Volunteers create barrier-free films for visually and hearing impaired

Updated 2017-10-26 13:31:55 chinadaily.com.cn

Volunteers from the School of Journalism and Communication at Heilongjiang University have created 13 barrier-free movies for more than 1,000 visually and hearing impaired since May 20, 2016.

The barrier-free movie describes all the scenes to help the visually and hearing impaired get the 'feel' of the film. They first became available in cinemas in the United States and Canada in the early 1990s.

"In some countries, there are websites that introduce barrier-free movies," said volunteer Bi Yuexin, a junior of Communication major. "There are workshops for writers of audio description, and even DVD menus are barrier free."

"When we heard about the innovative approach of bringing the experience of movies to visually and hearing impaired, our team decided to have a try," Bi told China Daily.

However, the actual operation is much more difficult than imagined.

"We need more than one month to prepare the script of a film before the narration," said Liu Yiwei, a sophomore of Communication major. "After watching the same film at least 10 times, we can tell the story in detail, including the environment, scenes, characters' psychology and their expressions."

Then the film is screened after two or three trial runs.

Some of the dialogues go like this, "A man walks up the stairs, he is wearing black."

"The rain is coming, and they all stand at the pitch and look very sad".

……

Holding a microphone, a volunteer narrates the scenes, while the audience quietly listens to the description. There are no dialogues in the movie.

"I was so happy and touched to see the movie attracting a full house of about 50 visually and hearing impaired every time we organized the activity," said Bi. "I also felt quite inspired to help them better understand the films."

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