To enhance reading resources for the visually impaired, the National Changhua Living Arts Center will launch three nationwide forums to promote digital Braille and audio books.
With support from the Ministry of Culture, the Center partnered with the Republic of China Technology Development Association for the Disabled (中華民國無障礙科技發展協會) to convert a total of 25 books - including bestsellers, literature, and art books - into digital CDs that offer Braille and audio this year.
The digital CDs will aid blind or visually impaired users in reading books by navigating with arrow keys on the keyboard. The system also offers audio in both computer and human voices.
The digital CDs will also help users to read with visual assistance technology, such as refreshable Braille display and downloadable content for mobile devices.
Such digital CDs have resolved the issue of handling thick stacks of paper used by traditional Braille books, making it ever more economical, convenient, and efficient for the visually impaired to enjoy reading.
The three forums - titled "The Story behind Food,” "Make Reading and Literature a Facet of Life,” and "Local Culture, Story, and Creation” - will respectively be held in northern, central, and southern Taiwan to help visually impaired readers meet and interact with noted authors.
In the past seven years, the National Changhua Living Art Center has selected and converted books from literary and art genres into a total of 211 digital Braille books and 67 audio books for visually impaired readers.
This year, the center will give out 2,000 CDs to interested readers. The files will also be uploaded to the website of the Chinese Library for the Visually Impaired (華文視障圖書館) to offer instant access to more than 6,000 library members at anytime.
The center hopes to empower more than 8,000 blind and visually impaired readers through the three forums, and help them to enjoy a higher quality of life through literature.