Vision Bermuda

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​More needs to be done to assist people with sight problems, says minister

The Royal Gazette

Jonathan Bell

Created: Jan 05, 2022 07:48 AM

The public was yesterday asked to mark World Braille Day by "bridging the gap" between themselves and people with sight problems.

Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said today marked the fourth annual commemoration by the United Nations of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading system for the blind.

The code allows reading and writing in all languages, and also study of subjects such as maths, music and computer programming.

Ms Furbert said the Covid-19 pandemic had threatened the independence of people with vision problems and underscored the need for the Government to improve its digital information platform.

Braille remains in use for reading and everyday tasks such as buying medication, despite technological advances.

Ms Furbert said the public could learn more by volunteering at or donating to Vision Bermuda – formerly the Bermuda Society for the Blind.

She highlighted the Sensory Garden at the Botanical Gardens in Paget, which was designed for people with sight difficulties.

She said the public could post on social media about World Braille Day, learn more through YouTube videos, or start to learn Braille as a skill.

Ms Furbert highlighted Through My Eyes by island author Ellen Kelly, the story of the late Jean Howes, a Bermudian singer and activist for the blind, who lost her sight aged nine.

She also urged businesses to use Braille in signs and marketing, and to offer products enhanced with Braille.

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