Movies go 'barrier-free' in Shanghai
Updated: 2018-02-12


Zhang Minquan, a voluntary announcer, narrates for visually impaired people. [Photo by Fang Zhe/Xinhua]

Movies are usually connected with pleasant feelings and audio-visual enjoyment.

But for visually impaired people, their movies are more like cassette tapes designed without elaborately-prepared scenes and breath-taking special effects.

To help these people get immersed in the movies, a group of Shanghai residents teamed up, with most of them being college students, white collars, veteran teachers, lawyers, civil servants and radio hosts, and tried their own way to re-present the movies.

Han Ying, who herself also has visual disabilities, is the "soul" of the team. Her team has been dedicated to reproducing barrier-free movies for years.

Han's working process – from paraphrasing the story, recording it, and "seamlessly" embedding it to the original plot – requires a lot of time, effort and professional skills.

With the help of local disabled persons' federation, Han set up her own studio in 2016. Besides giving on-site narrations at local cinemas once every month, Han is also busy preparing for a special set-top box which can help visually impaired people have more barrier-free pictures.


Qu Dapeng (L), an experienced narrator, gives directions to Zhang Minquan, a first-time announcer. [Photo by Fang Zhe/Xinhua]


Han Ying (R) walks with her guide dog An'an. Han has visual disabilities but has been dedicated to reproducing barrier-free movies for years. [Photo by Fang Zhe/Xinhua]


Han Ying checks a screening venue for barrier-free movies. [Photo by Fang Zhe/Xinhua]

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