Tuesday February 16th at 19:30 GMT: Using Braille as a Presentation Tool, part 2: Braille for Public Speaking

If you need to deliver speeches for work, school, or as part of one of your interests, this session will guide you through using braille in order to present more effectively. This master class builds on the previous session, which focussed on using braille with existing presentation software such as PowerPoint and Google Slides, however it can also be attended as a stand-alone event.

In this session we will cover:

  • Writing a presentation script.
  • Using cue cards.
  • Setting up the space to deliver using a braille display.
  • Setting up the space to deliver using hardcopy braille.
  • Suggested equipment and resources.

To register for this webinar, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoceivqz8rGtbEERfYGlXFSR2eIqx-oc9o

Tuesday February 9th at 19:30 GMT: Using Braille as a Presentation Tool, part 1

This session will cover using braille with PowerPoint and Google Slides. We’ll guide you through how braille output works with these pieces of software and the ways it can enable you to deliver more effective presentations. Next week we will continue looking at presenting in braille, with a focus on public speaking and preparing braille notes for use when delivering speeches.

This session is ideal for anyone who is required to deliver presentations for school, work, or in a voluntary capacity. It will also provide encouragement for any budding public speakers.

To register for this series of master classes, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoceivqz8rGtbEERfYGlXFSR2eIqx-oc9o

Tuesday January 26th at 19:30 GMT: Using Braille on Windows

Our series of Tuesday master classes continues with an overview of using braille on Windows. Find out how to pair a windows PC with a braille display, which screen readers support braille output, and tips and tricks for using braille in conjunction with a screen-reader.

If you are already registered for our Tuesday series, you need not register again. However, if you are unsure, or would like to register for the first time, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoceivqz8rGtbEERfYGlXFSR2eIqx-oc9o

World Braille Day Success

Hello and happy new year!

It was wonderful to see so many attendees at our first event of the year, a celebration of World Braille Day. I would like to extend my thanks to our excellent panelists, Saima Akhtar, Fred Reid and Gary O’Donoghue for giving up their time to speak with us. If you weren’t able to attend the event, a recording of it can be found on our media page, which you can access at the following link: https://braillists.org/media

We also put together a small audio presentation, sharing the voices and perspectives of braille users from around the world. It was played during the event, however you can also listen to it at this link: https://www.braillists.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/World-Braille-Day.mp3

The Braillists Foundation will continue to keep the community connected during the year, and I hope that together we can all have a wonderful 2021.

Monday January 11th at 7:00PM: Braille for Beginners

Regular readers will be aware that, after a very successful first intake over the past few months, we will be restarting our Braille For Beginners programme on Monday 11 January 2021.

In a change to our usual procedures, if you would like to join us for this new course, you will be required to register. This is to enable us to more accurately anticipate participant numbers and more easily communicate with participants if we need to. The course is completely free and the only personal information requested on the registration form is a name and email address.
All course sessions will use the same meeting information, so you only need to register once, and late registrations are permitted. You should receive a confirmation email upon registering – please retain this for your records as it contains the link to join each session.

We are setting up a discussion group for course participants. Membership of this group is completely optional and you can choose whether you would like to be part of it when you register. However, we highly recommend that you opt in if you can, as it will enable you to share resources and information with other participants and communicate with the course leader outside Zoom sessions.

If you would prefer to participate in the course by telephone, you should still register if you can. The meeting ID and Zoom telephone number will be emailed to you upon registration and you can then join by phone in the usual way. However, if registration is particularly challenging, please email [email protected] and we will provide further assistance.

Like last time, our curriculum will follow the Fingerprint course. This is a well-established programme designed specifically for adults who are learning to read and write braille by touch for the first time. For the best experience, we highly recommend that you purchase a set of the course books from RNIB. They cost £39.00 exclusive of VAT and can be purchased by calling the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and quoting product code TC21439. Alternatively, if you are comfortable with online shopping, they can be purchased here: https://shop.rnib.org.uk/fingerprint-contracted-braille-course-volumes-1-to-11?TC21439

If you live outside the UK and wish to purchase Fingerprint, please email [email protected] to discuss international orders. Please note that Fingerprint is only available in hard copy; RNIB does not currently make versions available in electronic formats such as BRF, Microsoft Word or PDF.

