Posts Tagged ‘Hiroshi Kawamura’

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ROBOBRAILLE and IT for Persons with Special Needs

March 6, 2011

I was thinking of my project: Rizal’s poems in sign language, when I suddenly thought of DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System). My last talk with Mr. Hiroshi Kawamura, DAISY President and our trainor, was about the development that they are doing and to launch, if I am not mistaken this year, to include sign language in the new DAISY softwares. Since I have added options that will serve the blind, I couldn’t but think: why not do it later in DAISY format? Afterall, I am also after information accessibility for the blind. So I visited the DAISY website… where I came to learn about Lars Ballieu Christensen….

a young man in mid 20’s who wanted to help two blind students by ensuring that their textbooks were accessible. Lars was born in 1963. Today he works with information technology and design for people with special needs. He founded Sensus, a research-based consultancy organisation, in the mid 1980’s. Since then he has advised numerous governments, national and international organisations, NGOs and private companies on accessibility, inclusive design and access to digital information. Lars is the inventor or co-inventor of numerous innovative enabling technologies, including the award winning RoboBraille, an e-mail service which can convert digital text documents into either Braille or audio files. It is quick and easy to use. You simply send an e-mail with an attached text document to RoboBraille. Shortly after, you will receive the document back from RoboBraille in the specified format – an audio file, for example. It is free for non-commercial users to use RoboBraille. (Click to read: frontpage)

Lars travels around the world to share his knowledge and opinion, and to propose solutions to important problems such as the following:

  • How do we support integration and inclusion in mainstream society as a viable alternative to segregation in special schools?
  • How do we ensure that educational materials are accessible to people who are blind or have a reading disability?
  • How can we take advantage of emerging technologies to provide equal opportunities in education and employment for those with special needs?

(To read more on Lars, click: lars-ballieu-christensen)

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ASP_Undisputed Champion of the Rights of PWDs

November 13, 2009

As member—a proud member— of the Autism Society Philippines family, I want the world to know how people look at and look up to ASP, acknowledged by an equally inspiring and a model woman of strength, Ms. Geraldine Ruiz, Executive Director of National Council for Disability Affairs. Here’s her message:

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

Once again, Autism Society Philippines spreads its wings as the undisputed champions of the rights of persons with disabilities, most specifically, children with autism. ASP has proven, time and again, that indeed, there are no borders to the love and support parents can give to their children with disabilities.

ASP has succeeded, time and again, in training the eyes of the world to look with more openness and positivity – at the person and not at the spectrum that envelopes him.

IMGA0617This conference, Autism Beyond Boarders (Where Hope Prevails), the 11th National Conference and the 1st Southeast Asian Conference on Autism, digs even deeper into the recognition of the disability sector. Persons with autism have inherent human rights; that we, from government and from civil society, are obligated to respect, protect and fulfill.

IMGA0584A candid shot of our DAISY [Digital Accessible Information SYstem] trainors, Mr. Hiroshi Kawamura (center), one of the speakers and Mayu Hamada (right)

For the past two decades, ASP has covered so much ground in its mission to reach out, touch and change lives for the better. There are truly no borders to growth and achievement if one wills it.

Have faith and keep the fire of vigilance burning. Take courage and continue the legacy of teamwork and creativity going. NCDA, as a partner in the disability agenda, is behind you every step of the way.

Congratulations to the whole ASP family, most especially to our children with autism. More power and may God bless us all!
For the source of this message, click below:
keep-fire-burning.html
To know about the up-coming activity of persons with autism sharing limelight with Lea Salonga, click below:
echoes-of-dreams.html
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DAISY Symposium on Community based Inclusive Information

February 3, 2009

Lailani “Bing” David leaves today for Kyoto, Japan to attend the International Symposium on Community based Inclusive Information Support for Persons With Disabilities to be held on February 6-7. Bing was invited by Hiroshi Kawamura, President of DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) Consortium. Bing who represents the Autism Society Philippines will give a talk on “Social Story in DAISY Format for Children with Autism” on the second day of the symposium.

There were five of us who earlier trained from the Autism Society Philippines last year with the aim of learning how to produce Digital Talking Books (DTB) for persons with autism. The five other trainees were from the blind sector. The training was sponsored by DAISY for All Project organized by the Philippine DAISY Network (PDN) and supported by Nippon Foundation and DAISY Consortium. That was my first encounter with DTB. Trying to understand the workings of HTML with all those spans, and tags made me idiotic than ever. Kawamura san, assisted by Mayu Hamada and our Philippine DAISY trainors handled the workshop last year from February 18-22, 2008.

However, that five-day workshop seemed useless (that’s  my personal opinion because of my difficulty to learn the technical stuff) when we were later introduced some months later to Dolphin Publisher which gives the same result but faster. Mayu came here to teach us on its use. As a film editor, it is comparatively very, very simple from what I do. But just like in learning any skill we must put into practice what we have learned. So Bing, Jimbo Albano and I (the other trainees from ASP were Dang Koe, ASP President and Alfred Contreras, ASP BOT member) finally agreed to work on the “tsunami” project as part of the disaster-preparedness materials required of us. The way we see it however is that the general public, not just the low vision and persons with autism will benefit from what we are doing.

daisy-planting2

Anyway, we started working on the tsunami project after our second training from Mayu. Our last meet was last week with the purpose of completing the project for Bing to bring to Japan. Since the three of us,  could only meet but once during the week and when only all of us are free, “quorum” was a bit of a problem. In the early stage of our work, we had Jed with us, an adult with autism who is very good with computer (he did trouble shoot for us a couple of times before). Later, he worked on his own on a less complicated DTB. The tsunami work we decided to work on was long and the presence of five characters made it a little more complicated than what we used to do. As there are some technicalities which we could not execute, Bing texted me to say that she will just bring our working file. Anyway, having met the technical problems hands-on and since we have lots of questions re DAISY possibilities, I am sure Bing will be very occupied and will come back with lots of notes for us. Work and enjoy, labor with love are the key to our smooth team work.