3 months ago
READING BY TOUCH!
Mary and her husband Livingstone Ganyile give a demonstration of how they read Braille at home. Photo by Thabo Monama  ~ 

DID you know it’s possible for blind people to read?

They use Braille, a system of writing that operates on touch, not eyesight. Braille works by replacing each letter with sets or cells of raised dots. Each cell is arranged in two columns of three dots.

Any written language can be substituted by Braille.

If you are interested in learning more about Braille visit the Lerato Association for the Blind – they can help you understand more for free.

Mary and Livingstone Ganyile teach Braille and other life skills to visually impaired people in their community.

“Our organisation is here to help anyone, but specifically the blind. We look for the blind who need to learn how to read, count and other life skills that may help them feed their families.

“We only teach the basics of Braille to the blind. After they complete the three-month course, they get a certificate.

“The course teaches valuable lessons to the blind such as how to count cash notes, do bead work as well as how to make belts and key holders.

“Last year, I visited a community in the Eastern Cape. I taught some members how to generate income. It was so successful, the elders asked me to visit again,” she said.

The Lerato Association For The Blind was established in 2006 by Mary and other members – all of whom were either blind or sight-impaired. At first it was a workshop where members could safely produce household materials such as bleach, liquid soap, candles and cooked vegetables.

Mary started offering Braille lessons a few years later to address illiteracy among the sight-handicapped.

When they aren’t making goods or teaching, they take part in cycling competitions and play “sound tennis” at a nearby hall.

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