In keeping with its mission of empowering differently abled children and facilitating their access to knowledge, Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment celebrated World Braille Day on January 4, 2020, with a series of activities highlighting the importance of Braille language in paving the path to literacy for the visually challenged.
The event was held in collaboration with the Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired and Sharjah Girl Guides and hosted at Al Rawi Cultural Café at Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah, and was part of the Sharjah World Book Capital celebrations. It was a meaningful platform to build social inclusiveness and designed to foster acceptance and understanding among their sighted counterparts and promote Braille as a medium of communication.
Through its ‘ARA’ initiative, Kalimat Foundation presented participants with a collection of Braille, audio and large-print books. The day was marked by numerous activities which included reading sessions, storytelling, Braille writing and reading challenges to further enrich the knowledge and expertise of the visually challenged children.
Amna Al Mazmi, Manager of Kalimat Foundation, said: “We believe that it is the fundamental right of children, anywhere in the world and irrespective of their circumstances, to have access to books, acquire knowledge and gain education. Our activities were designed to assert this universal right, and to also enable the young generation to better understand the language used by individuals with visual challenges, and the need to be supportive of their peers with visual impairment. Through our activities, we seek to highlight the importance of learning for all children, including those with different requirements, to become productive members of the community and to be able to shape their own futures.”
“We organised this event in collaboration with our partners to emphasise the importance of the Braille system in enabling visually impaired children to read books. We believe that reading is one of the most important tools to bolster community development,” she added. “We will further our efforts to reinforce and promote reading among all segments of the community by providing them access to a wide range of reading materials, including recreational and educational reading.”
World Braille Day is held annually on January 4 to observe the birthday of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille code.