Accessible Media Blog

Read about the people behind Scottish Braille Press as well as news and events.

Facebook: New 'automatic alt text' feature launched to describe photos to blind people

screen shot of Facebook's alt text feature

Facebook has become more accessible to blind and visually impaired people with a new feature which uses artificial intelligence to describe images.

Posted: 05/04/2016


'They called me Joe 90': Scottish Braille Press employee Jim McCafferty on trialling a futuristic navigation gadget in the 1970s

Jim wearing the Sonicguide in 1971

In a world of self-parking cars, augmented reality games and voice-controlled mobile phones, advances in technology are becoming ever more futuristic.

But in 1971 when Scottish Braille Press worker, Jim McCafferty, was asked to trial a new gadget to help blind people navigate using sound, his friends found the device so space-age they nicknamed him ‘Joe 90’.

Posted: 01/08/2016


Celebrating 125 years of the Scottish Braille Press

Scottish Braille Press logo

An exhibition, which describes the development of Braille and celebrates 125 years of The Scottish Braille Press, will launch next month at Central Library, Edinburgh.

Our story begins in France, and a chance meeting on the streets of Paris in 1874 provides Valentine Hauy the inspiration to devise a tactile system of printing embossed books for blind and partially sighted people.

Posted: 28/09/2016


National Braille Week celebrated at Grassmarket Community Project

Student examines Braille machines

Dozens of people gathered at the Grassmarket Community Project last night in celebration of Braille and alternative formats.

Posted: 12/10/2016


Thank You for the Music: Video released to celebrate National Braille Week

Pupils and staff gather in hall to perform song

Children and adults across Royal Blind Group services have joined forces to make a video celebrating music in honour of National Braille Week. 

Royal Blind School students and staff, Forward Vision members and members of Scottish War Blinded's Linburn Centre star in Thank You for the Music - a cover of the Abba hit. 

Posted: 12/10/2016 | Education, Adult Services, Scottish War Blinded


Local cafes support National Braille Week with new Braille menus

Daniel and Christina at S Luca's

Eateries local to the Royal Blind School are getting into the National Braille Week spirit by supplying Braille menus for visually impaired customers.

Posted: 13/10/2016 | Education


Braille exhibition at the Scottish Parliament

Woman demonstrates historic braille equipment

The Scottish Parliament played host to an exhibition on the history of the Scottish Braille Press. 

MSPs, including convener Stewart McMillan, and representatives of visual impairment organisations attended the Cross-Party Group on Visual Impairment on Tuesday.

Posted: 09/02/2017


Jim steps down at 40 years at the Scottish Braille Press

Jim McCafferty

The Scottish Braille Press has bid a fond farewell to one of its longest serving employees, Jim McCafferty. 

Jim joined the Press aged just 17 after graduating from the Royal Blind School.

Posted: 30/06/2017


Royal Blind bids fond farewell to Chief Executive Richard Hellewell

Richard rides a bike with a pupil

Royal Blind today bids a fond farewell to Chief Executive Richard Hellewell who is retiring after 10 years at the helm.

Posted: 30/06/2017 | Education, Adult Services, Care for Older People, Child Care


Welcome to new Chief Executive Mark O'Donnell!

Chief Executive Mark O'Donnell

Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded have officially welcomed their new Chief Executive, Mark O’Donnell.

Posted: 04/07/2017 | Education, Adult Services, Care for Older People, Child Care, Scottish War Blinded