China today

English test to be available in Braille

2017-05-18 07:32:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Visually impaired students will be able to take the national college English test in Braille this summer, the Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.

The announcement came after a female college student with impaired vision sued the ministry for failing to help her take the exam.

"Supported by the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the College English Test 4 will be available in Braille for the blind and visually impaired starting in June," the ministry's National Education Examinations Authority said in a statement. "It will address the needs of blind and visually impaired test takers."

People's Daily reported that a visually impaired senior student at Changchun University in Jilin province appealed twice to the local education authority - in December and March - to make the CET 4 test available in Braille. On both occasions the authority said it was unable to do so.

The student sued the ministry in Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court on May 10, demanding that the ministry take reasonable measures to allow visually impaired test takers to take the CET 4. The court accepted the case on the same day.

The CET 4 is a national standard test to assess students' English skills. In some schools, students have to pass the CET 4 or CET 6 to get a diploma. The certificate awarded to a student after passing the test adds weight to a resume when it comes time to look for a job.

The ministry has previously made efforts to accommodate disabled students in national-level standard tests, such as the college admission exam.

According to a regulation issued by the ministry and the China Disabled Persons' Federation in April, visually impaired students should be given access to Braille or large-font exam papers.

Applicants with disabilities are required to make written requests for supportive treatment in advance.