Computer studies for the visually impaired overcomes barriers

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Eight years ago, after an explosion in an experiment post-graduate student ZhangYa-hui (張雅惠) lost her sight. In the past, she had always envied peers whowere fluent in English and so set her mind on mastering this foreign language,listening to English radio broadcasts and reading magazines. The accidentnot only took away her sight, but it seemed as though any kind of knowledgelearning was incredibly useless; she was even unable to use a computer. Ya-hui’s English learning was forcibly interrupted, but with her indomitable spirit,she found her way to Taiwan Digital Talking Books Association (TDTB (台灣數位有聲書推展學會)). It was at TDTB that she learned how to operate screenreader software enabling her to once more listen to educational English programs,realizing a blind persons dream of having ‘information equality’.

Founded in January 2004, TDTB was established to build confidence and openwindows of opportunity for visually impaired people through providing computerskills training. This has given rise to a new era of information equality, where visuallyimpaired people have access to information, enabling them to interact with others andin turn build self-worth. In view of the inconvenience of traditional audiotapes for thevisually impaired, in 1996 talking book libraries from advanced countries in the Westestablished the DAISY Consortium (DAISY聯盟), dedicated to leading the worldwidetransition from analog to Digital Talking Books. In the developed DAISY system,computers can automatically read articles according to chapter or title through thesimple use of the TAB key or arrow keys on a computer, providing visually impairedlearners an extremely efficient tool. At present, there are over a hundred visuallyimpaired people studying the system, many of whom were introduce by fellowsufferers and similarly felt greatly inconvenienced by the current Internet system.

TDTB and the Ministry of the Interior have cooperated to raise ‘ Free on Web’ (無礙自由行), which is currently touring northerly professional training colleges, andin the future will also be extended to schools in central and southern areas. Free onWeb hopes to educate up-and-coming experts in the field of web design to begin tounderstand the obstacles encountered by the visually impaired. In the future, whenthis group of web experts enters society they will hopefully pay attention to the needsof the visually impaired. Only then can each of us be free to roam the Internet, therealm of endless information, with true ‘information equality’.

by 輔大生命力新聞

Computer studies for the visually impaired overcomes barriers (by CJ newstory)
URL: http://www.peopo.org/news/103673

 

(以下是中文對照)

中途視障電腦學習 閱讀無障礙

研究生張雅惠八年前因為實驗爆炸意外失明,以前的她因羨慕同儕有著一口流利的英文,便獨立靠著聽廣播、看英語雜誌努力學習,意外發生後不幸失去視覺,所有的知識學習都顯得毫無效率,連電腦也無法使用,英語的學習被迫中斷,但是憑著一股不放棄的精神,她到台灣數位有聲書推展學會學習盲用電腦,利用螢幕報讀軟體上網找到所需的資料,更能自主收聽英語教學課程,一圓盲人世界裡資訊平等的夢。

台灣數位有聲書推展學會積極幫助中途視障者學習電腦,重建自信,為他們開啟另一扇窗,建立一個真正資訊平等的時代。成立於二○○四年一月,有聲書推展學會主要在幫助視障者學習電腦使用技巧並建立無障礙網頁。藉由電腦的學習,中途視障者可以獲得資訊,並能與他人互動,建立自我價值。有鑑於傳統錄音帶對於視障者使用上的不便,一九九六年在歐美幾個先進國家的有聲書圖書館發起成立 DAISY聯盟,視障者只需使用TAB鍵或方向鍵,電腦會自動導讀文章,可依照章節、標題,有效率地找到要閱讀的篇章。目前學會中共有一百多名盲胞學員,多為病友介紹。

有感於視障者使用網頁的不便,台灣數位有聲書推展學會與內政部合作,舉辦「無礙自由行」的推展活動,將到各大專院校演講,未來也會擴及中南部學校,使更多擁有網頁設計專長的明眼人,能理解視障者在使用網頁時所遇到的障礙,將來發揮所長時也能顧及到這群需要關懷的朋友,讓人人皆能自由地徜徉在網際網路這片無盡的資訊中,達到真正的「資訊平等」。

 

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