Government releases Guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities

The government of India on Tuesday, June 8 released the guidelines for the development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities. Students with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mental Illness, Multiple Disabilities, and Blood Disorders will be benefitted from the e-Content.

By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Jun 08, 2021 15:51 IST
Government releases Guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities
Govt of India releases guidelines for making e-content for children with Divyang, Photo: WeCapable

The government of India has acknowledged the guidelines for the development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities. It is for the first time, an attempt is made to prepare guidelines for CwD also referred to as Children with Special Needs (CWSN) children so that the goal of inclusive education is fulfilled. The Committee has submitted a report titled “Guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities” comprising of eleven Sections and two Appendices. This report was shared, presented, discussed and accepted by the MoE.

The guidelines aim at fulfilling the goal of Inclusive Education. Students with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mental Illness, Multiple Disabilities, and Blood Disorders will be benefitted from the e-Content.

"Here are some more guidelines on developing supplementary e-content for differently-abled or divyang students," Union Education Minister RP Nishank tweeted.

Earlier, a comprehensive initiative, PM e-VIDYA was launched on 17th May 2020, with an aim to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education. The program interalia envisages the development of special e-content for the Divyang (Children with Disabilities-CwDs).  In pursuance of this vision, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education had constituted a Committee of experts, for recommending guidelines for developing e-content for these children.

The salient highlights of the e-content guidelines in the report are as follows:

  • e-Content for CwDs should be developed based on the four principles namely: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
  • e-Content including text, tables, diagrams, visuals, audios, videos, etc. should comply with accessibility standards: national standards (GIGW 2.0) and international standards (WCAG 2.1, E-Pub, DAISY, etc).
  • Distribution platforms on which content is uploaded (e.g. DIKSHA) and Reading platforms/devices on which content is accessed and interacted (e.g. e-pathshala) must comply with technical standards
  • Reasonable pedagogical accommodations have been recommended to meet the specific needs of CwDs
  • The technical standards and guidelines have been detailed out in Section 4 of the report.

The Committee has also recommended that in a phased manner textbooks may be adapted into Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs). The content of ADTs should be provided in multiple formats (text, audio, video, sign language etc) with turn-on and turn-off features. Further, ADTs should provide flexibility to CwDs to respond to its content/exercises in multiple ways. The detailed guidelines for developing ADTs along with existing international and national experience, in the development of prototypes including the recent NCERT’s experience: Barkha:A Reading Series for All (in print and digital forms),  Accessible Textbooks for All and UNICEF’s “Accessible Digital Textbooks using Universal Design for Learning ( for Learners with and without  Disabilities ) have been presented in Section 5 of the report.

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In addition to ADTs, in Sections 6 to 9 the Committee has recommended specific guidelines for the development of supplementary e-Content as per 21 disabilities specified in the RPWD Act 2016 for students having Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Multiple Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Blindness, low vision, Deafness and Hard of Hearing and others.

Note: The body content is taken from the PIB, has not much changed except the headline.