Visually challenged students wanting to pursue a five-year degree course in physiotherapy now have an option to use a ‘talking’ electrotherapy machine.
On Thursday, the Xavier’s Resource Centre for Visually Challenged (XRCVC) unveiled the talking electrotherapy machine called the IFT-Pro.
The IFT-Pro machine, which provides a combination of four therapies dealing with treatments for paralysis, pain relief or re-education of weak muscles, has been in the market for four years.
The Centre has added the speech component to the equipment at no extra cost.
When switched on, the machine gives an audio output that reads out information flashed on the display screen and provides audio instructions.
“The advent of digital technology has made the machine more complex. Thus there was a need to make the machine accessible,” said Dr Homiyar Mobedji, a visually challenged physiotherapist, who has been practising for 26 years.
There are 150 visually challenged physiotherapy practitioners in India and about 15 students graduating from various courses every year.
“The absence of an accessible therapy machine made visually challenged students pursuing physiotherapy opt for diploma and certificate course. Adding the speech component would turn the profession into a successful career opportunity for these students,” said professor Sam Taraporevala, head, XRCVC.
The Centre also launched a prototype of the Short Wave Diathermy machine, a high-frequency machine used to give deep-tissue heating. Till now, tuning the machine was difficult and visually challenged practitioners had to work with knobs to see the deflection of the meter after turning on the machine.
The Centre has incorporated audio-visual aid in the machine.
“A person with low vision can see the bright LED light which will glow when the machine is switched on. Those who are completely blind can rely on the audio track of the machine,” said Mobedji.