Blind SA established its Braille Services in 1953 and remains the only producer of braille documents in all eleven official languages of South Africa.
How vital braille documents are to people with blindness and visual impairments
Access to literacy
Access to the written word is the greatest communication barrier people with blindness and visual impairment face. Despite advancements in audio technology, reading and writing can only be attained through braille, making it key to literacy.
Blind and visual impaired learners in various schools need education material in accessible format to facilitate their learning experience. These include textbooks from early grades to the most intricate material required at a higher education level, including lecture notes and examination papers.
Blind and visually impaired employees also require information in accessible formats to keep up with their sighted colleagues. Literature is therefore needed for a range of professional disciplines and additional work-related materials such as labour contracts or insurance policies. Furthermore, for effective committee work, agendas, reports and minutes must be in braille. In order to participate in discussion forums documents, Green and White Papers, Bills and Acts, including the Constitution of South Africa are also required in braille.
At an individual level people with blindness and visual impairments may need information in accessible formats in terms of Recipes, manuals, travel timetables as well as reading for family responsibilities and religious devotions. Additionally, reading for pleasure also sees the production of recreational books including six braille magazines.
Our Braille Production
Our Braille Services supplies customers with material at about 25% of the actual production cost. The additional costs are funded by the generosity of Blind SA’s donors.
We produce braille to order only, and try to meet the reading needs of all our customers. Each page of every textbook needs to be transcribed into a braille master page, then duplicated and bound into useful study aids. Our Heidelberg GT Platen Press allows for quick production and with our Viewplus Braille and state-of-the-art software, means we can print tactile diagrams and pictures.