Saturday, March 15, 2008

There is finally a Braille dictionary!

A Welsh/English Braille dictionary to help users translate, learn Welsh and support the use of Welsh among Braille users, has been launched.

The 22 volume work is believed to be the first of its kind.

The book, which has been produced by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Cymru, was put together by volunteers and specialist staff.

A teacher for the visually impaired said the dictionary would have a "huge impact" on learning for pupils.

The Welsh Language Board provided 70% of the funds needed to produce the dictionary, launched on Tuesday.

RNIB Cymru said it had been developing Welsh Braille over a number of years after identifying the need to provide access to books for Welsh speakers with sight loss.

The dictionary's production was very time-consuming due to the complexity of the text, said RNIB Cymru.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make the Welsh language accessible to learners across Wales
Ruth Marks, director of RNIB Cymru.

Rachel Staritt, a 13-year-old visually impaired pupil at Pencoed Comprehensive School in Bridgend, said the dictionary would help her with her school work.

"I will be able to find the right words in English and Welsh, just like my friends," she said.

Pam Williams, specialist teacher of the visually impaired at the school, said: "It will be a great help in facilitating inclusion for our pupils, allowing them to access the same information as their sighted peers."

RNIB Cymru said its ongoing partnership with the Welsh Language Board would enable it to provide more Welsh-language texts in accessible formats, including large print, audio and Braille.
Ruth Marks, director of RNIB Cymru, said the charity would be offering 20 copies of the dictionary, initially on a loan basis.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to make the Welsh language accessible to learners across Wales," she said.


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