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Technology Available for the Blind to Surfs Internet

A blind man named Tong Feng, like many other Chinese, has taken on the hobby of surfing the Internet in east China's Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province.

A local media outlet reports on the 37-year-old man who suffered an illness at an early age causing blindness.

Now, with the help of a voice assistance system on his computer, he can listen to his favorite news programs, type letters, send and receive e-mails, and chat online.

With the system, when Tong Feng touches the screen with his mouse pointer, it can read the text and he is able to listen it.

At the very beginning, he spent many hours using the screen and keyboard to get him familiarized with the system. To type four Chinese characters, he had to spend almost one minute pressing keys. With more practice, he has now become comfortable using the computer.

He has acquired these skills at the first computer training class for blind people in Hangzhou, run by the city's vocational development center for the disabled. His teacher, who is also blind, hopes more websites will be designed for blind people with more software to help them to "read and see" pictures.

(CRI February 27, 2006)

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