RLSB’s Online Communities Assistant, Kevin Satizabal, shares his experience of what it meant to him as a blind person to get a braille Christmas card for the first time.
He also shares his tips on how you can send out braille cards and write up large print cards for your vision impaired friends and relatives.
“I’ll never forget the first time I got a Braille Christmas card. It was a couple of days before Christmas when I heard the click of the letter box flap and the flop of post landing on the mat. A present, a card? What post was that? I rushed to pick it up. It was a small envelope definitely a card. On one hand I was so grateful but on the other slightly sad as I was sure it was another print Christmas card. I’m blind, and cards are always a slight disappointment. The print always has to be read out for me, and when I put them up on the mantelpiece the words of Christmas cheer soon fade from my mind and I have to ask for the cards to be read again.”
‘It feels more special than I can describe’
“Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to find out who my card was from. I tore open the envelope and pulled the card out. The front was plain to the touch so I quickly opened the card and felt inside. My face lit up. I could feel braille letters. ‘Happy Christmas!’ I read. This was the first time anyone had ever delivered me a Christmas card that I could read myself and it felt more special than I can describe. The words meant so much more because I was reading them on my own. I read them over and over and later on just picked up the card and read them again and again and again.”
How can you send a braille Christmas card?
That Christmas was over two years ago and the moment has never left me. It was even more poignant as the friends who sent it to me knew nothing about Braille, they just knew I could read it. So if you have any blind friends who read braille and you feel would love to read a Christmas card from you it’s pretty easy to sort out.
Companies such as Braille Cards and Braille Greetings Cards, produce braille cards for a range of occasions. You can call them up and tell them what message you would like written in (make the messages short, as braille takes up about twice as much space as print). They will take care of the rest. They will emboss the braille message in the card, put it in an envelope and post it.
How can you write cards for large print readers?
To send cards to partially sighted people write your cards with a chunky pen against a plain white or yellow background.
Go for it; Make a blind person’s day and send them an accessible card this Christmas.
Update: In January 2017, RSBC merged with the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB). Although we are now called RSBC, there may be some references to RLSB in this blog.
Sign up for more news and blogs
To stay up-to-date with our latest news and blogs sign up to our newsletters by filling in your details in the short form below.