Woman learns braille to help give Christmas cards to the blind
WINNIPEG -- A Winnipeg woman is working to make Christmas cards more accessible to the visually impaired.
Kayla DeBaets, a receptionist at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, learned braille in order to transcribe Christmas cards.
“People were having to wait, sometimes more than a week, because there were only two people who did it,” DeBaets said.
After learning the tactile writing system, she then had to learn how to type with a Perkins Brailler, a machine that embosses paper with braille. Although a steep learning curve, for DeBaets, it’s worth it.
“It’s just the gratitude that I see from the other people. Somebody that comes in to get a brail card made, how happy they are to find out we do that here,” she said.
And her work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Tracy Garbutt, a program lead at the institute, knows the difficulties of being visually impaired and how special getting a braille card is.
“It feels really good, you don’t need to ask for help and you’re just like anyone else, reading a card you’ve received,” Garbutt said. “You just think ‘Wow someone really took the time.’”
There is a $2 donation fee to the institute per card, but more is always encouraged.
Due to the high volume of cards, Dec. 13 will be the last day to get your Christmas cards in for transcription
- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dubé