techniques, use of scanner and standards for creating a master Word File as mentioned above. Techniques for page by page spell check, editing, formatting to reduce errors to the minimum and a standard, single streamlined process of editing books in Hindi, Marathi and English were learnt.
In addition to the above, tactile teaching aids using different textures of paper, tactile math primer for basic concepts in mathematics, geography map work in PIAF papers were also introduced. Due to shortage of time, Standards for Maths Content Creation were not covered at this workshop. Snehankit Helpline looks forward to further workshops on the same.
Ms Elisha Lopes was a wonderful guide and teacher. She explained everything in simple language and at a pace that everyone could understand correctly and gave instructions that were easy to follow. She gave sufficient time for clarifying doubts. All participants were also given a hand-out containing the Standards, which could be used for reference whenever they did the editing work.
The workshop gave the volunteers a clear idea on how to do editing work for scanned books in a standard format. As the XRCVC Standards hand-out states, this needs to be seen not as an end process but rather as the beginning of a journey which will evolve based on constant usage and feedback.