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Braille leadership book a first

Dr Rowland and two guests standing at the book launch at Stellenbosch University’s Business School.

Leadership for All by Marius Ungerer, Hohan Herholdt and Jannie le Roux was recently translated into braille and launched at Stellenbosch University’s Business School (USB). This is the first translation of a book by a USB academic into braille.

Dr Rowland, the guest speaker at the book launch is the honorary president of the South African National Council for the Blind. He said, “I have read lots of academic books in braille, but never a business book. With this being the age of motivation and self improvement it is only right and appropriate that this particular book on leadership is made more accessible.”

According to Rowland only about 5% of the country’s blind population are able to read braille, even though it is largely considered the main form of literacy for the visually impaired. This challenge is why he says it is equally important that books are made available in audio version, or “text-to-speech”.

The book’s translation came as the result of an initiative by USB Management Coaching student Carinna Krantz. Last year Krantz worked with visually impaired business leaders for the practical part of her Master’s degree in Management Coaching. This is when she realised the critical need for management and leadership literature to be made accessible to the blind community.

Ungerer, co-author of the book and a USB professor in Strategic Management, said, “Through the translation into braille the book’s reach is expanded into a market never anticipated when my co-authors and I initially started this journey.”

“This book extends leadership to blind people as well, leaving no one behind. This is what the launch is all about — it is a celebration of opening doors,” said Dr William Rowland.

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