Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind (QSCCB) organized an interactive panel on “Braille system and the impact of developments in assistive techniques and technology on the dissemination of braille”, with the participation of Dr. Mohamed Hashem, Sheikh/ Mohamed Abd El-Samei, Ms. Eman Rammal, and a host of QSCCB associate members (both sexes).

Participants explained a number of axes, including: the importance of learning braille, how easy it is for every blind to master, the availability of other learning alternatives, the role of braille in the educational process of the blind person, if braille has the potential to make a difference for the blind person seeking an employment opportunity, the impact it has in forming the cultural identity of the person and whether there are other learning methods that could substitute for it, does braille still reflect a modern way of reading and writing in the light of the major technical development.

Dr. Hashem stressed that braille is the key to obtain information in the various areas of knowledge, science and art. It is the means of written communication which is an essential process for self-learning and development. In addition, it reflects adequacy, independence and equality for the blind. He called for organizing educational courses for students in different levels of education to learn braille, which is the most prevailing system of teaching the blind the written language.

For his part, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Samei said that he learned braille from a very early age, at the primary educational stage. He emphasized that the blind pupil who didn’t learn braille can be likened to the sighted who can’t see. He illustrated that he, as a blind man, feels thrilled when his fingers touch any surface carved IN braille. It tells of an increased awareness, equality, and the promotion of a culture of positive engagement of the blind in public places, including, restaurants. Some restaurants were committed to the positive engagement of the visually impaired persons and printed special menus in braille to ensure liberty, independence and self-reliance for the blind in such places, so that they don’t need help.

Braille Challenge Competition

On this occasion, QSCCB organizes “Braille Challenge 2020”, a competition aiming to strengthening the connection with braille, highlighting the importance of braille for the blind, and spreading the culture of reading, writing and notation. QSCCB members (males and females) shall participate in the competition, which is based on listening to a recorded voice clip and trying to transcript the content in braille, either on paper or electronically. The best works are chosen and their writers are honored.