Asia-Pacific Jun 22, 2012
HEFEI: The first encyclopedic dictionary for the country’s 20 million people who are deaf and hard of hearing was published early June, Xinhua news agency reported.
The 200,000-word reference book embodies more than 1,000 entries on medicine, education, psychology, sociology, rehabilitation, linguistics, law, history and culture concerning the life of people who are deaf.
The book was compiled by a disabled couple living in east Anhui province’s capital Hefei.
“We first collected and sorted out relevant material by ourselves before consulting a number of experts across the country and invited them to make revisions to the book,” said compiler Shi Li, a deaf woman who serves as deputy head of the provincial association of people who are deaf.
The exhaustive work priced at 78 yuan (US$12) took Shi and husband Cui Jiping six years and cost more than a million yuan to compile.
”(Before reading the book,) I never imagined that there were records about the culture of deaf people dating back as early as the Warring States period (475 B.C. to 221 B.C.), and there were laws specially made to protect our rights,” said Wang Hongqing, a deaf man in his 50s.
“The book shows that we’re not alone, since it presents so many exchanges between people who are deaf across the world,” Wang said.
Shi said the idea to publish an encyclopedia for people who are deaf had long fermented in her mind.
“Many deaf people I met during my work has raised the question: ‘Where can I find information about my condition?’ Some experts have mentioned the necessity of having a comprehensive book on the issue,” she said.
The compiling of the book was funded by the couple’s company that specialises in auxiliary facilities for persons with disabilities.
In the past five years, the technology company — whose 70 percent of employees are disabled — has manufactured and sold dozens of products such as a wireless doorbell alerting system for people who are deaf.
Cui said the company is working on developing a global network that will allow persons with disabilities to fully enjoy information and video services.
“In the next step, I’ve planned to open a museum for people who are deaf,” he said.