Top author calls for more access to braille 05/01/09
To mark the launch of a campaign to raise £2 million in order to re-house the nation’s leading Braille printing press, best selling author Ian Rankin has called on writers, publishers and retailers to improve accessibility of fiction and non-fiction in braille.

Talking about the campaign, which also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, Rankin said: "The gateway to education and inspiration that braille represents can never be under-estimated. I support anything that can be done to improve access to reading in all formats from braille to large print.

"It is vital that we support organisations like the Braille Press and Royal Blind and the important role they fulfill for people all over the country."

Richard Hellewell, chief executive of the Royal Blind, added: “The impact Louis Braille has had on the lives of the visually impaired is immeasurable. The ability to read and write is an extremely important gateway to opportunity for the UK’s blind or partially sighted people, enabling them to be more independent.

“Braille is used all over the world but outside our community there is little knowledge or understanding about its use. We see National Braille Week as a great way to raise awareness, which we hope will inspire interest and support for Braille.”

To mark the appeal, the Braille Press is printing a braille version of Rankin’s Death is Not the End and the author will visit the Press to see the first printed copies..

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