It was 2003, and I was about thirteen years old. I was between the back shelves in our school Braille library, digging through non-fiction books looking for what seemed like a needle in a haystack: a book on my newest interest, computer programming…
“Braille – the bumpy grail!
Being blind since birth left me exposed to Braille produced by Pioneer Printers from the tender age of five years old. I never thought that Braille would play such a huge role in my life, however, 45 years later it remains my number one format to consume information.
I am a 74-year-old retired judge who has been blind from the age of sixteen months. I learnt to write braille on a slate and to read the few books that were available in the 1950s, courtesy of the RNIB and some American entities…..
Dr William Rowland
Imagine a world without reading and writing. That would be my world without braille. Braille was my medium of learning at school and was key to my physiotherapy studies in England and the earning of four university degrees, including a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Cape Town….
Dr Joan Wootton
As an educator of blind and partially sighted learners at the Pioneer School in Worcester Western Cape, I fell in love with Braille Music Notation once I discovered what a wonderful system it is for setting handicapped learners on an equal footing with the sighted…
Laylaa Shiyaam Jacobs
As a person who experiences the world differently, I use braille not only for reading and writing purposes but as a means of expressing myself. During my schooling years having my question papers printed in braille always brought about a feeling of familiarity. I felt less anxious….
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As an educator of blind and partially sighted learners at the Pioneer School in Worcester Western Cape, I fell in love with Braille Music Notation once I discovered what a wonderful system it is for setting handicapped learners on an equal footing with the sighted. Generally the blind learner has to learn to play by ear, which can be very time-consuming unless they are blessed with perfect pitch. Braille music enables the learner to practice independently, which improves self-esteem and also saves an inordinate amount of teaching time. Furthermore, the learner can learn the theory of music in Braille Music Notation, and will thereby be empowered to study music at a tertiary institution. They can then also learn to teach music to both blind and sighted people; they can perform and compete at international level and will also be able to compose music in any genre. I have been privileged to tutor a number of exceptional blind learners, using Braille Music Notation. They have succeeded in making music a career. Michelle Nel and Dewald van Deventer are two such examples. They have both become performers of note. Ying-Shan Tseng is currently working towards her Bachelor of Music degree and is in her second year at Stellenbosch University. She embraced the Braille Music Notation at school level and has reached unprecedented levels in her singing and piano playing. Carly Piater is another outstanding blind musician to note. Since mastering Braille Music Notation, her progress has been meteoric. She plans to study music at University and make it her career. Dr Joan Wootton
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