Andina: Peru lawmakers pledge to tackle illiteracy among blind children

Thousands of blind children – illiterate because of the inaccessibility of Braille material – will be taught to read via the “Hands that See” campaign launched Tuesday morning by Congress’ Special Commission on Disabled People, according to state news agency Andina.

The month-long campaign, designed to raise funds for the purchase of Braille material in Brazil, will benefit especially low to very-low income children that cannot afford the material necessary to learn Braille. Illiteracy among blind children is a real crisis in Peru, as more than 80 percent of these children are illiterate.

“Blindness is one of the most severe handicaps, and has the most social and cultural barriers with respect to academic training,” said the commission’s President, Michael Urtecho.”Just like a child needs school supplies to learn to read and write, a blind child needs a slate, a stylus and a Braille book.”

The Braille system, invented by Louis Braille in 1821, is widely used by blind people to read and write. Each Braile character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each.

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