EBU’s Braille Working Group hosts a recap webinar on its latest updates

Two months after helping us draft our last position paper about access to reading and using Braille, our working group on this topic hosted a webinar on November 7th to present the results of its work and on-going projects. This online event gathered more than 40 people, including representatives of our National Members as well as others from third-sector organisations.

As a way to introduce the session, the group’s leader, Reiner Delgado, from the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted, summarized its main outcomes over the last two years, highlighting the production of EBU’s Braille video (available in YouTube in eight language versions: Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish) and the launching of livingbraille.eu, an online forum where everybody can share their experience and knowledge concerning Braille .

Regarding the near future, he revealed that they’re preparing a survey aimed at improving Braille displays. During the session, some participants brought up some issues regarding those devices: for instance, they pinpointed their high cost in countries like Croatia and Hungary, thus underlining the need to advocate for making them more affordable for everybody. Additionally, they also emphasized that it’s not just about providing Braille displays, as States should make sure that blind and partially sighted people are also taught how to use them.

Another subject that was widely discussed over the session is the importance of promoting the teaching and use of Braille since the early stages of life. In line with this, participants agreed that not developing the proper reading and writing skills of the code leads to a deterioration of knowledge for people with visual impairment, a problem closely related to the lack of specialized teachers across Europe. At the same time, there was a consensus over the role of national authorities in standardizing the Braille code in a country as a way to encourage its learning.

During the same conversation, some attendants also discussed different ways to make using Braille funny and entertaining for young people. In this sense, different solutions were proposed, such as the use of Braille LEGO bricks, a tool that has been used in some countries to foster inclusion for visually impaired children.

While looking at the near future, the webinar’s hosts reminded participants of the upcoming 200th birthday of the code’s inception in 2025. The members of our Braille Working Group stated that they’re looking forward to the occasion, thus expecting to plan an activity or initiative aimed at celebrating this special date.

More international webinars on Braille will take place in the future. If you wish to get more information, please contact r.delgado@dbsv.org.

Remember that if you want to know more about our commitments to promote Braille, you can visit the section on our website.