The Braillists Foundation
Dave Williams, from Worcester, launched ‘The Braillists Foundation’ to offer training and support for new braille users, and create a community for established braille users.
Dave, who has been blind from birth, struggled with learning braille at school but returned to the tool when wanting to read to his son, rather than relying on audiobooks. After being part of a focus group for a braille technology company, Dave set up his own group after seeing how people came together over a shared passion for the literacy tool and wanting to make it more accessible. The foundation runs its own beginner and advanced braille courses, a podcast and bookclub, as well as continuing to support with user testing new developments in braille technology, such as braille e-book readers.
In a personal letter to Dave, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I want to thank you for everything you are doing to help people learn Braille.
“You are giving people with visual impairments greater independence and dignity, while also creating a community of braille users who share a love of reading.
“Through The Braillists Foundation, you are also helping to test new technology, such as braille e-book readers, that will help make Braille even more accessible.”
“I am thrilled to hear about the Points of Light award which I am glad to accept on behalf of all the Braillists Foundation volunteers who work tirelessly every week to support people starting out on their Braille journey. Braille is simply a way for blind and partially sighted people to read with our fingers instead of our eyes. As a blind dad I could not find a better way of sharing the bedtime story with my son when he was young. I want everyone learning to read with Braille to have access to a supportive community where encouragement is given, questions are answered, and Braille learners can grow confident together.”