Today, October 15th is International White Cane Day observed worldwide to recognize the movement of blind people from dependency to full participation in society.
On January 4th we celebrate the achievements of Louis Braille, the remarkable Frenchman who created the Braille alphabet. Born on this day in 1809, Louis Braille was only a teenager when he began work on what would become one of the most important advancements in blind and vision impaired accessibility in the world.
The History of Louis Braille
After losing his sight as a young boy, Louis Braille was studying at a school for blind children using an outdated system that made reading and writing extremely difficult.
Frustrated by this, a range of communication methods inspired him to create a new way of reading and writing. Louis looked to the system used by the French Army that allowed soldiers to communicate using only touch and embossed symbols. Growing up, Louis also learnt the alphabet from his father. He took large brass nails and fixed them to wood in the shape of each letter of the alphabet. After years of hard work, Louis Braille finally created an alphabet that made reading and writing accessible for blind and vision impaired people. Two years after his death, the Royal Institution For Blind Youth in Paris introduced Louis Braille’s system in France. A Braille code for English was adopted 74 years later.
How Does Braille Work?
The Braille alphabet uses different combinations of raised dots. These dots indicate letters, numbers, punctuation marks and even bold and italic text. Each Braille cell contains six raised dots in two rows of three. As Braille is a code it can span beyond reading and writing and used in mathematics, computer programming and music.
Braille in Australia
Braille has become a vital part of society and continues to improve the everyday lives of vision impaired and blind Australians. Australia and other English speaking countries use Unified English Braille, and it is featured on ATMs, elevator buttons, bathroom doors, public transport and in a range of other places. It is also available in children’s books, board games, computer technology and so much more!
As we continue to make advancements that improve accessibility, it’s important to recognise and celebrate the work of Louis Braille. His invention of the Braille alphabet has made a remarkable impact on the world.
The new look $50 note will hit the streets on the 18th October 2018. It features Australia’s first published Aboriginal author and inventor, David Unaipon, and the first female member of an Australian parliament, Edith Cowan.
Once again the $50 note has upgraded security and bumps to assist vision impaired people.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is being rolled out through Queensland.
Queensland Blind Association Inc is now an authorised provider of aids and equipment. For further information please contact our office on 07 3848 8888.
Thank you to 1- World Charity Shop in Browns Plains for their generous donation to Qld Blind Association Inc.
Their financial assistance will help enable us to support the Blind Community throughout Queensland and allow them to assume their active place in today’s society.
From Wednesday the 20th September 2017 the revamped $10 note comes into circulation. The $10 note features writers Banjo Paterson and Dame Mary Gilmore, has a clear strip down the middle of the bill and two small bumps so it can be easily identified by people who are vision impaired.
As part of our fundraising, Queensland Blind Association Inc is selling the 2019/2020 Entertainment Book. Entertainment membership can be purchased either by book or an app for your smart phone. Each book offers up to 50% off and 2-for-1 for many of the best restaurants, cafes, arts, attractions, hotels, travel, shopping and much more.
The brand new 2019/2020 Entertainment Membership is available from the 29th March 2019. If you order your book before the 29th March 2019, you will receive 6 printed Early Bird offers or order a digital membership for you smart phone, these 6 offers will be loaded straight to your phone. Plus a $20 Woolworths offer and a $50 Cellarmasters offer.
To order please click on the link below or call our office on ph 3848 8888.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed a new $5 note to be introduced from 1st September 2016. With innovative new security features, the note has a colourful design of the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill. The new notes will also feature a new “tactile” feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between denominations.
If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, Queensland Rail provides a 24/7 text messaging service should you require assistance or find yourself in an emergency situation.
By sending an SMS to 0428 774 636, you can contact a Queensland Rail Passenger Service Officer to obtain train and platform assistance (including lift outages), station accessibility or timetable information, and seek help during an emergency. A Customer Service Officer will respond promptly to requests 24 hours a day, a days a week.
In an emergency or if you have a disability and require assistance, you can also contact Queensland Rail via the disability assistance and emergency help phone installed at all stations and in some car parks. By pressing the intercom button customers can directly access assistance. At many stations the console will be situated on the platform within the area covered by the hearing loop, and will have raised text, pictograms and Braille to assist people with a sensory impairment.
Taxi meters that ‘talk’ are becoming available in Australian cabs. Commuters will be able to ask taxi drivers to turn on the optional audio feature. The meters will announce the starting fare, the fare as it increases and the final amount.
The Australian Senate has supported a motion which could force television stations to introduce audio description services for blind and vision impaired.
Annerley, QLD, 4103
Phone: (07) 3848 8888
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