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  • Chris McMillan

Digital tech demolishing reading barriers for visually impaired

Xinhua Headlines:

23rd April 2023

Digital tech demolishing reading barriers for visually impaired

At first glance, this place looks like any other ordinary reading room of a library, surrounded by rows of bookshelves, tables, chairs and computers.

However, upon looking closely, a few details stand out, such as the larger-sized books, aisles paved with tactile paving and table corners with grooves designed for placing white canes, making it apparent the room is designed for the visually impaired.

In east China's Zhejiang province, more than 50 libraries have set up such reading rooms for visually impaired readers.

Throughout the past two decades, librarian Fang Jie, from Zhejiang Library, has witnessed considerable progress in eliminating barriers to reading for individuals with visual disabilities.

In the provincial public library, the reading area for the visually impaired readers has been expanded from a small corner to a 300-square-meter room, equipped with computers and smart audiobook devices.

"Reading is a source of comfort for individuals with visual impairments, offering solace to their souls in the darkness," Fang, 41, said.

"Living independently and exploring the world without obstacles is the common hope of every blind person.

Digital technology is making this hope a reality," Fang added.

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