Each week we are going to be saying “Hello” to another organisation in the VI world to learn more about who they are and what they do.
This week, we are chatting to Holly Scott-Gardner (Head of Courses) from The Braillists Foundation.
So, Hi Holly, please can you tell us all about The Braillists Foundation:
Yes, we began as just an informal group of Braille enthusiasts but in 2020 we became a small charity, run by volunteers, with a board of trustees. Our mission is simple, more Braille! We are based in the UK but our events, courses and conference calls are open to anyone from around the world.
What have you been offering during lockdown?
We started with ‘Stay safe’ calls just to keep people connected whilst continuing to promote Braille. Some people wrongly think that, with technology, Braille isn’t needed anymore but we know this isn’t the case. We therefore started a weekly online Braille for Beginners course using the RNIB Fingerprint resource which teaches using touch rather than sight. It was extremely popular. Many of the attendees for example were adults who had recently lost their sight so wanted to learn Braille so that they could read to their children.
From this course, a weekly Braille book club has now been established which is a great social activity as well as a way to further develop Braille reading skills.
We have also been having Masterclasses. These are one off webinars to help people become more efficient using Braille and Braille technologies. These are often about work based skills (e.g. presentations) or more specialised subject matters (e.g. Braille music). All of the Masterclasses have been recorded (and notes provided) so we have built up a really good bank of resources for people to access whenever they want to.
You’ve been very busy then!
Yes, so far in 2021 we have organised 68 online events which equates to approximately 4 per week! We expect this number to reduce when lockdown ends but we will definitely still carry on with some online events as well as hopefully having some face-to-face events.
How can we find out more information?
There is lots of information on our website and we also have a newsletter, a community discussion forum and a Podcast to keep everyone up to date with all the latest goings on in the Braille world.
You can also contact us by email or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.