(15 March 2021 12:00 am)
Mel Pritchard, a member of our Board of Trustees, has been spending time working with the Braillist’s Foundation to deliver a series of braille classes online.
Mel, who was born with a severe visual impairment, has been using braille all of her life. Pre COVID-19, Mel had been teaching students braille in 1-to-1 classes and small groups for over 20 years.
When Coronavirus hit the world and took us all into lockdown, Mel was no longer able to deliver her braille courses, something that remains a crucial element of literacy and independence for many visually impaired people worldwide.
During lockdown, Mel was approached by the Braillist’s Foundation to start delivering braille for beginners’ sessions online to visually impaired people.
Due to the physical nature of reading braille and the level of detail and support needed to teach it, the thought of delivering lessons on a virtual platform would be considered too laborious and too challenging a task by many.
Mel, however, is no stranger to using technology. When Mel initially joined WVS in 2013, she then went on to set up the Warwickshire Vision Support IT project which has since helped many blind and visually impaired people across the county. Mel’s passion for both braille and IT made her the perfect candidate for the job and she has been successfully delivering the online braille course for a number of weeks now.
When asked about the online braille course, Mel responded “It’s been really different, braille is usually very 1-to-1 and requires a lot of handson work.” “That being said...” she continued, “This course has been going incredibly well and I’m very thankful to be able to continue to teach braille to those who need it during this lockdown period.”