Inclusive learning content development
Lalitpur | December 2021:
OLE Nepal is working together with UNICEF and KDDI Foundation, Japan on a project with the aim to reduce disparities that children with disabilities are facing with their learning, particularly in this COVID-19 context where their physical access to schools and learning environments is greatly reduced. Under this project, OLE Nepal is developing digital learning resources for children with visual and hearing impairments.
OLE Nepal has a collection of freely accessible interactive digital learning materials activities, also known as E-Paath, that are based on the national curriculum. They are subject-specific and grade-specific content. For the Nepali Sign Language (NSL) accessibility features in the interactive digital lessons (E-Paath), we have completed embedding NSL videos right beside the main activity box on the activity page of the lesson for grades 1 to 6 Nepali, English, science, and math subjects. Our team of NSL interpreters completed producing the videos for sign language instruction, which were then edited into the required format with the correct markers for them to be individually added to the corresponding text and dialogues by software programmers. Our team has completed the NSL videos integration for the selected 288 digital lessons.
These lessons are currently under-going functionality testing. Additionally, our team has conducted user-testing of the NSL-integrated digital content with the students at two different events. Testing was conducted with small groups of students from different grades from Helping Hands for the Deaf Hostel in Gairidhara, Kathmandu on December 3, 2021, and Adarsha Saula Yubak Secondary School in Bungmati, Lalitpur on December 8, 2021. These testing sessions provided our team with valuable insight into the effectiveness of the contents.
Our team has completed the conversion of 27 school textbooks that are published by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and these are being tested by the Accessibility advisor, content expert and the user of accessible books. We have hired two individuals for user-level testing of the accessible books created under this project, as accessibility-feature users reviewing the accessible books allows our project team to get valuable feedback that they can incorporate to these books, as well as a broader perspective on the contents, their use and relevancy. Additionally, our digital library team is working on making changes to E-Pustakalaya to make it accessible to learners with visual impairments. They are addressing the issues on the digital library to meet the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. User-testing on a new accessible books section in E-Pustakalaya is ongoing at the moment.
The next steps in this project include selecting pilot schools for pre-testing the contents developed under this project. The schools will be equipped with computers and digital library servers, followed by training of the teachers, so that they can integrate these newly developed digital lessons and accessible books in their classrooms.