Project - 語言看世界

1.     Background

According to statistics provided by PRC Government, there are around 17 million people with visual impairment in China. And there are only 139 blind schools to provide basic education to students with visual impairment, and a few of which are offering senior secondary level of education. In fact, only Chang Chun University is willing to provide limited places for blind students to receive tertiary education. In this context, most blind people in China can only enjoy Hobson’s choice but massage as their life career. Despite vast potentials and different talents of individuals, they have difficulty attempting other working fields and fully participating in the community as a full member of citizenship.

Besides, to face up with knowledge-based economy and globalisation, people with a disability are required to develop a global perspective and enhance their competitive edge to stay competitive in the open market. To do so, it is necessary to prevent them from being marginalised in the information society and enable them to enjoy the benefits and convenience brought about by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The best way to do is to empower them to leverage ICT and international language like English to achieve daily living and widen their vision. Enhancing one’s proficiency in English and ICT applications will definitely help the vulnerable groups to be self-reliant and live a more quality of life.

In this connection, this project puts much emphasis on acquiring practical skills on English from elementary to advanced level and equipping them with necessary ICT skills, particularly on application of adaptive devices and Internet-based applications. And the expected outcome for the project is to enable the blind to develop a global perspective and enhance their life enrichment.

To this end, we have sourced an interactive Teach and Learn English System that complies with international accessibility standard. It means that the system can be easily accessible by people with/without a disability, particularly for the blind. The system developed by Frasertec LTD has undergone a user test by the blind in Hong Kong and students with visual impairment in Guangzhou and Qingdao. A Press Conference on the Teach and Learn English System cum live demo was held on 16 November 2008 in Qingdao. Both teachers from different blind school all over China and blind students were popular with the system. They all found the system useful and effective. The system is effective and user-friendly, and most importantly easy to manage both by teachers and students. It can be Internet- or Intranet-based. It fully complies with the concept of any time, anywhere, expandability and scalability according to actual needs.  

2.    Objectives

As described above, the project would like to achieve the followings:

2.1 to promote social integration and equal participation for the blind;
2.2 to enhance life enrichment of the blind;
2.3 to enhance life chances of the blind;
2.4 to help the blind live a life with vision and enjoy better choice in life process; and
2.5 to better integrate into community by way of building up ICT capabilities and mastering a good command of English via an effective interactive Teach and Learn English System.

3.    Implementation

With these objectives in mind, we plan to launch the project in Beijing first and extend the campaign to those blind schools which are ready for adopting the facilities to upgrade their education capabilities and benefit their blind students. As such, the first phase for the captioned project will cover ten blind schools in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Tai An, Nanjing, Chang Chun, Nanning, Guizhou, etc. It is projected to benefit 1,000 blind students. It is tentatively scheduled to launch the first phase of 語言看世界工程 in Beijing on or before March 2009. It is planned to donate the System respectively to Beijing Blind school and Beijing United University and to invite senior officials from the China Disabled Persons Federation to officiate the 語言看世界工程 暨捐贈儀式. Blind students from Guangzhou and Qingdao blind schools will be invited to conduct live demo at the Launching Ceremony.

After accumulating practical experience, the program will be extended to serve more people including those with physical handicap in China.

We shall help each participating organization/school install the Teach and Learn English System and provide 2-day training to ensure the readiness of human ware for internal long-term maintenance and full utilisation of the system.

4.    Deliverables

Under the Campaign, we shall solicit public support to finance the project and make donations to acquire the language system and required adaptive devices for the first ten blind schools in China. Developer will help install the hardware and software. 2-day training workshop will also be provided. Besides, a serviced centre is planned to set up in China in order to provide a quality of service and responsive customer service whenever necessary.

5.    Budget

To implement the captioned project, the estimated budget is around HK$400,000.00. The breakdown includes $35,000 per 語言看世界系統, expenses incurred for  the Launching Ceremony in Beijing, and travelling cost for blind students.