Praise gratefully received for World Braille Day panel

Massive thanks to everyone who joined the Braillists Foundation to celebrate World Braille Day held on Monday 4th of January. Further thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to complete our feedback survey. You’re comments help us plan future braille events.

We were delighted that our exploration of braille by a recent graduate, successful journalist and retired professor was so well received. If you missed our panel featuring 3 generations of braillists, you can listen again here: www.braillists.org/media

Braille Innovations with Sight and Sound, Wed, Nov 18th, 14:00

The Braillists is delighted to have been invited by Stuart Lawler to join Sight and Sound for this special Webinar Wednesday session on the 18th:

Stuart: “We’re talking about Braille Innovations and also about how you can find support to know more about Braille and its many codes in the UK and Ireland. Our guests for this session are Dr. Sile O’Modhrain, from the University of Michigan, Dr. Donal Fitzpatrick, from Dublin City University, and Mr. Dave Williams, Chair of the Braillists Foundation.

“Sile’s presentation will focus on designing a Full-Page Tactile Display. Donal will focus on Braille in his work and personal life, and Braille research initiatives including Euromath and Braille Translation. Dave’s will discuss the work of the Braillists Foundation and their many initiatives.”

Register to attend this session (please note this event is run by Sight and Sound rather than the Braillists Foundation): https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f4y27czhQyazYGL85ioQuQ

A Message from our Friends at the International Council on English Braille

Preparations are well underway for the 7th ICEB General Assembly, a full week of discussions and presentations about braille. Thanks to remote attendance, this will be our biggest General Assembly yet. Observers are warmly invited from both ICEB member and non-member countries.

The Assembly will take place from Sunday 18 to Thursday 22 October from 19:00 to 22:00 UTC daily. This equates to afternoon in North America, late evening in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, and early morning (the next day) in Australia and New Zealand.

To register, simply email [email protected] with your name, country, and the days you would like to attend.

Upon registering, you will receive the links to the Zoom meeting, links to pre-recorded paper presentations on YouTube, and reports and papers in print and braille format.

The full program and more information can be found at https://www.ukaaf.org/iceb2020/.

We do hope that you can join us.

Braille Podcast Proposal

Hi Everyone

To further the Braillists’ aims, as outlined at braillists.org, what would you think about the creation of an independent high quality podcast celebrating all things Braille for Braillists everywhere? Find my proposal below. And if you are interested in helping start a podcast about Braille? Or if you have views about the sorts of content you think should be included in a podcast about Braille? I would like to hear from you directly. Contact details at the bottom of this post.

Why Does the World Need a Podcast about Braille Anyway?

Lots of people listen to all kinds of podcasts about all manner of weird and wonderful subjects, but I’ve not been able to find any about Braille specifically. Yet, by joining this forum you agree braille is an important subject. Audio is also a very natural way for us as blind people to share information with the wider world. I find it slightly odd that a podcast about Braille doesn’t exist already. And even if there is one, there may still be compelling reasons why we may want to make our own.

About 18 months ago I had the idea that a braille podcast could help introduce new people to Braille; support those getting started with Braille; re-energize anyone who has lost their confidence with Braille; provide Braillists with resources to help spread the word about Braille. A Braille podcast would seek to showcase the many ways Braille touches our lives, and share ways we can broaden Braille’s appeal. A Braille podcast could explore innovations in Braille technology. And a braille podcast could be a vehicle for sharing your Braille news and Braille reviews, not just of gadgets, but Braille publications, Braille policy etc.

The reason I have sat on this for 18 months, is as a freelancer with a young family to support, I have been searching for a suitable sponsor. As well as paying the bills, I would like to be able to offer some remuneration to contributors, and web hosting, domain registration fees etc don’t pay themselves.

While clearly such a podcast will need volunteers. Given sufficient interest from this forum, as a community interest company Bristol Braille Technology is willing to sponsor an initial production run. We would have a very modest budget to help with the costs of managing a website, produce audio, record content, promote the podcast, etc. This being the case, I am now in a position to help make a braille podcast a reality.

So Why Me?

As a blind dad and independent accessibility consultant, I am passionate about the power of Braille to enhance the independence and dignity of blind people. As well as directing ACB Radio for the American Council of the Blind between 2003 and 2006, I have produced packages broadcast on BBC Radio 4. I have also promoted Braille commercially for the assistive technology industry. I am regularly invited to present at RNIB Braille networking days and have led Braille technology workshops at the UK’s only course for Teachers of the Visually Impaired at Birmingham University.

While I hope my background in assistive technology and community media gives me a useful starting point, I certainly do not have all the skills and knowledge needed to make this a success. But with your help, I believe we can make it happen.

What Next

If you love Braille, or have audio production, journalism, podcasting, social media or web site skills that could be useful to bring a podcast about braille to life, please consider joining the Braille Podcast Team and help us make a difference.

To discuss this post further:

Email [email protected]

Call: 01905692279

Send a direct message via Twitter @dwilliamsuk