Technology helps the visually impaired enter the world of books

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A series of raised dots on paper known as Braille allows the visually impaired to read books. Although it is an excellent way to learn for the visually impaired, for some people with acquired blindness and those less sensitive to touch, using tactile perception is more laborious than listening with their ears. Audiobooks provide a more accessible reading method, so volunteers at Qiming Branch of Taipei Public Library are working hard to make audiobooks more accessible. Volunteers must go through rigorous examinations, training, and a trial period before being formally allowed to release any recordings. This systematic approach aims to avoid creating misunderstanding or confusion in visually impaired people while listening to the audiobooks.

In the process of making audiobooks, volunteers must not only use clear punctuation and pronunciation but also understand how to express the contents of books effectively. But regardless of whether it is Braille books or audiobooks, volunteers require months to produce each title. Sadly, today, there is still a significant disparity in the number of books available between the visually impaired and sighted individuals, and it is even more challenging to keep up with the latest publications. However, libraries and volunteers are working hard for the visually impaired and do their best to get new books on the shelves as speedily as possible.

以下為中文對照

紙上一顆顆凸起的點,這些是讓視障者能夠閱讀的文字。然而點字書雖然是視障者的學習方式,但對於有些後天失明,或對觸覺比較不敏感的人來說,用手觸摸比用耳朵聽來得困難,因此有聲書是更簡單的閱讀方式。台北市立圖書館啟明分館裡,有許多志工正幫忙製作有聲書。為了不讓視障者在聽的時候被混淆,志工們需要經過嚴格的考試、訓練以及試用期,才能正式上線。

志工在製作有聲書的過程中,除了咬字、斷句清楚外,該如何表達書中的內容也是一大重點,而無論是點字書或是有聲書,都得花上好幾個月的時間製作。視障者跟一般明眼人的書籍量相差許多,更難以跟上最新出版的書籍,但圖書館以及志工們還是盡可能地加速書籍的上架,希望能為視障者多盡一份心力。

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