ˇ@ˇ@The success of developing braille computer in advanced Western countries makes it possible for visually impaired people to learn computer. With the assistance of braille computer and proper educational training, visually impaired people can surf the Internet in a barrier-free computer environment, enter an informationized society, apply what they learned to studying, living and career, and reach the goal of “adequate learning, personalized development”. Based on this, in 1989 our Ministry of Education set up the “Chinese Braille Computer Development Research Group” as a branch of the “Visually Impaired Braille Research Group” to implement the localization of braille computer and catch up Western countries. The research of localizing the braille computer into Chinese needs cross-border cooperation. Knowing the learning features of visually impaired people and having professional computer skills are important elements to play the role of communication and implement. Guided by the policy of the Ministry of Education, the Founder of Tamkang University, Dr. Clement C.P. Chang, who held the belief of “No Child Left Behind,” firstly accepted visually impaired students majoring in Chinese Literature in 1969. In everyone’s effort, Tamkang University has remarkable achievement on both computerized education and visually impaired education and was supported and funded by the Ministry of Education to actively develop braille computer and visually impaired services.

ˇ@ˇ@After more than ten year’s effort, these achievements ranged from the hardware design of the Braille Touch Screen, to the human-computer interface improvement of the Intelligent Sound Synthesizer, to the software design of the Instant Chinese Braille Two-Way Translator and the Book-without-Words Input Method, and to the promotion of the applications of Braille Computer Training, Construction and Maintenance of the Website for the Visually Impaired, and Maintenance Counseling Service. Visually impaired people now generally own braille computers and related devices and can read and write using the braille computers. They can surf the Internet to access information needed, break through the visual barrier, activate the informatization of visually impaired education and opportunities of employment, set a foundation for themselves to enter an informationized society, and finally reach the goal of informatization of visually impaired education. Center of Resources for the Visually Impaired holds the spirit of the Founder’s unprecedented step and also believes that visually impaired students have unlimited potential. By offering opportunities and proper assistance and counseling, Center of Resources for the Visually Impaired enables visually impaired people to live out the goal of self-reliance and independence. With the support and dedication of all the staff, teachers and students, Tamkang University builds a social image of caring minority groups, serving visually impaired people, and leading the promotion of informatization of visually impaired education. However, visually impaired people receiving a higher education still need career to demonstrate their potential and self-reliance, and career counseling for disabled people is a challenging mission, especially for visually impaired individuals. The staff of Resource Center for the Visually Impaired are willing to take challenges, reinforce professional skills and expand our services base on the current foundation. Our goals are:

  • Work on projects from governmental departments and increase employment opportunities for severe disabilities (visually impaired), such as setting up the Braille Book Center, the Center of Visually Impaired Learning Devices, and the Center of Assistive Information Technology Devices.
  • Improve the function of counseling and assistive devices and open employment opportunities in conjunction with departments of Tamkang University.
  • Increase international cooperation, bring in visually impaired education and vocational rehabilitation experiences from Western countries and Japan, raise professional skills of visually impaired service, strive to host the international conference of “Education and Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired,” open related professional skill workshops, and invite expert speakers from the U.S. and Japan.

ˇ@ˇ@By integrating the government and civilian resources, Tamkang University will promote our experiences of the informatization of visually impaired education and counseling to schools of visually impaired in China to raise their visually impaired education level.