Esha (www.braillecards.org and www.clabil.org) is an initiative by volunteers to make life better for the blind. We use the word blind because its neutral. There is no disability, challenge or special ability attached to this. We are blind means we cannot see. Period. Just like you are sighted means you can see.
You can access the online library directly at www.braillecards.org/audio.htm
1. You can use it to say "Thank you" to your most important customers. And let them know how special they are. You can reward them with a lovely experience - one that they will take home and show to their children/ family, one that they will keep in a quiet corner of their purse.
2. Children can pick up the basic Braille Cards and embellish them to say "Thank you" to their Teachers on the upcoming Teacher's Day.
3. You can pick up "Seasons's Greetings" braille stickers and paste them on your Diwali / Dussera / Rakhi cards. As experiences go, this is as sweet as a box of unexpected chocolates. Ask the ones who have tried.
What are some of your ideas for using Braille Cards / Stickers?
This year, we created Braille Thank You and Seasons Greetings cards that are so cute - complete with a hand made bow on top.
Why did we want to do it?
See, Braille is not just for the VI. Look at the card above. Its beautiful, its exclusively handcrafted, and anyone getting this will stop in their tracks and look at this card - CAREFULLY. Those .5 seconds of your customer's mindspace - will make an imprint in their mind. That's not easy in today's stimulus heavy, screen driven world.
In fact, the shock value of a braille card is its greater strength. Someday, we hope that Braille Cards are so common that there is no shock value attached to them. But that's for later. Today, they are amazing pieces of engagement and brand building. They are inclusive.. because they put the spotlight on the fact that Braille cards are necessary.. and they are exclusive.. because they don't look like the next card shop delivered Thank you cards. They look like someone took the time to select the precious thing. And that's all we want.
The students of SOIL- School of Inspired Leadership conducted the third and the last Blind
walk event at Leisure valley, sector 29, Gurgaon. This time again apart from 10
SOIL students, public were also made to participate and experience it. This activity not only creates awareness, empathy but also made themsensitizethe challenge
towards the special skills, needs of the blind and whether public places are
inclusive for them. The aim was to make public places accessible to all
and to observe people’s reaction to the presence of visually impaired. It
was completely different experience for all. The whole activity was covered by media,
journalists from Times of India, Hindustan Times, Friday Gurgaon, ETV and 2
other magazines making us reach more people creating wider impact.
Some photos takes during Blind Walk.
Experince shared by some people:
She found it a really different experience altogether.It is
tough to live life without vision.
The experiment provided an opportunity to experience what
blindness is and how they overcome obstacles at every step. It is really difficult
to walk and society should come forward to make public places safe for visually
It is difficult for a visually impaired person to walk in
this park as the facilities are not available
A completely new experience for him. He found it very
difficult to walk a small stretch. He have never imagined, how life would be
without vision and would be so challenging.
This was a great opportunity to understand the challenging
things that we don’t realize and sensitize their feelings. He was happy to
experience such a unique activity.
Media coverage and participants sharing their experiences.
Before blind walk Harminder Sir
was quite curious and excited about experiencing something new which he hasn’t
heard of so far. He closed his eyes took a cane and walked in the crowded lane
of Galleria. What he experienced after which was something he did not expect
before the walk. After completing the walk he sat down in a chair, said every
individual should try this out to understand the challenges and appreciate
whatever we have got, as most of us still grumble for things we don’t get. He
wanted his staffs in his office to also experience it and made them
participated in the walk!!!
Her respect for people without
vision had just doubled. She felt their spirit of not giving up and enduring
the challenges they have to face every day, keep fighting against the odds and perform
better than what we do is something that should be respected and encouraged.
She was happy to experience such a unique activity!
One of our most enthusiastic
participants was excited from the beginning to participate in the walk. She
apart from participating in the walk wanted her friends to experience the same
and called them up too. She said she was able to observe more with her eyes closed. She was more focused than she usually is.
Nanda had never experienced
something like this before. He had few things that struck him. I found it super
difficult to walk a small stretch. I have never though, how life would be
without vision. I have never imagined it before. This was a great opportunity
to understand things we don’t realize. I would make my friends and family
experience the same.
I have seen and worked with
people without vision. I have always found them inspiring. The way they plan
and execute their work and the amount of effort they put in is absolutely
amazing that each one of us should learn. The blind walk just made me wonder
why do we complain when we have everything. And why they never complain even
when they have many challenges
She found it very difficult to
even keep a single step. She knew she was slow and had a long distance to cover
but her fear of falling was holding her behind. It made her understand how
difficult life becomes when one can’t see. She felt it was wonderful
experiencing something that was completely new and created a lasting import.
Esha is part of the Social
Innovation Program (SIP) of the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), were the business
school partners up with 25 NGOs. The students from SOIL work with an NGO
throughout the year identify the critical projects and needs of the NGO and
contribute towards fostering its growth. Every year four students from SOIL
team up with Esha. This year it was our turn to join hands with Esha and our
first task was to conduct a blind walk. We were asked to choose a small stretch
in a public place for doing the blind walk.
The experience we had after conducting
the walk was incredible. The moment we closed our eyes and started walking towards
the target area, which we felt was very close by and easily reachable we were
proven wrong. After a few steps we felt it really challenging. We were just
guided by our ears.
The place sounded pretty crowded,
every step was taken with so much effort not to hit anyone around. The fear
that we might fall anytime made it even more difficult. It took us 15 minutes
each to cover the stretch which would normally take a minute or two to cover.
There was one among us who found it quite easy, as he recently had an eye
surgery and had already experienced walking without the support of vision.
The activity also caught the
attention of the mixed crowd at Galleria, they were pretty curious as to what
was going around. It created a lasting impact in us which would drive us
This has been a great week for Esha. First, we launched the volunteering page on the website.
Next, on June 12th, we held the first open 9Tanki workshop - where the participants were as young as 15 and some of them older than 40. For the first time, varied perspectives were present on the same stage and it enriched our view of how 9Tanki can change perspectives, and lives.
And now, we are so happy to share this : Yogesh is a bright engineer. On his own personal time, and out of his interest, he has created an app in partnership with CLABIL. All the free content of CLABIL in Hindi is now available on this Android app. It is simply called "Suno"(सुनो ) Suno literally means "Listen" in Hindi. Simple. And Powerful.
Some salient features of the app are:
Content can be downloaded on the local phone.
Chapter navigation is easily possible.
The library will be remotely updated as and when we add books.
Once downloaded, the book will not need to be downloaded again :)
I have personally tested the app with the native Android accessibility mode and its very good handling.
We encourage you to try the app even if you are sighted (since all content is free) . And of course, spread the word to NGOs, govt schools and children who are not enrolled in formal schooling. We have a lot of stories for them to learn from..