The travel troubles of the blind

Unlike the previous cognition of most people, not all the blind live in a totally dark world. Many blind people can sense light, distinguish colors and see a vague shadow of things. To be exact, the blind should be called “the visually impaired people”.

There are four levels to classify different degrees of visual disability. The first level means the person can’t sense light or his/her vision is less than 0.02. It is the worst condition. The second level include people with the vision from 0.02 to 0.05, the third level include people with the vision from 0.05 to 0.1, and the fourth level include people with the vision from 0.1 to 0.3.

According to the statistics from CCTV in 2016, the total number of visually impaired people in China is 17.31 million. Among them, those in the first level have occupied more than 5 million. And at the same time, the population of this level has increased around 400 thousand each year.

"After my friend, a blind person, fell into a manhole in the evening, I'm afraid of going outside when it's dark," said by Guan Yongli, a blind masseur.

Though China has a large number of visually impaired people, you can seldom see them access to the city. Lack of guide dogs, less barrier-free equipments, unreasonable constructions of blind lanes … all of these factors lead to the difficulties for visually impaired people to go outside independently. 

When go traveling, they even face confusion from travel agencies. Even if these agencies agree to take them out, they need to pay much higher price than people without disability.

"Last year, I organized ten blind friends to travel Thailand. After asking 14 travel agencies in Beijing, we finally find a travel agency that agrees to take us for a trip. But they ask us to spend a double price," said by Li Ying,who is a blind woman and the founder of Zhijianfang blind massage.

To solve these travel troubles, Cai Cong, the Program Director of Youren Foundation, thinks that governments should invite more disabled people to participate in the construction of barrier-free equipments from the beginning. Thus, these equipments can service for the disabled indeed.