[IAEP] Kurzweil in Wine?

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 18:05:47 EST 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:18, James Simmons <nicestep at gmail.com> wrote:
> Caroline,
> The book I'm writing at Floss Manuals has a chapter on adding Text to
> Speech to Activities.  It isn't difficult at all.
> We had a college student who was interested in doing something to make
> TTS a built in feature of Sugar.  The idea we came up with was you
> could copy text from any Activity that supported copying text to the
> clipboard and the new code would display the text in the clipboard in
> a window and speak it with highlighting.  Nothing came of this.

Yes, I suggested that. It is an essential part of my suggestion for
literacy training on the XO, based on Same Language Subtitling of
Bollywood musicals.


Here is a resource for you.

Recently, the Google Foundation awarded PlanetRead a grant to increase
the number of SLS programs available, and Google is also supporting
PlanetRead with free advertising through the Google Grants program and
content hosting on Google Video.

When a billion people are illiterate (two-thirds of them women), and
nearly half of the world lives on less than $2 a day, we believe it is
important to examine the link between literacy and poverty. We are
excited by the prospect of helping not hundreds, but millions, of
people gain access to regular reading practice and improve literacy
where it is needed most by supporting organizations like PlanetRead. -
Google.org team

Posted by Dr. Brij Kothari, President, PlanetRead

My organization, PlanetRead, works in Mumbai and Pondicherry, India.
We have developed a “Same-Language Subtitling” (SLS) methodology,
which provides automatic reading practice to individuals who are
excluded from the traditional educational system, or whose literacy
needs are otherwise not being met. This is an educational program
rooted in mass media that demonstrates how a specific literacy
intervention can yield outstanding, measurable results, while
complementing other formal and non-formal learning initiatives of the
government, private sector, and civil society. We are fortunate to
have just been selected as a Google Foundation grantee.

More than 500 million people in India have access to TV and 40 percent
of these viewers have low literacy skills and are poor. Through
PlanetRead’s approach, over 200 million early-literates in India are
getting weekly reading practice from Same Language Subtitling (SLS)
using TV. The cost of SLS? Every U.S. dollar covers regular reading
for 10,000 people – for a year.

I hit upon this idea in 1996 through a most ordinary personal
experience. While taking a break from dissertation writing at Cornell
University, I was watching a Spanish film with friends to improve my
Spanish. The Spanish movie had English subtitles, and I remember
commenting that I wished it came with Spanish subtitles, if only to
help us grasp the Spanish dialogue better. I then thought, ‘And if
they just put Hindi subtitles on Bollywood songs in Hindi, India would
become literate.’ That idea became an obsession. It was so simple,
intuitively obvious, and scalable in its potential to help hundreds of
millions of people read -- not just in India, but globally.

> James Simmons
>> Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 18:03:17 -0500
>> From: Caroline Meeks <caroline at solutiongrove.com>
>> Subject: [IAEP] Kurzweil in Wine?
>> To: iaep <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>> Message-ID:
>>        <b74fba2b1002171503n2ca6eed1qa04c18080074e0da at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>> I've noticed that many of the Special Education teachers are
>> very innovative and interested in Sugar.
>> I've seen a great deal of interest in Text to Speech.
>> Students with severe enough disabilities to qualify get Kurzweil, but it
>> costs $1000 for a one seat licence!
>> http://www.kurzweiledu.com/default.aspx
>> More kids could benefit from text to speech then get it and with Sugar they
>> could afford to give it to everyone.  The potential issue is we probably
>> can't match all of Kruzweil's features and it could be a problem if the
>> students with severe disabilities aren't getting as good a product.
>> I'm curious if anyone has played with Wine on Sugar and how well it would
>> work to let some kids still have access to Kurzweil even when using Sugar?
>> Also does anyone know what they are using in Uruguay with
>> vision impaired students?
>> Thanks,
>> Caroline
>> --
>> Caroline Meeks
>> Solution Grove
>> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
>> 617-500-3488 - Office
>> 505-213-3268 - Fax
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Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.

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