If you are unable to purchase Fingerprint, you are still very welcome to join us. We may be able to make alternative resources available in the new year which, although not as comprehensive as Fingerprint, will still be sufficient for course participation. Please email [email protected] if you would be interested in these.

Finally, a reminder that sessions will be every Monday from 7:00 PM in the UK (2:00 PM US Eastern time), starting on 11 January 2021. They will last for an hour and there will be twelve sessions in total, so the final session will be on 29 March. It is anticipated that this will give sufficient time for participants to learn the alphabet, common punctuation signs and some contractions. Self-study resources are available from RNIB to facilitate completion of Fingerprint, and further information will be provided at the end of the course.

We hope you will be able to join us.

To register for Braille For Beginners, please fill out the form at this URL: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsfu-ppjwvGteUgYHNMNSvhxseX3y8DOjh

Tuesday January 12th at 7:30 PM: Braille in the Real World

Join the Braillists Foundation for the first in a brand new series of master classes, looking at how braille can enhance all areas of our lives.

We will kick off the series with a discussion about braille usage in education, work and for leisure. Where are you using braille? Where do you wish you could use more braille? How can the Braillists support you to reach your goals?

Bring all of your thoughts to this discussion. The conversation may also shape the future of Braillists master classes, so if there’s a topic you would love us to cover make sure you come along and tell us.

We will follow this up with a master class on January the 19th all about the changes between Standard English Braille and Unified English Braille. More details about this session will be released in next week’s newsletter.

This series of master classes requires registration, however as with all of our events, it is free to attend. If you register for one master class, you will be registered for the entire series, so you only need to fill the form out once and you will receive a reminder each week about the upcoming session. To register, please visit:


If you have any problems registering, please email us at: [email protected]

January 4th: Celebrate World Braille Day with the Braillists Foundation

On January the 4th 2021 people across the world will celebrate World Braille Day. This day, which marks the birth date of Louis Braille is an important day for blind people and those connected to the blind community. We could not let this day pass without recognising it and the significance of braille.

We will be hosting a panel discussion, inviting panellists who use braille to speak to us about their lives with braille. More importantly perhaps, they will be sharing their thoughts on how braille may adapt to the changing needs of the blind community in future. We will also be sharing perspectives on Braille Usage from around the world, hearing voices from the UK all the way to New Zealand.

This event is free to attend and we hope to see many of you there. Our final line up of panellists will be announced in the next week.

Register for our World Braille Day Event: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYlceihrD8uGdwxFXg75iQhhdTwaphqjlzc

Braille For Beginners Registration now Open

Last week we shared the news that we are relaunching our popular Braille for Beginners course in January. This will give those of you who missed out on participating in our first course to join us and learn braille. The course will take place over 12 weeks, starting on Monday the 11th of January at 7 PM. The course is free to attend for all participants, however we do require you to register.

Registration gives us a clear indication of numbers, enabling us to produce participant resources. It is also used to add you to the course discussion group, so that you can communicate and share resources with other participants and your instructor outside of class time.

If you’re unable to register and need further assistance, please email [email protected] and one of our team will assist you.

Register for Braille for Beginners at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsfu-ppjwvGteUgYHNMNSvhxseX3y8DOjh

Take Part in Our World Braille Day Celebration

The Braillists Foundation is planning a celebration for World Braille Day, taking place on Monday January the 4th 2021. We are putting together an audio presentation showcasing all the ways blind people find braille valuable today.

We would love for you to contribute your voice to this if you feel that braille has enhanced your life.

We are requesting audio clips, of no more than 15 seconds, sharing why braille is important to you. You could include:

  • A braille-related memory.
  • How you use braille in your daily life.
  • Why you feel braille matters.

Please email these clips to [email protected] no later than Friday December the 18th at 5 PM GMT.

More information about our celebration event to come!

Tuesday 8th December at 19:30, an Introduction to the Abacus

What is an abacus and why would you use one? In this session, led by James Bowden, you will learn about the various features of the abacus and why it is ideal for use as a blind person.
The session will cover:

  • physical description and orientation
  • The beads and their meaning
  • Setting numbers
  • Basic addition
  • Overflows and carries

If you have an abacus, bring it with you so that you can follow along. If you don’t have one, you can request one through the free equipment offer from the Braillists. As with all of our new master classes, a recording of the event will be made available afterwards along with supplementary materials to assist you with learning. The session will provide plenty of time for you to ask all of your questions.

Join link
Meeting ID: 827 7105 922