Special facilities to help disabled enjoy Paralympics

Updated: 2008-08-29 16:52


Preparations are being made to help sight- or hearing-impaired people enjoy the Paralympics.

The official Paralympics site ( has started to offer downloads of "sign language broadcasting" software that can translate audio into sign language performed by a three-dimensional image. This service is expected to help the 20 million hearing-impaired people in China enjoy the Paralympics, which run from September 6-17.

China also has more than 5 million blind people and 6 million with low vision, according to the second national survey of the disabled in 2007. These people accounted for 18 percent of the world's total visually impaired.

They will be able to "see" the Paralympics with the help of a special theater, which has been narrating movies for blind people during the past three years.

Verbal accounts of the Games, including such details as the expression of the athletes, the color of their clothes and their movements, will be available on air and online, as the Mind's Eye Theater cooperates with Beijing Radio and other websites in broadcasting the Paralympics.

Tang Xiaoquan, executive vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and president of the executive board of the China Disabled Person's Federation, told a press conference on August 24 that assisting equipment would be available to disabled people during the Games.

Special facilities will include refreshable Braille displays, which can be used by blind computer users, Braille embossers and wireless hearing aids.

To ensure disabled people's free access to information, making such services universally available in safe, convenient and efficient ways, is one goal of the Beijing Paralympics, she said.


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