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T.V. Raman – an eye opening personality

Image source http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net/raman/Google’s TV Raman is one eye-opener of a personality. Dr. Raman cannot see, and his occasional blog posts about features of web accessibility for the visually impaired are really useful and interesting, also for the rest of us. In his latest post on the offical Google blog, Dr. Raman tells us about how his OCRopus when teamed together with Emacspeak can help blind people read – no, not Braille, but normally written text.
Dr. Raman says

As someone who cannot see, I prefer to live in a mostly paperless world. This means ruthlessly turning every piece of paper that enters my life into a set of bits that I can process digitally. I scan in everything.

Having depended thus far on commercially available OCR software, T.V. Raman has now lauched his own open source OCR initiative, OCRopus, that turns scanned matter into html text. It has support for Emacspeak, another of Raman’s pet projects, that turns digital web text into speech.
In his last post on the Google blog, Dr. Raman told us about how he used Google search as a spell check tool for names of people and places.
According to his resume on his website, Dr. TV Raman holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, having done his BA in Mathematics from Pune University, MSc from IIT Bombay and MS from Cornell. Subsequently, he has worked for Adobe, IBM among other companies, and currently works for Google. I salute you, Dr. Raman.
I like the quote on his website

On the Internet, no one knows you aren’t a dog! Nor even if you are still the same dog!

I hope this blog post reaches Dr. Raman through a pingback on his post, which doesn’t allow comments. Dr. Raman, is anything being done at Google about accessibility of web pages in other languages, particularly ones that use other scripts? I work in Hindi on the web, and am really curious as to when we will be able to see some progress in that language.