Human rights watchdog calls for equal access to election materials for visually impaired people

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SEOUL, South Korea's human rights watchdog called Tuesday for measures to ensure visually impaired people can have equal access to election campaign materials.

The recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea came after a visually impaired person filed a petition, saying the National Election Commission provided election campaign materials in June last year in a format that was not accessible to the blind.

The petitioner argued that campaign promises of candidates running for an education chief, which were uploaded on the election commission's website, were not recognizable in a screen reader, which converts text on a computer screen into speech or braille.

The petitioner also said a USB stick that contained a candidate's campaign promises did not mark the candidate's name in braille.

The National Election Commission should provide convenience when providing election campaign materials to the visually impaired to ensure that people with vision disabilities can have equal access to information, just like the able-bodied, the human rights watchdog said.

There were 250,767 South Koreans with vision disabilities as of the end of last year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said. Among them, it remains unclear how many visually impaired people are eligible to vote, according to the election commission.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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