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National Braille Week Event

by Shirley Lawson

on Fri Oct 09, 2015

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Dennis Robertson, MSP for Aberdeen West, welcomed everyone to the 'Dots to Digital' event at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday night. This was a celebration as part of National Braille Week (October 5-11) and highlighted the continued use of Braille as a tactile system of reading and writing, to provide blind people with literacy, opportunity and independence. He talked about the need for closing the attainment gap for visually impaired and blind students.  A recent Scottish Parliament Education Committee report concluded that on average:

school leavers with a visual impairment achieve fewer qualifications than their peers.

He emphasised the importance of assistive technology and talked about explained how without it he would be unable to do the same job as his fellow with MSPs.  

Andrew Pettigrew from the Royal Blind school read out a fantastic poem he had written about his hero, Louis Braille.   This is going to be officially published later this month and will be posted here on the CALL Scotland blog too.  Andrew uses his Braillenote extensively at school and home as is a very proficient user.  What he would like to do is to be able to text his friends.  Using Siri on an iPhone had not been that successful but he was thinking he would try again with it.

Amy Moar, ex pupil from the Blind School and now a musician, played the harp to start with then did a performance using a Perkins Brailler and an electric keyboard -  a musical interpretation of sending a letter – which was fantastic.  She has been working with Drake Music Scotland and she told me that I could share her music with others via Sound Cloud

There was a promotion of the launch of a new service at the Royal Blind school, the Learning Hub, which will provide additional training and resources for teachers in mainstream school who have visually impaired children in their classroom.  Author Sue Reid Sexton and Jim McCafferty, a Braille proof reader at the Scottish Braille Press did a simultaneous reading in Braille and text. This was in celebration of the first time a book ('Writing on the Road - Campervan love and the joy of solitude') has been published at exactly the same time the braille version is available.   

UPDATE.... Read Andrew Pettigrew's poem, Who is My Hero? here

Tags: braille

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