Saturday, August 02, 2008

Olympic kits provided to visually impaired children

A charity has come up with an idea to enable blind and visually-impaired children to share some of the drama of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

Living Paintings, in Newbury, Berkshire, is producing a pack that uses sound and touch to bring the Games to life.

They include raised images of scenes ranging from hurdlers to show-jumpers.

Paddy Elliott-Walker, who is partially-sighted, said they helped him visualise what the Games would be like.

"Say there's a sport I don't know much about, they help me to imagine what that sport's going to be like," he said.

Opening ceremonies

He added: "I can tell what sport the person's doing by looking at these pictures."

The kits also include audio information about different Olympic and Paralympic sports, the history of both Games as well as personal recordings by athletes taking part.

Camilla Oldland, the charity's director, said: "How does a visually-impaired child or a blind child know what these images are - the opening ceremonies, the Olympic torch, what does it look like to see a hurdler?

"So we went away and we thought 'right, we're going to do something about this, we're going to help them be part of this'."

The Olympic Games start in Beijing in nine days' time and the Paralympics start on 6 September.


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