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Sign language, audio description to depict Sochi Paralympic ceremonies

March 07, 2014, 19:20 UTC+3 SOCHI
Five specialists will tell the people about what is going on the stage, describe what objects look like and how the light is changing
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

SOCHI, March 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Hearing and visual impaired spectators will be able to perceive Paralympic ceremonies thanks to sign language interpreters and audio describers, the organizers told a news conference in Sochi.

All official speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies would have subtitles in Russian and English projected onto four large screens, said sign language interpreter Olga Kopnina adding the organizers had prepared thousands of headphones to enable visually challenged people to hear commentator’s speech. Headphones will also be available for anybody who wants to know what audio description is like.

Five specialists will tell the people about what is going on the stage, describe what objects look like and how the light is changing. Audio describers will also try to reproduce the atmosphere and festive mood.

Apart from the ceremonies, specialists will also be there for Paralympic athletes, said Kopnina. She added there was no category for hearing-impaired sportsmen so, despite a huge number of sigh-language interpreters willing to attend, the organizing committee cut the quota to four interpreters. Since there were not many deaf people at the Paralympics, this would do, she said.

“Much has been done in Russia for this category of disabled people but there is always room for improvement so at Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2015 we shall try to consider and eliminate all mistakes,” she added.

President of the Russian Society of the Deaf Valery Rukhledev said the number of sign language interpreters should be no less than 50,000. “There are schools in Russia that are familiar with deaf children’s mentality,” he said. “We are ready and can train such specialists at our universities.

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