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05.03.2007

The Ukrainian Society for the Blind says that people with impaired vision cannot receive quality information

   

Contemporary literary works are, according to legislation, to be taped on out-of-date audio tapes. Compact disks where the sound is much better are many times more expensive, meaning that they are out of the reach of most blind people.

Despite advances in technology, with special programs available in other countries, Ukraine continues to have material for people with impaired vision using obsolete technology.

Yury Vishnyakov, Director of the Central Library for the Blind, says that the computer programs available are not at all difficult to use, and they provide people not only with high performance recordings, but also the opportunity to regulate the speech, etc, and even correct a wrongly placed stress.

Such programs are not so very expensive, but Mr Vishnyakov says that blind people living only on a pension cannot afford them.

Last year 12 disks were produced with the works of contemporary Ukrainian writers, among them Yury Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan and Iren Rozdobudko. The recordings were made by actors, and occasionally even the authors themselves. The price however means that these are not available to most blind people.

Writers themselves have come out in support of blind people’s rights. Lyubko Deresh calls for improvements to Ukrainian legislation and for people with impaired vision to be able to read contemporary Ukrainian prose. One of his books was produced last year on disk however he acknowledges that few blind people could afford the price of 15 dollars. 

The Department of Intellectual Property say that in the near future all the legal nuances for taping books will be resolved. Until then, however, blind Ukrainians will be forced to either buy expensive disks or listen to audio material only on old bobbin recorders.
(abridged)

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