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Braille Development

Braille as a potential instrument has empowered the blind people to read and write freely, think critically and creatively and independently. It has enabled them to acquire useful and gainful knowledge and communication skills to make their mark in the society. Education, acquired with the medium of Braille, has developed their all round personality, imbuing them with valuable qualities of self-awakening, self-confidence, and self-reliance.

NIVH is perceived as a cornerstone in Braille Development owing to its long and deep involvement in the standardization of Bhartiya Braille, a system that corresponds to all the official languages of the country and notation systems for Maths, Music and Science. The Braille Development Unit has also contributed Braille contractions and abbreviations and shorthand systems in most of the official languages of the country.

Apart from developing and refining Braille codes for official languages of the country and other notation systems, the Unit also worked on a number of projects and research studies crucial for the expansion and popularization of Braille. At present, it is working on 2 major studies namely "A Study of the Status of teaching Braille in the Universities offering B.Ed. Special Education with Specialization in Visual Impairment" and "Review of Bharati Braille in India".

Responding to the popular demand for having a supervising and monitoring body to oversee and strengthen the development of Braille in India the Unit played an instrumental role in the creation of Braille Council of India (BCI) in 2008. This body also has a specific objective of assisting and advising the Director of the Institute in all matters relating to Braille development and Braille production in the country. While the BCI is primarily, an advisory body, its conclusions, guidelines and recommendations form the basis for Braille related activities in the country. All new technology relating to the development of hardware/software pertaining to Braille writing, Braille translation software, Braille production or Braille teaching shall be recognized or duplicated with the approval of the BCI.

During the year 2008-09 & 2009-10 Council convened three sessions first between 12th September to 13th September, 2008 and the second on 28.3.2009 and the third on March 20, 2010 at Dehradun. During these sessions, issues for Braille development were prioritized and a plan of action was also drawn up for the ensuing year. Council also had the occasion to review newly developed Braille Code for Carnatic Music and Advance Braille Code for Mathematics and Science developed by the Institute. It also tested two proto types of Braille Devices designed by Dr. Milan Dass, Senior Research Officer of NIVH.