jm | A new braille page turns

Since January 4, more than 2,000 books published in Braille have been balanced at the single rate price, with the desire to facilitate access to culture for visually impaired and blind people.

An additional page opens for the benefit of accessibility to culture. “A page that still took forty years to turn. We’ve been waiting for it since Lang’s law from 1981! Obviously, we are delighted with this announcement”, welcomes Véronique Charpentier, president of the association “Bouge ton Regard”.

The discriminatory phenomenon which required visually impaired and blind people to pay more for their books is now over. Since January 4, World Braille Day, more than 2,000 books published in Braille are balanced at the single book price, making them more accessible. This initiative comes from CTEBthe Braille Transcription and Editing Center.

Indeed, the books are now sold between 11 and 30 euros, whereas before this date, it was necessary to pay between 60 and 120 euros per copy. This price of the book was justified, and is justified, by the cost of manufacturing the book in Braille, estimated at 700 euros. Embossing, the technique used to write Braille, is very time-consuming, and the use of paper is more important, in addition to being thicker. For a printed page of a classic book, the Braille translation will span four or five pages.

Few braille readers

However, are braille readers so numerous? “In any case in Chaumont and Haute-Marne, few people practice it. There are some despite everything, ”answers Véronique Charpentier, whose association develops better living together by welcoming people with visual disabilities. In France, it is estimated that around 300,000 people read Braille.

On the side of the Silos too, we make the same observation. The media library has a fund of about forty books purchased from specialized publishers but very little used. However, these are aimed at young audiences. They have more of a sense of learning and refining the braille alphabet or are used to raise awareness among students and show them that other writing systems exist. Audiobooks are also available, as are large-print books for the visually impaired.

Because if it took forty years for the prices to be accessible, the technology did not wait so long. Moreover, it continues to evolve and offers more and more solutions to visually impaired people. Véronique Charpentier specifies that, more than Braille, the people welcomed within the association will rather favor voice synthesis.

“A volunteer reads newspapers, magazines and books to them, but the audio texts are also appreciated. In terms of audio texts, there has also been a lot of progress. »

The most advanced technology

She thus highlights the Full Daisy books. They contain both the book in audio version, but also the text, synchronized with the sound. It is thus possible to listen while following the text or on a Braille page.

Other increasingly popular equipment: Orcam MyEye glasses, “a phenomenal concept”, according to the president of Bouge ton Regard. This pair is equipped with a camera and an earpiece. The text taken in the photo is converted into speech. If they can be used for a novel, these glasses are really effective for small text sizes, such as food ingredient labels, for example.

Considering herself “an awful utopian”, Véronique Charpentier evokes the idea of ​​pooling this type of material, which is relatively expensive. “If the Silos ever have the opportunity to get hold of it, it would be a good idea to share it. Even in nursing homes where the elderly have impaired vision, this could be an additional way to promote equal access to culture. »

Joffrey Tridon

j.tridon@jhm.fr

jm | A new braille page turns