Atlanta, Georgia – Dec. 29, 2023 – The Georgia Resource & Advocacy Center for Empowerment inc. is partnering with the Fulton County Commission on Disability Affairs and the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia to secure access to Braille education for elementary and secondary school students who are blind and visually impaired. On Dec. 22, they received a proclamation from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners that designates Jan. 4, 2024, as Braille Education Awareness Day and calls on the Georgia Legislature to pass the "Blind Persons' Braille Literacy Rights and Education Act”.
Blind and visually impaired students in Georgia do not have reliable access to Braille education. Braille assessments and instruction are not required in individualized education programs (IEP). Students only receive assessments or instruction in Braille if an IEP team believes it is necessary. But it is an area of education that has a profound impact on a blind or visually impaired person’s quality of life.
The Institute of Education Science explained that “the ability to read and write Braille is crucial for individuals who are blind, just as print literacy is crucial for individuals who are sighted. Braille literacy opens a host of opportunities for education, leisure, and employment.”
“You can't learn grammar, syntax, structure, and proper spelling through audio. There would be a national uproar If only 10% of sighted children were learning how to read. So, why is it acceptable that only 10% of blind students are being taught how to read? With advancements in technology like refreshable Braille displays, Braille is more available than ever before,” said Kayla Weathers, vice president of the Georgia Resource & Advocacy Center for Empowerment inc.
“It’s a known fact that Braille education helps children in every area of life. You can’t succeed if you can’t read. It’s time to empower blind and visually impaired students to develop strong literacy skills,” said Derrick Tuff, chairman of the Fulton County Commission on Disability Affairs.
This is an important issue that must be addressed to give blind and visually impaired students access to the instruction they need to be confident adults and maximize their professional potential. Help the Georgia Resource & Advocacy Center for Empowerment inc. strengthen its advocacy efforts by making a donation.