Why are braille materials still so widely inaccessible?

Today in Parliament, Abigail successfully passed a motion calling on the NSW Government to increase investment in accessible braille materials  for children and young people to remove barriers faced by people who are blind, low vision or vision impaired.

Abigail moved:

(1) That this House notes that:

  • Thursday 4 January 2024 was World Braille Day, which is held each year to celebrate technological and social advancements made since the development of the braille system in 1824, and also stands as a fierce demand for genuine inclusion and equity of all people who are blind, low vision and vision impaired across all levels of society;
  • according to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, more than one million Australians are expected to live with blindness or low vision by 2030, and First Nations Australians are three times more likely to be affected;
  • to this day, people who are blind, low vision and vision impaired face significant challenges and barriers to accessing and engaging with services, infrastructure and systems, including education, health, transport and communications, and routinely experience discrimination, harassment and victimisation in society;
  • these barriers are perpetuated by a sustained lack of targeted investment in inclusion and accessibility by successive governments, as well as a lack of genuine representation in leadership and decision-making positions; and
  • braille materials such as books are still largely inaccessible for many people who are blind, low vision or vision impaired, and Vision Australia has recently funded a new series of children's books, which will be the first children's braille books to be sold in Australian mainstream bookstores and taught in primary schools.

(2) That this House calls on the Government to commit to breaking down barriers faced by people who are blind, low vision and vision impaired, and to increase investment in accessible braille materials, particularly for children and young people and in educational settings.

 

Read the transcript in Hansard here.

 

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