Award winning novelist Jenni Fagan said all books should be available in audio and Braille formats as she helped launch National Braille Week 2014.
Speaking at the launch of National Braille Week at the Portobello Book Festival, the Granta Best Young British Novelist lent her support to the awareness-raising campaign run by Edinburgh based charity Royal Blind.
Ms Fagan said:
“I think all books should be available in audio and Braille. It is hugely important that readers are able to engage with any work they choose.
“I believe Braille is a written art in its own right. If I compare it to touch-typing (which is how I write novels) there is something about the tactile part of this process that allows me to write well. The more choice there is for every reader, the better.”
Jenni Fagan worked with writers with visual impairments when she taught creative writing at the Norfolk Blind Association. Her acclaimed debut novel The Panopticon is available in audio format.
Davina Shiell, Marketing Manager at Royal Blind said:
“National Braille Week is an important way to celebrate the difference Braille has made to so many lives. It is a truly global code that enables blind and partially sighted people to read books, exam papers and other important documents that need to be understood to get through life and the working world. These days, many blind and partially sighted people use large print and audio formats as well – and all of them have a life-changing role to play.
“We hope that many people will be able to join us in celebrating National Braille Week this year by organising their own activities, taking part in our social media campaigns or viewing our exhibitions online.”
National Braille Week is organised by Royal Blind and runs from 6 – 12 October this year. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of Braille and other accessible formats, and their many uses across the UK.
To find out more visit www.nationalbrailleweek.org