In Ho Chi Minh City, teachers use summer break to prepare Braille books for visually impaired students

TT – Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 12:29 GMT+7

In Ho Chi Minh City, teachers use summer break to prepare Braille books for visually impaired students
Teachers of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City have made Braille textbooks for their students during the last three months. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre

Instead of having a normal summer break, teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City used their free time to prepare Braille books for a new curriculum for blind students.

“We did not take all our time enjoying the summer break,” Nguyen Thi Thanh Hue, principal of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special High School for the Visually Impaired , told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

“This year, we all gathered at the school [in District 10] to create Braille books to help students adapt to the new high school curriculum.

“We want to provide our students with the best we can.”

To help their students keep up with the knowledge of the new curriculum this school year, the teachers had to convert the normal textbooks into Braille documents for grades three, seven, and ten that have new content.

Nguyen Huynh Vu Duy, a grade-three student, reads a new Braille book made by his teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre

To that end, teachers had to translate the textbooks into Braille before applying for permission and having them printed in bulk so that the new textbooks would be available timely for the start of the new school year in September.

Braille books include a picture channel and a text channel. For the picture channel, the teachers first selected photos that could be converted into text. 

Teachers Phi Hung (left) and Dinh Hau engage with book pages with Braille characters at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre
A complete book page in a Braille textbook created by teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special High School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre

Then they designed them to be cut out, inserted them into the pages of the textbooks with photos and Braille characters, and finished the book-binding process in the final phase.

“Usually, I can paste three or four pages for each working section, but for pages with many details and characters, it took me all the working time to paste just one because I had to repeat the book-binding process many times,” said teacher Nguyen Thi Ngoc Han, who is in charge of pasting the books. 

A teacher uses a special typewriter to translate a normal textbook into Braille for visually impaired students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre
Teacher Thanh Nga shows a new design for a book page with a picture of a Braille textbook. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre

“I find the process of making Braille books very tedious, and the teachers had to be extremely meticulous at every stage,” said Le Nguyen Duy An, a former student of the special high school. “They are also highly creative in helping our students acquire comprehensive knowledge.”

“Our teachers’ dream is for all students to be able to read and understand by touching the pages of the books,” said teacher Han.

“We just expect our students to gain as much knowledge as possible from the books.”

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hue (C), principal of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City, assists a blind student. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre
Teacher Ngoc Han gives a presentation on the new curriculum for grade-three students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School for the Visually Impaired in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre

Kim Thoa – Ngoc Phuong – Pho Huong / Tuoi Tre News

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