Page 50 - Chermside Guide July Issue
P. 50

 Tutor Malcolm Thomas and Anne Tann
NEW LOCAL BRAILLE CLASSES
 Story Jodie Woodward PAhoto Bruce Redman
dults who have lost or are losing their vision can continue reading and writing by learning to use braille through
places like Braille House. Braille House is a Centre of Excellence in the production and teaching of braille Australia-wide, offering tuition and tactual reading materials to people who are blind or have low vision.
Andrew Backhouse from Braille House said the decision to start braille classes locally at Geebung came as another site they taught at had to close because of COVID.
“Geebung RSL is familiar to our members because there are several blindness and low vision groups that meet there so it made sense to see if we would use this venue to teach braille, he said. “They are very accommodating, and it’s easy access to the rail station with minimal street crossings to get from the station.”
Andrew said braille was imperative for people who were blind or had low vision to read and write and navigate around the community.
“People who are literate are more likely to maintain employment and be satisfied with their life. Reading also allows people to develop their
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own voice to make decisions and form opinions which is critical to navigate life, to integrate socially and to find their clan, as well as to achieve their life’s goals, whatever they may be.”
People learn braille for all kinds of reasons and Andrew said he hoped there were no people in the community that had to give up reading and writing because of vision loss.
“We also hope that everyone who needs to be able to read braille to navigate their environment learns it,” he said. “We have one student who is 95 and is learning braille so he can continue to play Scrabble with his friends.”
If you’re interested in learning braille, Andrew said to come along and talk to other students about how braille had helped them.
“These classes are also a great chance to meet others with vision loss and help stay connected to the community,” he said. “The tutors are also very friendly and love to meet new students of all ages.”
For information, go to www.braillehouse.org.au
Braille lessons
Every Thursday, 9.00am-12.00pm Geebung RSL
Cnr Newman Rd and Collings St, Geebung
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