"When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window," a
philosopher once observed. For Pan Hongqing, a blind masseuse who
won third prize at last month's national blind people’s software
and website design competition, the lack of light couldn't prevent
him from freely surfing the Internet. And he's even netted a girl
who loves him very much, according to a Changsha Evening
Post report on December 5.
The winners of the First National Blind People's Software and
Website Design Contest were announced in Beijing on November 6. The
top three were: the champion Guo Quan who designed a blind web
www.dqjy.org; the runner-up Zhu Qingyi who designed a test system
(net version) software for blind people and the second runner-up
was Pan Hongqing, who also designed a blind communication web. The
contest, with 15 competitors from 14 provinces and municipalities,
was sponsored by the Ministry of Information Industry and the China
Disabled Persons' Federation.
Although Pan's idea won an award and earned him a DELL laptop,
the web hasn't been put online. He told China.org.cn at an
information industry conference in Beijing last month that he was
improving the web and putting the final touches to it before an
Pan works in Yeahcome Hospital as a masseuse in central China's
Hunan Province. His dorm was transformed into
a very unique computer center in Changsha, where the seven to eight
computers don't have monitors. Pan teaches masseuse to his blind
students who also love computers and the Internet.
Pan showcased the web he designed, named "China Hongyu Blind
People Web" which has six columns and a chat room. By using vocal
software, Pan can easily surf the net, finding information and
news, "read" books and chat with other netizens. But he went
further to develop a website. "I just used the software to 'view'
the world through my ears," he told the newspaper.
But developing a website is harder than anything else for a
blind person. Those with sight may take just seconds to process an
image using Photoshop software. But obviously blind people can't
see and differentiate colors.
"Many web designers never considered blind people before," Pan
said. He remembered that in 2003 many webs had pictures without
notes. The vocal software can't read out the content of the images.
So he decided to design a web for the blind so they could "hear"
HTML code, which is used in website design, is very difficult
because of his blindness. So he chose to recite them and "hear"
examples from other websites. With help from others he also
resolved the color mix issue and knew what images to add even
though editing can take him hours.
His hard work won people's hearts. Since 2004 he's been the
first blind teacher for blind people's computer training at a
school in Hunan Province. In the past two years he's helped 140
blind people to learn how to surf Internet.
And what's more he's also won a girl's love! The story began in
2002 when Pan was invited onto a radio program as a special guest.
His voice attracted many admirers including a female postgraduate
from Hunan Agriculture University.
The girl phoned him, they chatted online and love blossomed. Pan
says his girlfriend is the biggest inspiration for him to go to
Beijing for the competition.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui, December 11, 2006)