Dear Wikimedians I would like share an unusual story (unusual - especially for Indic language wiki communities) that Malayalam wiki community had faced few months back.
In the month of February 2011, I had received an SOS call from a school teacher (Satyasheelan) who is teaching at the Government School for the Blind in the Kasargod distric<http://www.webelmediatronics.in/brlads/directory_Kerala.htm>t of Kerala. Satyasheelan was seeking Malayalam wikipedian's support to fix few issues that he and his students faced with few Malayalam alphabets when they read Malayalam wikipedia using a speech synthesizing software called eSpeak <http://espeak.sourceforge.net/>. His phone call was surprise to us since Malayalam wikimedians were not aware that visually challenged people are using Malayalam wikipedia. (We were aware about the existence of a software by Santhosh (named Dhawni <http://dhvani.sourceforge.net/>) to read unicode Malayalam (and other Indic languages also) which is in its early stages of development). So Satyasheelan's call was surprising. After his phone call few Malayalam wikipedians (Junaid, Thachan Makan, and I) contacted Jonathan Duddington <http://sourceforge.net/users/jonsd>, the primary developer (?) of eSpeak, and we worked with him to fix the issues for Malayalam that Satyasheelan had pointed out. Jonathan fixed the issues pretty fast and later Satyasheelan informed us that now they are able to use Malayalam wikipedia without any issues. Later while we were planning for the 4th Malayalam wiki meetup<http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B4%B5%E0%B4%BF%E0%B4%95%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%95%E0%B4%BF%E0%B4%AA%E0%B5%80%E0%B4%A1%E0%B4%BF%E0%B4%AF:%E0%B4%B5%E0%B4%BF%E0%B4%95%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%95%E0%B4%BF_%E0%B4%AA%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%B0%E0%B4%B5%E0%B5%BC%E0%B4%A4%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%A4%E0%B4%95%E0%B4%B8%E0%B4%82%E0%B4%97%E0%B4%AE%E0%B4%82/4>(2011 July 11) at Kannur, we decided to invite Satyasheelan to conduct a session, since Malayalam wikimedians liked to hear the experience of students of Blind school (using Malayalam wikipedia). But when Satyasheelan came for the meetup we were surprised and taken aback when we learnt that Satyasheelan is also a visually challenged person. Few of the his colleagues (who are also visually challenged) also attended the meetup. Satyasheelan was accompanied by his son, Nalin. The meetup was attended by more than 80 Malayalam wikipedians. Few photos are available here<http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Malayalam_Wikimeetup_4_-_Kannur_11Jun2011>. We are happy that Bishaka, Hisham, and Tory were kind enough to join us for this meetup. There were various programs conducted as part of this meetup (the report of the meetup is available at various locations (in Malayalam)). Definitely the highlight of the meetup was the demonstration by Satyasheelaman. So this mail is about that. Malayalam wikimedian Ajay Kuyiloor took extra efforts to record Satyasheelan's session. We are sharing an edited version of this session assuming that this information will help other Indic language wiki communities. The video of Satyasheelan's session is available here: * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr1T3HeBTvU* The duration of the video is around 9 minutes. We specially thank Ajay Kuyiloor, Girish Mohan, and Jithin who worked on this video. We admit the low quality of video since we were not prepared for such a session. Inconvenience due to this is deeply regretted. Malayalam community is welcoming your comments regarding this story so that the discussion regarding this will benefit rest of the Indic wiki communities also. We are actually humbled by the fact that work we do in wikipedia is reaching out to people from all wakes of life. *NOTE:* Satyasheelan specially thanked Malayalam wikimedians for creating a special navigational template<http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B4%AB%E0%B4%B2%E0%B4%95%E0%B4%82:%E0%B4%85%E0%B4%95%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%B7%E0%B4%B0%E0%B4%AE%E0%B4%BE%E0%B4%B2%E0%B4%BE%E0%B4%B8%E0%B5%82%E0%B4%9A%E0%B4%BF%E0%B4%95_%28%E0%B4%B8%E0%B4%AE%E0%B4%97%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%B0%E0%B4%82%29>for reaching out easily to wikipedia articles. I still remember in 2008 when Malayalam wikipedia user:Sadhik Khalid <http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B4%89%E0%B4%AA%E0%B4%AF%E0%B5%8B%E0%B4%95%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%A4%E0%B4%BE%E0%B4%B5%E0%B5%8D:Sadik_Khalid>created this template, some of us had doubted the need of such a template. Our doubt was, why such a template is required when users can reach out to articles easily using serach box. Now to our surprise we understood this template is very much useful for the visually challenged people (whom we never thought about before). Video of Satyasheelan's session is available here:* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr1T3HeBTvU* Thanks Shiju Alex
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