National Braille Week: celebrate all things dotty

Posted: 03/09/2014 | ,

Every year Royal Blind dedicates a week to the dots. National Braille Week raises awareness of the tactile code that cracked open the written world to millions of blind and partially sighted people across the world. The week will take place from October 6 – 12 this year, coinciding with World Sight Day on Thursday 9th October, and we encourage as many people as possible to get involved and help us spread the word on braille and other alternative formats.

A braille pressWhen Louis Braille completed his ground breaking system of raised dots back in 1824 he could have had no idea how many communicative functions it would perform in the 21st century. From accessible information leaflets to the 'stop' button in buses, those tiny braille bumps can be found all over town, helping blind and partially sighted people to negotiate their way through our visual-centric world. One of our campaign themes this year will be 'spot the dot', to encourage people to notice the braille that is around them in everyday life.

Braille has far more than a practical purpose; it gives users the opportunity to independently delve into the magical world of literature. The Scottish Braille Press has translated the work of countless authors into braille, as well as producing high quality audio and large print formats. This year we look forward to some high profile writers helping us celebrate its impact.

During National Braille Week we will also explore the wider world of braille, and less well known ways to use it, such as in art, magazines, music or maths... from the functional to the weird and wonderful, we will discover and share some brailliant facts!

A big part of the week is to encourage schools, colleges, clubs and workplaces up and down the country to run their own events highlighting the positive impact that braille and other alternative formats has had on lives. Royal Blind will provide a resource for information, ideas and materials that can be adapted for your needs – so get in touch if you want to get involved.

Follow activities at www.nationalbrailleweek.org and register your interest online, or email una.purdie@royalblind.org for more information.

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