Thursday, April 30, 2015

13th Annual Braille Games

The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL), in partnership with Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE) and Vision Forward Association, held the 13th Annual Braille Games in Milwaukee on Thursday, April 16, 2015. For more than a decade, blind and visually impaired children and adults have taken part in a unique intergenerational activity to improve their braille skills and celebrate how braille brings a world of information to their fingertips.

"Braille Games is such an important opportunity for blind children to use braille in a fun and interactive way while being mentored by blind adults who are self-sufficient and independent. These mentors share their skills in reading and writing braille while talking about their studies in college and their professions. It's crucial for blind children to know the vast array of opportunities available to them in adulthood,” said Cheryl Orgas, Executive Director for ABLE. 

Braille Games Participants Meet the Italian Sausage
Braille Games Participants Meet the Italian Sausage
“I really enjoy seeing the children and adults enjoying a shared knowledge of braille,” added Linda Vincent, Management Librarian for WTBBL. “There are always many smiles, a lot of laughter and some hugs. What a great way for the community to come together.” 

This year’s event theme was baseball. Children played Baseball Trivia, Jeopardy, and Slate and Sausages. The coach and team members from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) baseball team, The Raiders, joined the children to demonstrate how the game is played. The day ended with a fantastic finale with a visit from the Famous Racing Sausages, courtesy of the Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. The Sausages passed out Brewers baseball bags containing a braille book and tactile images illustrating the game (from ABLE), a stuffed bear (from WTBBL), and a squishy baseball (from Vision Forward). The children got the opportunity to touch the Racing Sausages; a treat for children who are visually impaired.

“Vision Forward is proud to be involved in the Braille Games,” said Terri Davis, Executive Director for Vision Forward. “This is an amazing collaborative effort and we strongly believe in its long term impact on the students. We’re especially proud of the community’s growing support with volunteers from MSOE and Manpower supporting the day’s activities.”

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team
With content provided by the Braille Games news release