Audio opens a new world for people with visual impairment


Students from Foshan Qicong School, a special school for students with visual, hearing or intellectual impairments, have been using audio to communicate with the world and showcase their vocal talent on LIZHI.


A big advantage of audio over other mediums is that with a pure focus on voices, audio makes all the other factors such as appearances insignificant in the context, thus giving more people the courage to come forward to share and connect with the world. This makes it the perfect channel for people with visual impairment to engage with the world.


With the help of Youth Caring Association of Chancheng District Foshan (“The Association”), the students from Foshan Qicong School launched the broadcasting station “Seeing the World via Ears” in 2017 and have uploaded nearly 120 episodes on the LIZHI platform since then. In their podcasts, the students tell stories and read poems from books or written by themselves.


The idea of the broadcasting station was brought up by “Brother Zhao”, who has been a fan of radio since childhood. He was the host for the first episode produced by the station, “Everyone Has a Dream”. For him, “Seeing the World via Ears” is a dream that has come true. Another host Enlin had little knowledge of radio or podcasts in the beginning but has discovered her new talents through the program. Now she regularly reads poems written by both famous authors and herself in the podcasts on LIZHI.


The Association helps with the editing and uploading of the podcasts made by the students. Still, the process is not easy. The students usually need to recite all the content before the recording and each episode can take them over one day to record. They also need to try different ways to make the recording better. For example, in order to better understand the characters in the books and better present them in voices, Brother Zhao often listens to historical programs and movies, and Enlin often listens to different audio books to learn about different lives. They call all these challenges “sweet burdens”.


“My life has become more fulfilling and I've become much happier,” Enlin said.