25 January 2008

Lao braille

My friend is working on a project to suppport blind children in being educated. He has the first and only braille printer in Lao and one of his first tasks was to learn how to fix the machine. His mission is to teach blind children how to use the computer. His first task is to translate a computer textbook into Lao braille. The trouble is that he doesn't know braille so he is trying to get a Lao person to translate as he reads out the Lao text. If someone could come up with a computer program that translates Lao to Lao braille that would be very helpful! Each Lao letter should translate specifically to one braille letter.

Currently blind children take notes in braille by punching it into paper. I met a blind guy uni student from Japan- an amazing guy he was. His English was perfect and he was a naturally good public speaker. He has a note taking device that can connect to the computer. He can type notes which can be read as one line of braille. He says up to a couple of books can be saved on it. I hope that this will one day be available for Lao!

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