With the establishment of a ‘deaf and mute section’ as announced by the state government at a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh, Trichy central library will turn inclusive by catering to almost all sections of people. With a footfall of over 1,000 people daily, the library has exclusive facilities for the visually challenged, children, youth, elderly and women. It also offers free coaching for competitive examination for aspirants apart from conducting competitions for children regularly.
The state government had on Wednesday announced Rs 1.5 lakh each to the district central libraries to establish deaf and mute section. Abdul Jaffer, a PG assistant at a government school and regular user of the library, said that that learning is equally challenging for the deaf and mute like the visually challenged. “In fact, deaf and mute people find it difficult to pass in schools than the visually challenged,” he said adding that usage of sign language dictionary will help them in concept development thereby improving their understanding. According to a senior official from the school education department, libraries will get sign language dictionary and tablet PC so that content could be fetched from internet based on their requirement.
A branch library in Tiruvottiyur is perhaps the only library in the state to have a separate deaf and mute section in the state. “So far, we have been focusing on visually challenged and this new announcement will help us focus on deaf and mute people and their needs,” said A P Sivakumar, district library officer, “We may not succeed if we work with conventional ideas and logic. Therefore, it should be developed as a resource centre,” he said.
Only three libraries in the state — Anna centenary library, central library in Coimbatore and Trichy — have facilities for visually challenged. Close to 150 visually challenged people even from neighbouring districts are making use of audio and braille section of the library. They can access a database of over 3,000 audio books apart from Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) and Bookshare, from which they can now explore books across the whole world.