According to the World Blind Union, over 90% of all published materials cannot be read by visually impaired persons, leading to a huge gap in terms of learning accessibility.
There is, therefore, a great need for works in accessible formats.
One of the formats that visually impaired persons can interact with is Braille, a system of reading and writing in which raised dots represent the letters of the alphabet, punctuation marks, and symbols . Braille enables persons with visual impairments to read using touch.
This year, towards the end of February, the Oasis Book Project donated its stories to be produced in Braille form, and, with the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Kampala South, the first batch of books came out. This first batch was comprised of five titles in the Oasis Sound Series in Braille, a series of books that provide decodable stories to direct young readers from blending letter sounds to building vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. In due course, the series imparts the five big skills of reading. Now, visually impaired learners can use these books to build literacy skills that they will need in school and life.
Much more recently, this May, both the Rotary Club of Kampala South and the Rotary Club of Kampala Maisha sponsored the production of more Braille storybooks. This time, there were six titles; some were from the Oasis Starter Series and others were from the Oasis Life Series. These books provide stories that children will immensely enjoy and the structure that they will need to read fluently and independently. They were the following: Jomo’s Car, Tree to Heaven, Jomo’s Uniform, Miracle in Amuru, Kairu’s Secret, and Dad’s Party.
In the future, we hope to see more books in accessible formats; literacy has several benefits, and every child should be able to experience them.
Our vision remains the same: a country where all children grow up to be skilled readers who love to read.