Making Braille Books – Behind the News

“The parents begin…” GIRL: I like to read
because it’s basically a way of expressing myself
and it also… It also gives me, like,
a lot of new words. I like science and geography. EMMA: In case you couldn’t
already tell, these guys are big fans of books. “Your son Wilfred has spent
six years as a grub in this school “and we are still…and we are still
waiting for him “to emerge from the… “..chrysalis.” But getting their hands on as many
books as they’d like is though. See, they go to the South Australian
School For Vision Impaired, which means they need special kinds
of books that have large print or are written in braille. Braille is just like…it’s
a combination of dots that are used to make up
different words and letters. Braille is a tactile reading
and writing system, which means people feel it
and use their hands to read instead of their eyes. The different sequences
of bumps make letters and words and by touching them, you can tell
exactly what the words say. If this were typed in braille, it would mean ‘hello’. This is BTN and this is my name. Cool! The braille system was invented
by this guy, Louis Braille. You can probably guess
how he came up with the name. He lost his sight when he was a kid. Back then, books for people who were blind used normal letters that were raised so you could feel them. But when he was 15, Louis came up with a new system of letters that were much easier to read with your hands. Now braille is used
around the world, but in Australia braille books
are tough to come by. A lot of them have to be ordered in
from overseas but that doesn’t really work
when it comes to textbooks because our subjects are different
to, say, America. So this school set up
its own printing business. So we have math, science, history,
all of the textbooks, class novels, picture books, readers, you name it. Anything that a student
at school needs, that’s what we do. They type out the pages in braille and then volunteers create
special tactile pictures that you can feel. GIRL: You’ve got a tree up here. I can tell it’s a tree
because it’s got outstretched… ..lines which I can tell
represent branches. Some books are easier than others. But you do have to think
outside the square a bit sometimes. And it’s always a hard page
that you leave until the very last. It takes about a month
to make each book but the hard work is definitely
worth the reward. I love these books because… ..I can’t read print and… ..if I…if I didn’t have
these braille books with the tactile pictures, I wouldn’t have the education
that I need.

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