Yajat Gupta’s podcast SOAR seeks to make reading accessible to visually impaired people
15-year-old Indian American student Yajat Gupta has launched a podcast called SOAR or Spread of Active Reading. As part of this Yajat wants visually impaired people around the world to enjoy reading.
Yajat Gupta’s earliest childhood memories are of his mom reading stories to him. She would read out as many as 20 stories a day! It’s a habit that has translated into a deep love for reading.
Now as a 15-year-old, 9th grade student in Pennsylvania, United States, Yajat seeks to bring this joy to people around the world through SOAR. A podcast project SOAR stands for Spread of Active Reading.
SOAR or the Spread of Active reading is a podcast project that produces audible book trailers and adverts for the blind and those with impaired sight and anybody who is interested or wants to become interested or is ready to try to become interested, in reading. The idea is to offer recordings which act as trailers to books, like trailers for movies. These book trailers enthral listeners and put seeds of curiosity into their minds, giving them the appeal to read books. – Yajat Gupta, Founder, Spread of Active Reading
SOAR available on many podcast platforms
Making the content accessible to people with vision impairments is something close to Yajat’s heart.
“While reading, I imagine myself in the same situation the characters are in”, says Yajat. “I picture every detail and it is a magical experience.” Thanks to technology everyone can experience this magic. “I wanted to make sure that people who are visually impaired also develop an interest in reading. They are unable to see but if they could picture new settings, characters, and more in their imaginations, they could experience a new world of wonder”.
Enabling an equal world
Yajat is not disabled but his desire to reach out to the disabled community comes from personal experience. “I have seen the unfair way that people with disabilities are treated and the one thing I do is to put myself in the shoes of another person and look at things from his/her perspective. No one should miss out on anything, simply because they are different”.
Yajat’s family has been a major source of support in SOAR, especially his mom and aunt. He took a lot of feedback before fine tuning the podcast. The background music for SOAR was recorded by Yajat along with his friends. So far, he has completed 20 episodes, alongside doing his schoolwork and other interest which is some pretty awesome commitment for a boy his age!
Watch in Sign Language
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