China to offer braille test papers after student lawsuit
Asia-Pacific, May 19 2017
BEIJING: Braille test papers will be provided to students with vision disabilities for the first time as part of this summer’s College English Test 4 in June, National Education Examinations Authority said.
Xiao Qian (alias), a female student at the Special Education College of Changchun University, could not take the CET-4 last September because she is blind. After her application to use a braille alphabet test was rejected once more in March, she filed a lawsuit against the local education authority this month.
She urged the authority to make it more convenient for students with vision disabilities to take the test. Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court accepted the case.
The education authority has tried to accommodate candidates with vision disabilities in the past, said an official, adding that efforts include exempting listening tests for people with hearing disabilities and providing big-character versions for those with poor eyesight. Last December, 18 test takers with poor eyesight used big-character version papers in the English test.
But producing braille tests is a complicated and professional process that needs more research and time to prepare, it was noted. This year, in cooperation with China Disabled Persons’ Federation, the authority is preparing to offer tests in braille.