Korean professional baseball, like the American Major League (MLB), will introduce convenience features for visually impaired spectators.
It is the ‘relay voice support system’, which relays the game situation in real time by voice for the visually impaired, who have difficulty observing the game situation with their eyes.
The reason why this system needs to be introduced is that it is difficult for visually impaired people to enjoy the game only with broadcasting in the stadium because the broadcast relay is transmitted one tempo later than the real-time game. When a player hits a home run, all the spectators in the seats next to him shout “Wow!”, but the broadcast hasn’t relayed the home run situation yet, so the visually impaired can’t tell what the situation is.
Accordingly, in July of last year, National Assembly member Kim Ye-ji, a visually impaired person, visited Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul to watch a game with Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) President Heo Gu-yeon, discussing the inconveniences, grievances, and improvement plans for the disabled when watching a professional baseball stadium. Discussed with Governor Huh.
This discussion has become meaningful as a result. Through a press release on the 7th, KBO announced that it had started promoting the relay voice support system business in earnest, announcing that it was conducting a bidding to select an operator to build and operate a relay voice support system for visually impaired spectators in the KBO league stadium.
An official from the KBO New Industry Team, which is in charge of the project, told Sports Seoul, “If the company selection is completed in May, we aim to launch it in July this year.” This project is being carried out with support from the host group of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the budget for the project is 250 million won.
Initially, it was difficult to introduce it to the KBO league due to budgetary issues, but the ‘Revision of the Sports Industry Promotion Act’ to guarantee the right to watch sports for the disabled, proposed by Rep. Kim Ye-ji in July of last year, was approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in January this year. Additional budget was allocated for
In the case of MLB,안전놀이터 there are several systems in place to guarantee the right to watch sports for people with disabilities in accordance with the US ‘Act on Persons with Disabilities’. Real-time game relay subtitles are provided on a small pad screen for the visually impaired as well as the hearing impaired. In addition to this, there are bus and taxi services for spectators with reduced mobility, as well as a large braille board and audio service that reads characters at the concession stand and convenience facilities in the stadium.
This KBO ‘relay voice support system’ project is expected to be the starting point for Korean professional baseball to become an environment where everyone can enjoy baseball without discrimination, just like American professional baseball.