Braille Education and Braille Promotion
I have been an active member of two NLBB Working Groups since 2013: Braille Education and Braille Promotion. By combining my knowledge and experience of visual disabilities and braille with my professional background as a graphic designer I can help to raise awareness of the importance of braille for both children and adults.
Designing with braille
Whenever possible I incorporate braille in my designs. The use of ‘real braille’ (tactile legible Grade 1 braille) sends out a very direct message: that braille is just as important to the blind as print is to the sighted. I can’t imagine a world without words, whether printed or digital. Equally, living in such a visually rich world, it’s hard to imagine the non existence of colour, patterns, textures or any kind of imagery.
Recognizable and Accessible Designs
All the promotional and educational items which I’ve designed for the NLBB form a recognizable series with specific design elements. The most striking element being the rainbow’s colours, whether in strips or blocks. This refers to vision and to the spectrum of light. It’s also a symbol of positivity and change (think of the original Apple logo or the painting, ‘The Blind Girl’*). Dark blue is used as a supportive colour. Furthermore all the designs take into account accessibility through the use of clear structure and typography. Apart from printing braille there are many references to braille (units of 6 in the colour blocks and page grid and using a monospaced typeface, Courier).
*I grew up in Birmingham (UK) and made regular visits to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. As a child I can remember being very impressed with the collection of paintings by the Pre Raphaelites, in particular ‘The Blind Girl’ by John Everett Millais, 1856.