Alibaba Takes Part in Launch of Public Welfare Plan for Visually Impaired

At the 17th China Information Accessibility Forum held on July 28, Alibaba, China Braille Library and Zhejiang University jointly launched the “Light Reading Plan 2.0,” which will help visually impaired groups to better enjoy cultural services.

At present, there are more than 17 million visually impaired people in China. In December 2020, the three parties jointly released the “Light Reading Plan,” which includes donating smart speakers Tmall Genie to visually impaired people, launching barrier-free theaters on video platform Youku, and exporting optical character recognition technology. After one and a half years, the three parties have now jointly launched the 2.0 version of the plan.

China Braille Library is an important institution for the government to provide public cultural services for blind people. Alibaba Cloud will provide storage and computing resources free of charge for the cultural resources in the library, such as audiobooks, e-books and barrier-free movies, so as to facilitate the online use of visually impaired people.

Given the inconvenience of visually impaired people borrowing and returning physical books designed for them, Cainiao Network, a logistics platform owned by Alibaba, provides free door-to-door delivery service and realizes barrier-free ordering through advanced technology.

The Light Reading Plan 2.0 will also promote the inclusive application of digital technology among visually impaired groups. The blind aid team of Innovation Software Technology Development Center of Zhejiang University joined hands with Alibaba‘s DAMO Academy to make a great breakthrough in braille translation with the help of digital technologies such as braille recognition, braille formula recognition and braille table recognition. They also developed an intelligent auxiliary system for braille teaching, which can translate braille text into Chinese to improve the efficiency of exam paper designing and marking.

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In addition, Alibaba will work with Zhejiang University to promote the wide use of barrier-free compliance testing systems for apps in the internet industry. This system combines artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, cloud-edge synergy and other technologies, which can automatically detect mobile applications’ barrier-free level with high accuracy.