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Students make sport more accessible for visually-impaired

Reporter Dimitri Bruyas Isabel Wang
Release time:2023/06/12 18:09
Last update time:2023/06/12 18:09
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Student designers from the Fashion Design Department at Shih Chien University paired up with visually-impaired (VI) athletes to design customized and accessible handheld tethers for three months, showcasing a plethora of stunning designs at an exhibition on May 30.

VI runners and swimmers relied heavily on sighted guides to avoid running into obstacles. One of the typical methods is handheld tethers, a strap with loops on both ends for them to hold during exercise.

 

Explaining the purpose of the collaboration, John Chiang, professor of the Department of Special Education at NTNU, stated over 5% of people in Taiwan require special needs. 

"We want to make sure everyone in Taiwan gets equal rights to access anything, especially in sports."

Grace Hsieh, associate professor of the Fashion Design Department at Shih Chien University, was the instructor for this three-month design course. She shared that the experience of the student designers working with the VI athletes was fruitful, and by pairing them up with these athletes, they could put themselves in their shoes and adjust their designs based on different needs.
 

Hinako Nara, a Japanese student who has demonstrated creativity by incorporating the colors of Taiwan's flag in the strap she designed, explained that "athletes from Taiwan are banned from showing their flags during competitions; I hope the VI runners can carry this strap and remind them of Taiwan." 

VI runners and their sighted guides were amazed by the student's creativity. A runner guide shared that the fluorescent color that shines at night "enhances the safety of the runners wearing the customized strap as we often practice at night."

Discover Taiwan

#Taiwan#Taipei#NTNU#ShihChienUniversity#designforall

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