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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Young man dedicated to public good
     2015-January-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    My goal in the long term is to change the status quo of the Internet industry in China, making all Internet companies take into consideration accessibility for disabled people when developing a product.

    - Liang Zhenyu

    Martin Li

    martin.mouse@163.com

    LIANG ZHENYU, a young Shenzhener, has been dedicated to facilitating Internet products and service accessibility for people with visual impairment since the end of 2013. He is the secretary general at the Information Accessibility Research Association (IARA) in Shenzhen, which is a nongovernmental organization funded by Canyou, a Shenzhen-based social enterprise whose employees are primarily people with disabilities.

    Liang and his team help Internet companies test accessibility of their products for visually impaired people. His team is mainly composed of visually impaired people who have a firm grasp of IT technologies.

    First touch with

    public good

    Liang grew up in a small town in Jiangxi Province. Upon graduation, he was offered a job by a Fortune 500 company. However, he participated in a social entrepreneur skill training class organized by the British Embassy in China before he went to work for the company. He met a former Canyou executive who told him about a group of people in Shenzhen whose job was to help and serve disabled people.

    He made a decision to give up the opportunity to work for the big company and went to work for Canyou.

    Liang’s decision drew strong opposition from his family. “It’s hard for people from a small town like the one where I grew up to imagine doing nonprofit work as a full-time job. My family thought I wasn’t getting a proper job,” recalled Liang.

    Helping others

    But the family opposition did not deter him from coming to Shenzhen to work for Canyou in July 2011.

    He worked very hard there, often working until 9:00 p.m. Working weekends was routine for him. His job included poverty relief, helping disabled people and promoting public good among young people.

    He initiated “Captain Plan” in 2011 to increase college students’ understanding of public good and encourage them to get involved.

    That year, Canyou started selecting outstanding college students from around China each winter and summer vacation to work as interns.

    Liang’s hard work also changed the attitudes of his family members, who are now proud of what he does.

    Last year, Liang launched a program on the Internet to raise funds to help orphans in state homes improve their personal hygiene in his hometown during Spring Festival.

    There were 17 orphans aged between one month and 16 years in his hometown who were not being well taken care of because of the underdeveloped local economy. Nobody would help them shower or bathe, so their bodies stank.

    Liang managed to raise 12,380 yuan in one month and recruited local volunteers to give the children a show or bath.

    Liang’s act drew wide attention in the town, as well as applause from relatives and family friends.

    “My parents were so delighted,” said Liang.

    Focus on information accessibility

    Liang met people who were committed to promoting obstacle-free access to Internet products for visually impaired people at the beginning of 2013 and later started cooperating with them.

    “As our cooperation progressed, I found myself drawn to it,” said Liang, who started concentrating on promoting information accessibility by going to work for IARA at the end of 2013, which was invested and founded by Canyou in January 2005.

    Funded by Tencent Charity Foundation, the association set up a team composed of visually impaired people with IT skills.

    Led by Liang, the team provides testing and consulting services for Internet companies that develop products with obstacle-free access for people with visual impairment.

    “Most Internet company employees have no visual problems, so they can’t optimize products for visually disabled people. People with visual impairment have different habits and thinking modes when using the Internet. Our team members try each function and give solutions to optimize the product,” said Liang.

    In addition, the team also helps visually impaired persons find employment beyond masseuse or street performer.

    “When we started accepting application from visually impaired people, we received countless application in only three days. Many of them were skilled in IT technology, which they learned by themselves with the help of screen reading software,” said Liang.

    Liang gradually realized the importance of the Internet for visually impaired people.

    “I met one of my team members who has vision impairment after work one day. He told me he booked a KTV room on the Internet. When I tried to help him hail a taxi to go to the KTV, he took out his mobile phone and called a taxi via an app. I realized that visually impaired people see themselves as a burden when they don’t have Internet access. With the Internet, these people can take part in social activities and be valuable members of society just like everyone else,” said Liang.

    Future goals

    Liang said he has two goals. One is to assist as many Internet companies as possible to make their products accessible to people with visual impairments. The other is to provide as many well-paying job opportunities as possible to the visually impaired.

    “My goal in the long term is to change the status quo of the Internet industry in China, making all Internet companies take into consideration accessibility for disabled people when developing a product. Thereby, all people with disabilities can get involved in society and have equal access to modern civilization,” said Liang.

    Besides work, Liang loves reading books about physics, social science and economics. He also takes time to do good things for disabled orphans in his hometown.

    “Liang is always willing to give a chance to green hands. He is smart and always has creative ideas,” said his colleague Dai Jie.

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