Among China’s rural millions, the visually impaired struggle acutely with economic deprivation and social exclusion. China has the world’s largest disabled population. Discrimination exacerbates poor access to education, services and employment. 10 million blind people are further marginalized by lack of visual access. Unreliable electric supplies and high replacement costs of batteries impede radio access. Self-powered radio opens doors to information, empowerment and community connection.
BBC's world-renowned "In Touch" series will broadcast from October 2006 in Beijing through Beijing Peoples’ Radio. Freeplay’s self-powered Lifeline radios will be distributed to extend program access to the rural visually impaired.
The "In Touch for China" radio pilot attracted interest from broadcasters across China. Extending coverage and program access can help acutely marginalized rural blind people toward self-empowerment and connection with society.