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Caritas steps up work for disabled

Publishes new Braille software ahead of national Disabled Persons' Day rally

Caritas steps up work for disabled
The new translation program, reporter, Seoul

April 7, 2011

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A newly developed Braille translation program will offer to the the visually handicapped easier access to information. The program, Hasang-Braille, was developed by Caritas Seoul's Hasang Rehabilitation Center (HRC), automatically edits MS Word documents into Braille and helps publish Braille books. Pio Kim Ho-sik, director of HRC, said, “the existing Braille translation programs were inconvenient because of lack of accuracy, and we had to separately use a translation program and an editing program when we made the books. But the new program can translate and edit at the same time, he stressed, and convert Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese languages including special characters into Braille. Anyone will soon be able to download it from after creating a free account. Caritas Seoul will hold a festival on April 16 to mark national Disabled Persons' Day, in which some 600 Catholic disabled people will volunteer to guide liturgy for other people. The Caritas officials said disabled people will play a key role in managing this event, which would improve their self-esteem. During the event, there will be also a Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man of Seoul and a cultural performance conducted by disabled and non-disabled people. The episcopal vicar for social ministry of Seoul archdiocese noted that public awareness for the disabled should be better, asking the Church to take the lead in building the society without discrimination. In his message to mark Disabled Persons' Day which falls on April 20, Father Joseph Kim Yong-tae deplored most of the disabled get hurt by discrimination in society. Father Kim said 35 percent of disabled people in the country feel "always or often discriminated against because of our handicap." According to the Ministry of Employment and Labour, Korea had 2,429,000 registered disabled people in 2009. Father Kim said a healthy society is the one where the disabled and the non-disabled mingle together, give mutual help and share love with each other, asking the Church to take the lead in building such society. When their existence and role are respected in society, disabled people would shrug off discrimination and loneliness, he noted. KO13896.1648
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