Barrier-free access for hearing and visually challenged to country’s first planned ecotourism destination
Visually challenged people reaching Thenmala, the country’s first planned ecotourism destination, will be provided with a visitor’s guide in Braille, the tactile writing system, from March.
For the aurally challenged, a video brochure with sign language has been incorporated as a separate corner in www.thenmalaecotourism.com, the official website of the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS) that manages the destination.
A mobile application, a guiding app that will briefly narrate the attractions of the destination, is also on the anvil. The 16-page Braille brochure has all information needed for a traveller.
The initiative is part of the efforts to encourage people with visual and hearing impairement to visit Thenmala.
It is also part of the barrier-free tourism project launched last year to make tourist destinations accessible to all visitors.
“This is the first time a Braille tourism brochure is being made available at a tourist destination in the State. The brochures will be provided to the visually challenged from the TEPS office,” Ecotourism Director and CEO of TEPS P.P. Pramod told
Students of Government School for the Blind, Vazhuthacaud, is behind the Braille brochure.
It is the outcome of a day trip organised for students as part of a CSR initiative. “We realised the constraints faced and requested them for solutions. The Braille brochure was the outcome,” he said. Students of Government VHSS for Deaf, Jagathy, came up with the video brochure with sign language after their visit.
For using the mobile application being launched on trial basis, the QR code will come in handy if the visitor does not have data connection. After getting the feedback, a complete version of the app will be rolled out by TEPS in IOS platform.
Along with this, Buddha Mayoori, which has been declared as the State butterfly, has got a special corner in the butterfly park.