MSPs to celebrate National Braille Week

Royal Blind School pupil Andrew Pettigrew   PIC � Sandy Young
Royal Blind School pupil Andrew Pettigrew PIC � Sandy Young

MSPs are set to celebrate National Braille Week with a multi-sensory exhibition and performances at the Scottish Parliament.

Run by Royal Blind, National Braille Week (October 5-11) celebrates the continued use of Braille as a tactile system of reading and writing, to provide blind people with literacy, opportunity and independence.

For the first time, Royal Blind is putting on an exhibition and event for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament to showcase the importance and use of Braille.

MSPs will experience: A poetry reading using a Braille note by 15 year old Royal Blind School pupil Andrew Pettigrew; a piano performance using Braille by former Royal Blind School pupil and recent music graduate Amy Moar, a simultaneous reading in Braille and text with author Sue Reid Sexton and Jim McCafferty and a Braille proof reader at the Scottish Braille Press.

Davina Shiell, marketing manager at Royal Blind, said: “Almost 200 years after its invention, Braille continues to have a vital importance in supporting literacy for blind people.

“Like print with its kindles and tablets, Braille has gone digital, making it more accessible in the modern world.”

The National Braille Week exhibition and event follows a recent Scottish Parliament Education Committee report which concluded that on average, “school leavers with a visual impairment achieve fewer qualifications than their peers.”

Royal Blind’s National Braille Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of being taught Braille for children with a visual impairment, in order to best enable them to achieve their potential.

Royal Blind recently announced the launch of a new service, the Learning Hub, which will provide additional training and resources for teachers in mainstream school who have visually impaired children in their classroom.