Sight-impaired judge holds first open trial

A great example how text to speech technology can help professionals to overcome otherwise insurmountable challenges.
Sight-impaired judge holds first open trial 2012.05.11 19:49

Judge Choi Young focused on the sounds from his laptop computer at the court as he strived to grasp the case he undertook.

A text-to-speech translator in the computer helped the blind judge proceed with the trial. While attendees were nervous and astonished to see how dexterously he dealt with the case, he remained calm and confident.

Choi, the country’s first sight-impaired judge, had his first open trial on Friday.

Choi is one of the 86 new judges appointed in February and works as an associate judge at the Seoul Northern District Court.
Korea’s first sight-impaired judge Choi Young holds a trial at the Seoul Northern District Court on Friday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
The 32-year-old judge had five trials on Friday. He entered the court room at 10:00 a.m., supported by his fellow judge. He found his seat with the help of other staff.

Unlike other judges, there was a laptop computer at his seat.

The court said it had installed a text-to-speech translator and provided the necessary equipment, including the laptop, to assist the sight-impaired judge.

“He translates all the documents into audio files and put it in a USB flash drive before trials,” an official from the court said.

During the open trial on Friday, Choi seemed calm and looked no different from other judges besides he had an in-ear earphone. He also typed something on his laptop from time to time.

Observers were impressed how he could look for all the necessary files and document during the trial.

“Choi can memorize all the documents by listening to the audio files just one or two times,” a spokesman of the Seoul Northern District Court said.

Choi noted Friday that he hopes he can bring a new change in Korean society.

“There was a big change after the country appointed its first woman judge. I hope I can make the same effect as the country’s first visually-challenged judge,” he said.

The 32-year-old was not born visually impaired, but started to lose his sight from 1998 due to illness. He lost his sight completely in 2005 while at Seoul National University. He needed extra effort to prepare for the judicial examination due to his disability.

Despite his five consecutive failures, Choi did not give up and passed the judicial examination in 2008.

He completed a two-year program at the Judicial Research and Training Institute in earlier this year to become the country’s first ever visually-challenged judge.

By Oh Kyu-wook

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Sight-impaired judge holds first open trial

A great example how text to speech technology can help professionals to overcome otherwise insurmountable challenges.
Sight-impaired judge holds first open trial 2012.05.11 19:49

Judge Choi Young focused on the sounds from his laptop computer at the court as he strived to grasp the case he undertook.

A text-to-speech translator in the computer helped the blind judge proceed with the trial. While attendees were nervous and astonished to see how dexterously he dealt with the case, he remained calm and confident.

Choi, the country’s first sight-impaired judge, had his first open trial on Friday.

Choi is one of the 86 new judges appointed in February and works as an associate judge at the Seoul Northern District Court.
Korea’s first sight-impaired judge Choi Young holds a trial at the Seoul Northern District Court on Friday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
The 32-year-old judge had five trials on Friday. He entered the court room at 10:00 a.m., supported by his fellow judge. He found his seat with the help of other staff.

Unlike other judges, there was a laptop computer at his seat.

The court said it had installed a text-to-speech translator and provided the necessary equipment, including the laptop, to assist the sight-impaired judge.

“He translates all the documents into audio files and put it in a USB flash drive before trials,” an official from the court said.

During the open trial on Friday, Choi seemed calm and looked no different from other judges besides he had an in-ear earphone. He also typed something on his laptop from time to time.

Observers were impressed how he could look for all the necessary files and document during the trial.

“Choi can memorize all the documents by listening to the audio files just one or two times,” a spokesman of the Seoul Northern District Court said.

Choi noted Friday that he hopes he can bring a new change in Korean society.

“There was a big change after the country appointed its first woman judge. I hope I can make the same effect as the country’s first visually-challenged judge,” he said.

The 32-year-old was not born visually impaired, but started to lose his sight from 1998 due to illness. He lost his sight completely in 2005 while at Seoul National University. He needed extra effort to prepare for the judicial examination due to his disability.

Despite his five consecutive failures, Choi did not give up and passed the judicial examination in 2008.

He completed a two-year program at the Judicial Research and Training Institute in earlier this year to become the country’s first ever visually-challenged judge.

By Oh Kyu-wook

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

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