The Braillists empowers blind people, promotes Braille literacy and helps members learn off each other.
The Braillists was set up in Bristol in 2014 to give blind Braille readers control over their own literacy, technology relating to Braille and to help teach each other Braille.
It was established to take a proactive role in influencing the direction assistive technology took, as blind people are usually given technology over which they have had little input. This has caused a national decline in Braille literacy, which is vital for blind education, employment and independence. The Braillists is the blind community asserting itself to try and reverse this decline.
Since setting up the community group in Bristol we have helped other local groups set up in Reading, Dublin, and soon Manchester and Worcester too.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
In all the groups around the country there are over 270 members, twenty of which are members of the Bristol group. All these groups are self-funded by the members. We have never had more than £50 donated to the Bristol Braillists or any of the other groups.
By granting the Bristol Braillists £500 Skipton would enable us to engage with various campaigns to improve the Braille literacy of its members and the wider membership, would engage in testing programmes with new technology which promotes Braille, bringing these to the UK for the first time.
It would also enable us to put down a deposit on a few items for an online shop for assistive goods which will not only give us a permanent income thereafter but also help blind people across the country by making available better resources.
Essentially this grant would enable the Bristol group to lead the way, benefiting the entire Braillists membership.
Finally, this £500 would mean that our other sponsor, BBT, would match this commitment with a year's worth of sponsorship also worth £500.
""Last summer I left my full-time job and began promoting Braille independently for a range of organisations, not least because as a blind parent I cannot imagine any other way to read a bedtime story to my 7-year-old son.
"The Braillists has grown from being a group of testers to include teachers of the visually impaired, sighted parents of blind children, and other Braille stakeholders meeting regularly to discuss all aspects of Braille. Transcription, UEB and Braille children’s books have all been on the agendas at Braillists meetings. And yes from time to time the Braillists get to test new and innovative Braille technology. Its been wonderful seeing the group grow and we're looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of Braille to so many people in the future."
-- Acting Chairman of the Braillists, Dave Williams"
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