Braille Programme Launched In Schools

November 3, 2011

[Updated with photos] Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith this morning [Nov.3] inaugurated the new Braille Programme which will see Braille books provided at each level, and will serve to assist the 30 visually-impaired students in the Government School system.

Based out of Prospect Primary School, the programme was supported by private sector firms HSBC and the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, re/insurer ACE Ltd. and law firm Cox, Hallett and Wilkinson.

“For so long, I have heard about the benefits of technology in this area; it is just wonderful to be able to launch this programme which will see Braille books provided at each level, so that all students will be exposed to the printed word and the participation of visually impaired students in classroom activity will be greatly increased,” said Dame Jennifer.

The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing. Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four possible subsets, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised.

Dame Jennifer said, “I am pleased on this special occasion, to represent the Ministry and Department of Education, as we celebrate the official launch of the Braille Programme.

“As you have heard, there are more than 30 visually impaired students in our public school system and it is on their behalf — as well as ours — that I take this opportunity to publicly thank our generous community-minded private sector entities who so graciously accepted the call to help.

“This programme which will help to give visually-impaired students the ability to be successful in both school and in the community would not have been possible without contributions from the following individuals and organisations: Philip Butterfield CEO HSBC, Dennis Tucker from Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Roseann DeCouto of ACE, and Ernest Morrison from Cox, Hallett and Wilkinson.”

Dame Jennifer continued to say that, “Their efforts have been selfless and stand as a prime demonstration of community spirit. I also want to thank Education Officer for Special Education Mrs. Donna Edge Bean for spearheading this programme.

“And Principal Shangri-La Durham-Thompson for welcoming this programme to her school — Prospect Primary School — when we were looking for a convenient location. On behalf of the Ministry of Education and the Bermuda public school system — I thank you all for your support of the visually-impaired.

“For so long, I have heard about the benefits of technology in this area; it is just wonderful to be able to launch this programme which will see Braille books provided at each level, so that all students will be exposed to the printed word and the participation of visually impaired students in classroom activity will be greatly increased.”

“I am pleased that — with your help — we have been able to bring this programme to fruition,” concluded Dame Jennifer.

Click to enlarge photos:

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. yES i says:

    Still proud to be Bermudian……

    Well done!! Let our progress be defined by selfless acts to increase the quality of life for our community.

  2. Daneika says:

    This is such great news to hear especially since I am in my last year in the Visual Disabilities Masters program. GO BERMUDA!!!!! Now we can give these students equal access to limitless educational opportunities so that they can also be successful integral members of our society.