Qatari cultural organizations are celebrating World Braille Day by hosting events and activities in addition to promoting awareness about Braille through social media. These events and activities aim to increase interest in Braille, which facilitates communication, opens endless horizons of knowledge, and grants access to unlimited learning resources to the visually impaired.
Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind offers a comprehensive presentation of the Braille writing system on its social media pages. The presentation describes how Braille developed and how it is used. It also notes that Braille is no longer limited to print materials, but current digital equipment can display written content on a computer screen or a smart phone on an electronic line that changes as one reads.
The Ministry of Culture’s Media Center is fully committed to supporting different groups within society, including those with special needs, to ensure that they benefit from the Center’s services and that their contributions to society are appreciated. The Center reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a dire need for reliable mechanisms, such as Braille, that facilitate access to the Center’s services, especially for those with special needs.
In this context, the Learning Team at Qatar National Museum organized a tour for the visually impaired yesterday. The tour made it possible for the visually impaired to access the museum collection through audio commentary and tactile materials. A tour guide would accompany visually impaired visitors through the exhibits to describe the artifacts in the collection while visitors read the museum guide in Braille. This tour was initially available in Arabic only, but the museum added an English tour for the visually impaired on Tuesday from 10:00 am to noon and from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The Qatar National Museum announced on social media that it is pleased to make tours available to the visually impaired through tactile stations, technical assistances, and Braille guides. Ikrami Ahmed, Assisting Technologies Specialist at Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind, posted a video on the Center’s social media pages yesterday, in which he explains the development of Braille, how it is read, and how widespread it is in Qatar.
Qatar National Library is also celebrating World Braille Day by extending an invitation through social media to visually impaired patrons to visit the library. Members of the library have access to Book Share, an electronic resource that allows reading for the visually impaired. The library is using social media to promote its services and to provide information about reading access. The library social media pages also offer information about World Braille Day, which is celebrated on January 4, the birthday of its creator Louis Braille who brought light into the lives of millions of visually impaired individuals all over the world. Thanks to his work, they can enjoy reading like everyone else.